In the final moments of my life / by padhia hutton

I awoke slowly to find myself standing in a passage darker than night. It was as if there was a subtle vacuum effect penetrating the seals of this hallway slowly sucking the darkness out into an unfathomable void beyond. The lack of light and hope was like a straight jacket that wrapped me tightly, as if in this situation I needed further restraint.

I was at a point in this vast darkness where I had lost the ability to dream of anything outside of it and had lost the ambition to keep trying to fight my way out. I felt a slight painful amusement at the irony of how many years I had spent kicking and fighting only to end up right here, as if all I along I was actually just some demented toy with imagined free will.

This place had all the qualities of a nightmare, where the things you observe are detached and opposite from the things you feel. The darkness was so black that my mind began to project colors into it- color schemes smeared everywhere matching the twisted colors from Edvaard Munch’s The Scream. Colors that were supposed to be bright and happy, but instead they were skewed tints of pure dripping horror.

It was as if the fabric of the universe that I had always felt secure in was becoming frayed, the weave was stretching, the holes between the threads were becoming so stretched that I suspected I would soon fall through. Death is frightening because of the unknown… but slowly over time, the known had become much more frightening.

I now understood people who took their own lives. As I stood here in this dark tunnel, I knew it was the view they saw when they made their final decision. I imagined I would soon slip through, as they had, absorbed by the swirling colors of the nightmare, the peacefully floating into pure terror. It was here, in this state of suffocating deepening darkness, this submission to its force, the dreams I could only vaguely recall slipping gently from my opening grasp, that I became curious about one small detail… one tiny question that I could not seem to let go of. Was the happiness I had always dreamed of… really just the delusion of a sick mind?

I realized I needed to find the answer this one question before I took my life, and in doing so… I finally began to live.

some opening paragraphs from the book I am working on, The Upswing Towards Down.