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November 8, 2010

"Adrift In A Dark Cloud" - A Short Story by Joe Panther

I woke up to find what looked to be a staircase coming through my ceiling. Obviously this can't be right, I said, as I rubbed my blurry eyes in search of clarity.

Not much in the way of progress as i continued to stare at what couldn't be possible. How..? Better yet, when? Who could've built a staircase in my room without awaking me? I guess stranger things have happened, but this is reserved the strangest of folk. Not myself. And I refuse to believe that those steps just magically appeared. As soon as I'm done showering, I'm going to get to the bottom of this staircase nonsense!

The nerve of whoever did this.. The college dorms around here are seriously in need of some beefed up security. I don't deserve this childish treatment! I have tons of studying to do today and there's some crazy staircase on my ceiling.. ha ha ..Very fucking funny!

***** Please click Read more below to read the rest of Joe Panther's excellent short story "Adrift In A Dark Cloud "*****

As Bret angrily took his shower, he couldn't help but wonder how these jerks could've worked so silently. Upon entering his room after his shower, Bret noticed something that he could not for the life of him comprehend. As a result, Bret fainted.. He would awaken to a staircase that seemed to never end; while his surroundings were void of what was the norm.

I guess it's official.. I've lost my mind and all that's left is hallucinatory mushrooms growing out of what I once called my brain. The mind is lost and the brain is fertilizing this psychosis. I feel no other urge at this time then to climb those stairs. It couldn't get any worse.

Five days had past and Bret was still climbing those stairs. He began to notice other staircases becoming evident on the onset of his sixth day. Each hour that past, revealed several staircases becoming vividly alive. Bret witnessed staircases crumble and some just vanish all together. Skeletons residing on some.. He became panicked with the notion that this journey may never end.

If this is some chaotic nightmare, I want out immediately! How on earth can I hold myself together with what's before me?? Every step weakens my resolve to continue.. Maybe I should throw myself off these stairs into oblivion. Nothing is real anymore.. What difference would it make at this point? I haven't the strength to travel any further..

As Bret descended into the bowels of endless void, he slowly faded into what felt like the deepest sleep.. Or coma. He awoke and found himself sitting in an empty movie theater. It was pitch black and all Bret could see was the movie screen as it some how seemed to have a life of its own. There was no projector or film operator in sight - yet pictures began to flash on the screen at rapid speed.. Slowing down just enough to reveal another long staircase, this time leading to a door. Bret knew this staircase and door.. He wished not to though. This was the image in his mind that reminded him of that night.

It wasn't my fault... I'm an addict. I cannot be held accountable for my disease! I know I killed her.. I got high on some meth stuff, mixed with some left over coke I had. It made me crazy.. I blacked out, woke up and found my sister dead. I bashed her skull in with a hammer. It was awful. Why is all this playing in front of me?

Am I dead.. Am I damned to travel endless staircases for all eternity? ..Be reminded over and over of my evil actions? There has to be a way to settle this. One of those staircases out there in oblivion has the door to my sister's room at the end of it. I must travel every last one to find her.. I'll suffer my fate to exhaustion and further to right this wrong.

What felt like thousands of years, had finally proven worth the agony as Bret had found the staircase leading to the door to his sister's room. His travel he knew would be an eternity.. But Bret feared nothing at this point.

As several days past, Bret would find himself barely coherent as he continued his way up those stairs. At times he couldn't feel his feet.. Or the crunching sound that was suddenly being produced.

What is this.. Looks like white chalk all cracked and thrown about. Wait.. This isn't chalk, it's cocaine. How? Damn, it's been so long since I last got high. I can't allow this stuff in again. I have to fight.. But maybe just a little. Just for old times sake. It'll bring back good memories. Just a little.. *snort, snort* Whoa.. That was sweet! This journey just became fun!

As Bret's journey continued, he discovered different deadly drugs he used to experiment with and abuse as the stairs went on. His days and nights were drugged up now.. But deep down he knew it would have to stop before he even considering walking through that door.

There it is.. My sister's room. The door! I can finally right this horrible wrong. I just have to sober up.. I have to enter that door clean. All these drugs can't destroy this for me! I gave into temptation, but prevailed regardless.

When Bret finally made it to the door of his sister's room, he took one deep breath of air and entered into the room. There was no one there. For hours he waited, but his sister never showed. When she did show, she viciously attacked her brother with that same hammer he had previously murdered her with. Bret's face froze with shock as he was bludgeoned repeatedly. There were no thoughts left.. Bret's punishment was complete. He knew he wasn't fully sober upon walking through that door. He knew he had to be.. If Bret had suffered the life long journey clean, he would've earned his redemption. Bret failed in death as he did in life.

Temptation, in turn, had murdered them both.

copyright 2010 \pantherj/