Floating . . . that sense of weightless déjà vu. I have been here before. How long have you been lost? Adrift in this endless deepdark? How long will you drown? I have been . . . here . . . before . . .
The brine fills my mouth with the ease of an old lover, and I don't choke as it slides down my throat. My lungs twitch with the internal unreachable itch of serif scratches. Not all text is equal; some words are persistent, harder to dissolve than the others. I do not choke.
White dark flashes against my eyes, the alphabet fading. I fixate on a phrase, and try to remember its poetry, but Yeats is gone, Wordsworth is gone, Eliot is gone. They're all gone, the brine-soak says, dissolving the bond between the vowels and the consonants. The curves become fluid, and the hard lines melt into a smear of pickled darkness.
There. A flickering bioluminescence . . .
My hat is gone . . .
I drink the brine of dissolved books . . .
Clustered around the table . . .
The Tower is falling . . .
My crown is gone . . .
2385185 1185 251521?. . .
Dad? . . .
Failure is part of your programming . . .
Count the petals . . .
Embrace me, my child . . .
She loves me, she loves me not, she loves . . .
His words become meaningless now . . .
A kaleidoscope of color in my hand. Faster. Faster now, and all that weight is gone. All that guilt drops away, completely and utterly, and I have no fear.
I am free.