I opened my eyes to a stunning, cloudless sky. It looked like someone had suspended the sky during the sunset, set up a portrait and used the sky as their paint palette. It seemed to stretch out towards infinity, inhabiting a borderless clarity.
To my left, it was brighter, calmer and exquisite. To the farthest left, it was turquoise with exquisite black clouds, which looked like black flecks in the distance. As the sky got closer to me, it got darker, as if approaching equilibrium.
To my right, the sky seemed dark, stormy and enchanted. As I looked further, it got darker till it reached a mesmerizing jet black that pulled you toward it with mental gravity. If I didn’t know better, I swear it felt like the clouds to my right were speaking to me. I shook my head, trying to clear it.
I was extremely drowsy, and felt like I was carrying the weight of the sky on my head. I focused on my breathing, taking into account my immediate surroundings.I had been lying down in extremely soft grass, surrounded by a large circle of boulders. I figured I was on a hill, on its peak. I tried checking of key details, making sure I hadn’t completely lost my memory. I knew basic details, I remembered my life, but I couldn’t remember where I was or how I had reached this place. As I forced myself to get up, I realized that I didn’t feel any panic. For somebody stuck in an unknown environment, with absolutely no idea of how to get out, my lack of panic was suspicious. The fear started creeping in as soon as I realized that I was most likely dreaming. I decided to walk around; at least my nightmares were usually scenic.
I went to my left, climbing over the boulders. They were much wider and larger than they had looked at first. They resembled some type of a constructed barrier, trying to prevent me from going forward or rolling off, I imagine. As I finished crossing all the boulders, I looked down to an extremely steep cliff. I decided that I would require superhuman strength to climb safely down. My hill seemed to be floating in the sky, like the mountains in Pandora from Avatar. Far away from me, I saw many such mountains, each seemingly their own world.For some reason, it felt right to be pushed away from the brighter side.
Thus, I climbed back and went towards the darker sky. As I clambered over the boulders, I saw someone else sitting at the edge. He seemed to blend in with the sky, wearing a jet black suit. I could see smoke clouds rising from where his mouth would be. “Hey!”, I called out. He didn’t turn, just lifted his right hand to show a joint smoked halfway. I thought to myself, maybe this isn’t a nightmare. Maybe, I finally break my streak and get an awesome dream. As I reached him, I paused, the possibility of this being a drug-induced mental projection only just hitting me. “Ah, well. If I OD’d, might as well enjoy the sights”, I mumbled to myself, as I took a seat besides him. He passed the joint, and as I smoked, I looked down. This side of the mountain had no cliff, at least one I couldn’t see. It was a straight drop, making it thrilling to be sitting on its edge. The side seemed to perfectly integrate into the dark sky. As I took a hit of the joint, I started to feel running water near my feet.
“You’re already creating? Hm, nice.”, he said, as I realized that a waterfall had appeared on our side. I recognized the voice as soon as he spoke, and I felt like an idiot for not realizing who he was before.
“Where are we Einstein?”, I asked, knowing that he was the reason I didn’t have any answers. He had all of them. “Astral plane. Brink of your sanity. This is where I grew up, you know. Beautiful, isn’t it?”, he said, sighing.
“Brink of my sanity? What do you mean?”, I asked, starting to feel like my theory of this being drug-induced was probably right.
“You’re about to lose your mind, something happened. So, your brain decided to stall by creating a projection for you to be in till you can get rid of your confusion. See, you have a choice. You can choose to take the steep climb down the other side. It will be impossibly hard, but the odds aren’t as bad as you might think they are. Of course, the result is life-long happiness and all that yabadoo. I think so, at least”, he said, entering his element, as he explained what he knew.
“And, the other option is to jump into the other side, hope that it entails death and not insanity?”, I asked, staring to understand where I was.
“Yep, spot on.”
Now, I remembered. I was about to kill myself in the real world. I had just taken round one of pills, and was hesitating before I took round 2, finishing the candy flip. I was right, this was drug-induced, but it was also my mind’s way of trying to explain my own decision to me. Then, I realized, this is my mind. I don’t need to choose, I could find a way around.
“Well, no. I’m not doing either. I’m just going to stay here.”, I said, making up my mind. I had finished smoking the joint, and suddenly I was extremely tired.
“I’m going to bed”
“You really want to unleash me on them?”, he asked, surprising me with the sincerity in his query.
“I don’t care.”
As I got up, he got up with me. “I’ll see you around”, he said, before taking a swan dive into the darkness. He disappeared within seconds, taking my consciousness with him. I collapsed on the boulders, my last thought about how much my back was going to hurt when I woke up.