In the middle of a busy town, in broad daylight, the doorway opens.
The bright baby sky fades revealing a starless blackness falling from above. It approaches getting closer and closer until finally crashing into the earth, swallowing everything.
A faint ring of fire forms around Isaiah. It grows bigger and stronger, continuously, until its ten feet tall. The street below his feet fades and joins the void, leaving Isaiah standing on infinitely solid black nothingness. Buildings and people, all but the ring of fire are gone.
Screams of torture and agony roars from every direction, all at once. Continuous, they twist and morph into demonic laughs and back to horrid screams. Hundreds, thousands, millions of them stacked on top of each other repeating this monstrous loop.
And then a child phases into view. He stands before Isaiah terrified, shook to his core.
Isaiah’s profusely amused at the petrified child. “Hey,” he says, “kid!”
Sabastian fights to look away and loses the battle. His neurons are firing panic signals left and right. Trembling hands, sweaty forehead, wide eyes and Isaiah is watching the kid conclude the worst in his mind.
“Are you okay?” Isaiah asks, now getting worried the child hasn’t yet reacted.
The Sabastian goes to speak, but pauses. Profound confusion mixed with fear crawls on his face and sits waiting for Isaiah to do something.
“Kid. Can you talk?” Isaiah asks.
Sabastian’s eyebrows twist as he squeezes the question through the gears in his brain flattening it like a pancake then dissecting it on his meditative laboratory. “Ye..” he jumps, looks around and tries again. “Yes?” he answers.
“You’re not sure?” Isaiah asks.
“What are you?” Sabastian asks. He pulls back, as if the answer would strike him.
“I’m a human,” Isaiah says, “like you. You’ve been down here a very long time, kid!”
Sebastian stares at his hands. “L.. l.. like yuh… you..” He’s conflicted by the information. Processing as fast as his mind allows. “S-sa-Sabastian,” he says. “Ma my name..” Sabastian struggles to get the words out.
Isaiah stares at his wrist to check the time. No watch. “Goddamn it!” he says. “Ehh, it was late morning… early afternoon. Twelve. Twenty four. Thirty six,” Isaiah rambles in a whisper. “THIRTY SIX FUCKING HOURS, HOLY SHIT!” he yelps in excitement before sinking back down to reality. “That’s a year and some change, kid. You’ve been trapped here for what felt longer than a year. Are you struggling to speak?”
Sabastian takes the opportunity of a yes or no question and nods. He remembers at least that much.
“Yeah, it must be confusing having had no one to speak to for so long at such a young age,” Isaiah says and stops to ponder. “How old again?”
Sebastian thinks, and thinks, and crunches the simple concept of numbers he has a grasp on. “This many,” he says holding out five fingers on one hand and two on the other.
“Christ… Seven… Okay, listen to me, kid, Sebastian. I am Isaiah and I’ve arrived to get you out of here, but you have to first learn to defend yourself when they come for you. And they will come for you.” Isaiah begins. “You’ve eaten part of a holy fruit which gives you unique abilities, but makes you detectible amongst others who’ve eaten the fruit and creatures far worse.”
Sebastian stands there staring, no questions, no comments, no concerns. His full attention on Isaiah.
“Do you understand?” Isaiah asks.
Sebastian nods, again.
“Well then. We don’t need food, water or rest in this place, so let’s get started.”