Pale indigo light casts the dimmest of illumination upon an endless hallway, featureless, but for the walls, lined, or perhaps composed entirely, by thorny vines. Arteries criss-cross the overgrowth, pulsing with the same purple glow that fills the chambers, in a way menacing without overt threat, save the sections of the path in which they travel down from the walls to cross the path, as though the separate sides were briefly reaching out to one another. A sharp eye might chance to catch something in the peripheral—movement, as if a dancing shadow—but that, of course, would be impossible, as the glow which permeates the world is uniform, a place in which shadows cannot possibly live. Occasionally at one end of the hall there is a door. Less occasionally, it opens, revealing a sparse room. And on rarest occasion, a figure passes through it, solemn and silent, treading carefully, almost ritually. It does not look up, for it has seen this place an infinite times before. It does not speak, for it knows there is no one worth speaking to. And it does not fear, for fear only exists for those who yet have something to lose.
Choices. I’ve made so many choices in my life. I… never claimed to have all the right answers, but I always took pride in making decisions and standing by them. I thought… it was the best I could do… to make the hard decisions… to keep pushing forward… What a fool I was. I thought the world was against me… that I was doing the best I could against it. But it turns out… my choices… I brought suffering upon myself… and those around me.
Some people think hell is burning or freezing. Physical pain. Those people know nothing of suffering. The true horror of this place is so much more than pain, more than the imprisonment. It’s the relentless honesty, stripping away the comfort of all the little lies we tell ourselves, to protect us from the harsh realities of our lives. I… deserve this. I finally understand… this place is where I belong… where my decisions can no longer harm anybody else. I will remain here for eternity… if that’s what-
Wait. Is this… some new kind of torment? It’s not bad enough I must relive my decisions over and over, I’m now visited by the ghosts of those I’ve wronged? It must be a vision, because he can’t possibly be here. Perhaps if I don’t respond, he’ll disappear. Go away, Thorman, and leave me to persist in solitude.