rating: +28+x

A cold wind blew softly across the white expanse below. The few trees standing held their solemn oath of silence against the desolation. The calm snow drifted from dune to dune, undisturbed. Then a flash of red, a spurt of blood, and the body of the man it belonged to, clad in many furs. Ahead of him ran a woman. She turned the moment he fell and called back to him, crying. But she did not stop, as she knew that this was how it was supposed to be. The man grabbed a compass from one of his pockets and threw it to her. Catching it in one hand, she reached into her pocket and threw him an identical one. Not wanting to waste any more time, she raised her hand above her head. It began to glow a soft, faint blue as she held it there, the intensity of the blue light increasing with every moment. Shouts from their pursuers reached their ears. As she looked up, four figures fired their guns at her. She glanced at the man bleeding in the snow, closed her eyes, and slammed her hand to the ground.

A flash of blue and she was gone.

The man smiled and let darkness consume him.

His compass was enveloped by the white.

He was sweat. He was the soft brush across the blanket, the whirring fan.

Then he was awake.


White clothes. White walls. White bed.

But not his skin. It was a dark brown, smooth, not unlike his dog named…something. He couldn't remember.

He realized he couldn't remember much. What was his name? Where was he? Why was he here?

He closed his eyes and thought. His mind was white too; there was nothing there except echos. Flashes of random scenes, put together without any order. Sometimes screaming. Sometimes laughing. But never still.

When he opened them, the room wasn't completely white. Across the room was a lady. She was speaking to him, but the words didn't parse; they were all eaten up by peppermint and battery acid. All he could focus on was her hair.

He had to have known someone like her.

She stopped talking and he was left alone. He sat down on the bed and stared at the ceiling. A speck of snow hit his cheek and the white consumed him once again.

His name was Richard.

This detail came to him while eating at the cafeteria. The white of his mind was melting and drip by drip details were escaping from his frozen mind. Faces, names, places.

Someone special. Someone dear. And they were missing.

As he ate, between his eyes, he saw a single speck of snow drift from nothing and land on the bridge of his nose. Startled, he looked around. Snow. Everywhere. White, stinging specks, piling within the room. No one seemed to notice, not as the drifts began to crawl up the steel and up their faces. "It isn't real, it isn't real, it isn't real," he told himself.

"Hey man, you OK?"

He heard the words but their meaning remained just out of reach. Turning to face the source of the sound, his shoulder knocked the white reaching towards him, detaching the powdery arm and sending it to the floor, where it joined the rest of snow below. The man’s face turned to agony for a second before it too was consumed by white. Richard clutched his temples and closed his eyes. "Just a dream, just a dream, that’s all it is. That’s all it can be." The snow was cold, leeching away the heat from Richard’s body. Soon he was wet, cold, and shivering. Opening his eyes, all thoughts of fear or cold were blown away by the wind. The purity of the white in the room began to rip away at the white of his mind.

He had been here before.

The steel no more held him, as they too gave way to the white, the stars and moon no longer held back by the unnatural light, the wind no longer hindered by the walls of that prison. Trees dotted the landscape and dunes of snow stretched far across the expanse. This is where it happened. He saw the compass in the snow. He saw someone pick it up. His heart tightened and he screamed, telling them to leave it alone, to keep on walking. He watched them look up and pause.

The snow melted away into three people walking in, one of them carrying a syringe. There was red on the ground but no source. As the last bit of snow melted, his name came back to him. They were speaking to him, to Richard. To calm down. To calm down and let them come forward. The words once again were eaten away. What the white had given it had just taken away. The first man took a step forward.

Maybe, just maybe, if Richard was fast enough, he could reach the compass in time.

Then another step.

The man in the snow didn't know, didn't realize its importance.

The last step turned into a lunge and a yell.

Richard yelled, closed his eyes, and ran forward. White once again descended upon the walls. When he opened them, he once again saw the man in the snow. The man's eyes continued to stare at Richard's, sizing him up. They picked him apart, weighing his heart against the feather. Richard stumbled towards the man, blood dripping down his head. "Please… it's all I need, all I've ever needed… just please, give it to me… you have to…." The man smiled and held up the compass. He had been judged as pure. Richard reached out towards the compass, towards his heart. Soon, they would be reunited. The white began to eat at his arm, at the compass. Before his eyes, the white ate all.

Richard's head hit the window, meeting it head on, breaking his nose and his vision. As he looked outside, he saw the man. Saw him pocket the compass and walk onward. He tried to reach out to him, to yell, but his arms didn't listen. The white had given enough. Now it was taking away. He saw the streaks across the window. The dried blood of previous attempts. The man which had stood there, offering him salvation, disappearing into the snow. Walls of peppermint and battery acid failed before the encompassing white. And a single, soft blue light was finally consumed.

Outside the window, a man pocketed a compass. His grandfather would love it, even if it didn't work.

A cold wind blew softly across the white expanse.

Item Description: An ornate compass. Regardless of magnetic interference or any other variables, the object's needle will always point towards the location of a woman named ████████ █████.
Date of Recovery: ██-██-2014
Location of Recovery: Perugia, Italy
Current Status: In storage.

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