The next few days passed slowly, my inability to sleep contributing to their lethargic nature. How could I while whatever had appeared in my garden was still there, along with all the unanswered questions it brought with it? I’d spend the day staring into it and the night shivering in my bed. Where did it come from? How did it get there? Where did it go? Why does the creeping feeling of annihilation haunt me whenever you go near it?
It dominated my thoughts. I could think of nothing else. My crops became untended and began to wither and die. My animals, through my negligence, became sick and poorly, with the farmer I had purchased them from reclaiming them after I had failed to order more feed from him. My rosebed, once my crowning moment of pride, had been completely overcome with blackspot and lay withered and dying. I had become a wreck: I regularly missed meals and had not bathed since the incident. The hole domineered my thoughts and I could think of nothing else.
I would stare into it, day after day, wanting to know what was in there. I would try to tear myself away and get back to my life, but it was no use: it had an enduring, inescapable clamp on my psyche from which I could not escape. It had taken over my life with every single minute spent wondering about what was inside.
It was on the third day of its appearance that I decided that I would find out.
I vowed to enter the hole and find out its secrets: where it had come from, what waited inside, what the hell this abomination actually was. Despite the absolute terror that had entrenched my being upon its emergence, I was certain that once I had entered, my mind would be put at ease. No matter how terrified I may be to face the unending darkness, I could not rest until the mystery had been solved.
So I retired to my bedchamber early that evening, ate a hearty meal consisting of whatever was left in my larder for breakfast, showered and crafted a torch made from the remnants of the wood from my first night here. I donned my heaviest woollen coat, stuffed a ball of red yarn into my pocket and descended the steps at my front door down to the garden.
So here I stand, on this bright and sunny July afternoon, at the entrance of the void, the heat and the light from outside being swallowed by the cold and darkness of the cave. Already shivering, I tentatively inhale deeply and take my first punitive step into the corridor…