My search led me to a field of dark speckled flowers. Their thorns tore at me and left my hands bloody.
By the time I reached the center I was panting and had to stop to rest. It was dark. The moon and stars were hidden by the gigantic petals above.
Halfway up the stalk my arms began spasm. I paused to rest. Then again. And again. Each time to diminishing returns.
By the time I reached the top, I was too exhausted to feel relief. The room was green and smelled like summer.
The floor sagged as I stood, breathless, and waited for my eyes to adjust to the glow.
For a long time there was nothing but fear and pain. My body hurt. My mind tormented me with my failure. There were no answers, there was no way out.
As the soft light grew, I saw a pod with liquid inside. With nothing else to do I took a drink.
I closed my eyes and felt the suffering fall off of me.
In my mind I was a child at a party. I was dancing, my body moving freely with excitement. I smiled so widely the skin on my face stretched.
I saw my grandmother watching me with love in her eyes. I reached out for her hand…
And the ground beneath me gave out.
I was falling. I grabbed at the plant, but it crumbled in my hands. Down down I fell.
Down past the inches and feet I had so carefully climbed. Down past the places I had rested in fear.
Nothing to hold onto. Nothing to control.
Down into oblivion.