Gary stood at his kitchen counter with a knife in his hand, cutting bread overtop the aforementioned counter. He stared calmly out his window, grinning subtly, out at the white void before him. At once, there was a flash of light outside his window. Gary leaned forward, staring up outside of his home. The flash of light overtook the blank, white sky, covering his field of vision in vibrant lights and colors. All around the void there was a shimmer of colors. A few moments passed. Gary gasped. In an instant, a wave of intense sound and heat flooded its way through his home, shattering the window in front of his face. Gary held his arms up above his face, while hot glass blew past him.
The onslaught died down. Gary leaned over the counter once more, cutting his hand slightly on the many tiny shards of glass covering the counter.—he stared out into the abyss. Tidal waves of light engulfed the entire house, burning through the remnants of the wall. The glass shattered into silt, resulting in a wide swath of black and white, the outlines etched into the walls. The candle-sphere, for the last time, rested in front of Gary’s door, a small fire in the center, waving. Gary stood there for a moment. He took in the light, marveling at the stillness. Gary looked back in his window, noticing that the scattered light had faded. He shook his head. Lo-and-behold: There was still a flash of light in the void.
Gary leaped from the window, running into the void, with his hands outstretched. Corrupted by the wave of light, he collapsed to a knee. Before him, a bit of the void collapsed. A thin crack ran along its surface, only growing, until it stopped just beneath Gary’s feet. The area depressed, sinking deeper into the void. A viscous, black fluid flowed up onto the surface through the cracks in the ground. The light in the sky, shifting its hue between more and more grandiose, vibrant colors, shattered. The sky collapsed back down toward Gary—at once, a hole opened up in the void's surface, leading into a black abyss. As the vivid sky fell, and it fell into that void, and the sky itself regained its glow of white. Gary, too, receded into the dark recession of the void.
When Gary came to—when his vision faded out of the darkness — he found himself inside an industrial kitchen. All around him, there were chefs standing around, standing perfectly still, like mannequins. It turned none of the stoves or ovens on. The people just stood around, lifelessly staring before them. Gary found his way to another room, sitting at a table decorated with a similar blue-and-white illustration of a bear. He patted the table in the middle of the kitchen and stared at it for a moment. Behind him, there was a creaking sound as a closet door cracked open just behind him. Gary approached, creeping cautiously into the back of the kitchen.
The room was simply a storage of ingredients. On either side of him, there are shelves and shelves of aging, spoiled foods. There was a banging sound coming from another room. Gary turned around abruptly. He darted out of the storage room, slamming the door shut behind him. At once, he glanced about the kitchen, found a swiveling door at the side of the room, and scampered out into the main area of a restaurant.
There were patrons sitting at almost every table. The room was silent. Gary continued deeper into the room. Nobody moved. Nobody spoke. Just as before, they stared lifelessly, like mannequins. Then Gary cracked his mouth and spoke in an almost unnatural, breathless voice. “Hello, my name is Gary.” He looked at the group of people standing around a nearby table. There was not any trace of a stirring. Nobody looked up at him. He continued further into the room, and he wandered out the front door.
It was indescribably hot outside — nobody was out there. Gary’s skin sizzled and burned in the heat, but his body remained undamaged. He quickly sprinted across the street, his body aching every step of the way, before throwing open a pair of glass doors and settling into another property. Gary fell down to his knees as the door fell shut silently behind him. He could feel his skin blistering for only a moment. At once, he regained control of himself.
He pulled himself up to his feet. He glanced around the new location. Beneath his feet was a layer of velvet carpeting. They adorned the walls with old-fashioned but decorated wallpapers. Before him, there were two staircases circling about an entryway, a doorway somewhat depressed into the ground. Movie posters, the likes of which he’d never heard of, sporadically lined the walls. Gary walked across the wide walkway, and he trekked up one of the two stairways, reconvening into a narrow hall at the very top. There was a gray door. Gary reached for the doorknob. The door creaked open before he reached it. Gary wandered inside. It was dark. In the center of the room, Gary could barely make out the figure of a projector. He stepped up to it. There was already a reel inside.
He turned it on—a blaring sound, the overpowering squeal of brass, made its way up to him. Gary darted for the doorway behind him. He snatched the handle. He pulled. It did not budge. In a panic, Gary continued to grab onto the handle. The knob came off of the door, and with it, Gary fell to the ground, landing on his back with a hollow thud. Before him, the door cracked itself open. Gary chuckled, and he pulled himself up to his feet, and he wandered back out into the lobby. He crept down the stairs once more, rounded the corner underneath the velvet rope, and stepped foot inside the theater.
They filled the seats to the brim with patrons. Gary wandered further, past rows and rows of chairs, down toward the silver screen. A movie was playing before him, but the dialogue was indecipherable to him—it was in a language that Gary had never heard before. He continued down the aisle. The sound grew quiet and dull. He continued. As he reached the apex of the room, past the last row of chairs, the sound died down.
In an instant, a superior darkness overtook the room. Gary fell to his knees, unable to see his hands in front of his face. Static flooded into the room behind him. He could feel his consciousness being engulfed by an indescribable fog of nonsense. This time, he thought, he wasn’t the only one.
The impossibility of returning to his senses caused him to break down in a daze. Some strange noise had been breathing in his ears. He saw the world slowly moving away from his body. It was gone, and now his mind was free to wander around freely. He felt his own thoughts and fell into a deeper trance as the world eviscerated his soul.
He could feel his own body tremble with anger. The despair hanging over him would not stop. He hated himself. He hated what he perceived as his wretched existence. There was a dilemma at hand – it was himself, or it was Godfrey, or it was Aggie. And the choice was not his. He would never know. Gary jolted upright in his bed. He could feel his mind crashing back into its proper place. His heart was pounding furiously.
Gary threw off the covers, and he settled down onto the floor, before hobbling down toward the end of his room and throwing open the door. Just outside, Gary slouched down, and he stared down at the floor of the hall. Sitting before him was Aggie.