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Gripping tightly to the cold stone and shaking with anxiety, I dangled above the concrete ground. Looking up, I saw nothing but the blue sky and the tops of the castle towers. Then, there he was. He towered over me as he leaned his chiseled face down out of the sun's beams. I could see his crooked grin, feel the hatred in his gaze, and sense a distant memory as he looked down on me. His harsh voice spits the words he speaks into my ears. "You will never be king."

He then straightens, sticks out his boot, and jams it onto the top of my right hand. I couldn't stop myself from yelling out in surprise, trying desperately to maintain my hold on the slick surface. Kicking my hand out from under his foot, the strange man turned to the next one. My arm lay limp, helpless at my side as the other was just beginning to send pain messages to my mind. I tried to lift up the now cramping hand, but I hadn't had enough time to before I felt my left fingers begin to slide loose. It all seemed to happen so slowly after that. My hand came loose and it fell to my side and just as it did, the man laughed at the panic that coursed through my veins. I seemed to hang there, suspended in the air for a moment or two. Then I felt it. Gravity was back and it was pulling me down, down, down. The wind rushed upwards, making my eyes get all watery. I plummeted towards the ground, and I began to spin. I spun backward, doing loops, dizzying myself, wondering when it would all just end.

Then I made an "Oof!" noise as I hit the ground on my stomach. The wind was knocked out of me and I struggled to breathe again. My vision was still blurry and I wondered if it had happened. Had I finally died? I rolled over to my side, clutching my chest. I stopped a moment, breathed in. I wasn't dead. In fact, I didn't feel dead at all. I felt no pain where I had landed on my stomach and my hands ached no more. Even the scar on my forearm wasn't lightly reminding me of its existence. I then heard a voice. This was a woman's voice and it said, "Welcome, subject 371, to the real world. What you just saw was a simulation of life back when there still was some. Welcome, subject 129, to the real world. What you just saw was a simulation of life back when there still was some. Welcome, subject 643, to the real..."

It went on like that for a while, her spitting out random numbers while repeating the same phrase. I stood up slowly and I took in everything around me. I was in a room full of people who were all staring at some kind of simulation they were in. Their eyes were open, yet I knew they couldn't see what was going on around them. I suddenly realized that I didn't look like me anymore. Instead of the skinny white boy with moppy brown hair and a heart of gold I had come to be, I saw that my hands were not my own. Or were they? Everything was very confusing. No, I realize, everything isn't confusing. I just haven't been here in so long that I've forgotten about it. Only after I thought that through did I realize it was true. There was something familiar about this place, something just out of reach of my memory.

Author Notes: Uh, yeah-

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9 Sep, 2021
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3 mins
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