Of Spiders and Time loops
Hello! Long time no see, everyone. I apologize for my absence, but this time there were many things going on, including a death in the family. Things are getting better, but every day is still quite unpredictable when it comes to my mood and how I get through. I'm leaning on my job and my family, though there are still many things I need to do in order to further my journey to a healthier mind. For now, I thought I'd bring you another story using my list of prompts. This one is utilizing one of my favorite mysterious tropes in literature: a time loop. I think that time loops are fascinating in how different authors use them to further the story and grow the characters. Granted, my short story is not very full of character development, but I thought it was fun to play with this format in such a short piece. I find time loops to be a fun way to build tension and confusion within characters and stories, so I thought I would try it out to see how I might utilize a time loop in one of my own stories. I hope you enjoy it!
Prompt: Spider threads caught at my face, a sign that no one had been there yet.
Spider threads caught at my face, a sign that no one had been there yet. I took the torch from the wall and tried to make sense of my surroundings. I had woken up in the dark and damp place—a cave? I thought—walking aimlessly until I found the torch. I used it to burn the cobwebs and clear my path, and now I could see that I wasn’t in a cave but what appeared to be a tomb.
Where am I? Egypt? I thought.
One second I had been in the library, and the next, I found myself blacking out and waking up in this place. I frantically searched the tunnels for any sign of an exit, noting the fading artwork and ancient writings on the walls.
“Hello? Is anyone there?” I called, knowing that there would be no answer.
“Hello? Is anyone there?” A female voice answered, causing a sigh of relief to leave my body.
“Where are you?” I called, desperate to find this other person.
“I’m over here! Follow my voice!”
I tried to find where the voice was coming from, but it seemed to be coming from all around, as if I was watching a movie in surround sound. I decided to keep moving forward, hoping that I would be able to hear the voice more clearly. However, all around me was nothing but silence. Had my strange companion been captured? Killed?
“Um, hello? Are you still there?”
“Hello? Am I headed in the right direction?”
Silence. I stopped walking, leaning against the wall and sliding down to the floor. Maybe there was no voice to begin with. Maybe I was going crazy. I closed my eyes, hoping that I would wake up in the library, free from this nightmare. I sat in silence for what felt like years.
“Hello? Is anyone there?” I sprang up at the return of the voice, but I decided to try a different tactic this time if only to see whether or not I was truly crazy.
“Hello? Is anyone there?” I answered, staying in my spot.
“Where are you?” I heard them cry out. I determined that this time around, I was going to lead them to me.
“I’m over here! Follow my voice!”
I waited for their reply patiently, only to be greeted by my old friend, silence. I put my head down, beginning to cry.
“Um, hello? Are you still there?” I was suddenly angry at the voice, feeling that it was mocking me. It was only repeating what I had said earlier.
Well, then, I’m not going to answer! I thought, frustrated. I remained silent, still sitting against my wall.
“Hello? Am I headed in the right direction?” Suddenly, my blood ran cold.
The voice wasn’t only mocking me, but it seemed to be imitating my voice too. I tried to call out, but my throat began to close up. I couldn’t breathe. I felt a panic attack coming on, wondering if the voice wasn’t simply imitating my voice, but was my voice. I tried to clear my throat, but fear kept me from calling out again. I sat in the eerie quiet blackness of the tunnel, with only my torch to light my small area. I buried my face in my arms, praying that this all would end, whether with my death or simply waking up.
“Hello? Is anyone there?” I pulled myself in even closer, trying to block out the voice that was so clearly mine.
What is this place? I thought. I listened to the two other voices have the same conversation I had already had twice, beginning to think I had truly gone mad. Eventually, after listening to the same conversation about 10 times, I began to fall asleep.
I’m so tired. I thought. I just want to go home.
Soon enough, I was pulled into the inky blackness and silence of sleep.
So, there you have it! This was a lot of fun to write, especially given that I only spent about 10 minutes writing it. I will definitely look into expanding an idea like this in the future, as I love the idea of a repeating voice and the mysterious nature of the time loop as a vehicle for story and character development. Anyway, I hope you liked it, and I hope you all have a good week! Thank you!