I saw a red light above a nearby security gate swiftly turn to green. The gate then clanged as it slid open along the tracks holding it in place.
I cautiously walked over to investigate this new route I was being generously offered.
Ahead of me was another bare corridor: except this one lacked cells or any other doors to take that into account. The only sign of occupancy was a door right at the very end of the corridor.
However, stood alongside it was a cloaked figure with its head held low.
Whoever it was must have become aware of my company. A frail, bony hand confirmed that; when it rose and uncovered itself from the robes to usher me towards them.
Although I had no idea who had trapped me in this place; or who this shadowy individual was, I was at least pleased to see I wasn't the only human left in here.
As slowly as I deemed sensible, I decided; to cautiously make my way over to them.
All this time, I could hear that same sentence that had led me to them was echoing louder throughout the corridor. The obvious; source was this individual calling out to me.
I was standing approximately twenty feet away when my feet abruptly came to a stop. My subconscious fear of the unknown was preventing me was taking another step.
I could only glare at the figure, trying to reangle my eyesight so that I might be able to see what the hood was concealing.
"DO NOT BE AFRAID, YOUNG ONE, I MEAN NO HARM!" that voice suddenly spoke lustily.
When whoever it was standing there saw that I was still reluctant to step any closer, their hands began to rise to grip their hood. I gazed on in uncertainty as they did so.
However, once the hood fell: I could only feel horror. Stood in front of me was my long-deceased father. His skin held a dark blue tint, and his beard had been left to grow to a long stubble.
He looked, to put it very bluntly, just dead. He and I had held a dysfunctional relationship when I had still been in my youth.
I had never known my mother as she died from alcohol poisoning when I was a newborn. There was always a bitterness between my father and me.
Because he had begun to foresee the downward spiral my life was taking: the conflict between us could vary from psychological to physical.
And it sealed my fate completely when he died in a car accident when I was in my mid-teens.
I knew deep down that it was his demise that had further sent me down the self-destructive route: that I was living.
I had to live with the memories of us fighting and that I had never made amends with him.
But now, here he was, standing clear as day within my eyesight.
"Dad?" I said. "But you're dead; how the hell can you be here?"
"You tell me, son!" he replied directly. "After all, you always told me you knew best!"
"No, dad, I didn't; you forced my rebellious side to flare up!" I snapped. "Yes, I wasn't perfect, but you didn't exactly help the way you treated me!"
His reply was hesitant; he only crossed his arms.
"You know your problem son, you're too much of a coward to fight your own demons," he said in an unexpectedly calm voice.
His head suddenly tilted back a tad in order to indicate the steel door behind him.
"Through there is the answer to all your troubles.
An exit to this solitary nightmare if you like..."
The scepticism within my subconscious told me to walk straight past him in silence and leave this asylum behind me.
However, my 'father' must have predicted what I was contemplating: as he took a couple of steps to his left and blocked the door from my path.
I could feel a nauseating bout in my gut due to my rising anger.
"Dad, please, get out of my way!" I snapped.
"Oh, I will, eventually, son," he replied. "But you can't leave until you answer me one thing: why do you think you were brought: to this place?"
I delayed my answer when a realisation struck me, which offered a potential; answer to a question I had had since waking up.
"First of all, I have to know, was it you who brought me here?" I queried.
"How could I? Are you forgetting; something? I'm dead, aren't I, son? Now, before you start digging any deeper than might be wise, I'd advise you to answer the question!"
What was he expecting of me? I had awoken into an amnesic perplexity following the administration of a powerful stimulant drug: of which effects I couldn't be sure I had completely recovered.
This unsettling environment failed to satisfy the typical expectations of the layout of a psychiatric prison constructed in what most people might regard in a clearer; state of mind
as genuine reality. My existence itself; was entirely comprised of so many; diverse hallucinogenic outputs.
I had forgotten which one might be the layer I was most familiar with a long time ago.
To my mind, every decision or action which I decided upon could very well be a completely irrelevant one towards the progression of my life.
The outcomes of my; decisions might either be imaginary or inconspicuous. I had subjected myself to such a junked-up mindset for so long.
It seemed plausible that there could well be many reasons why I had ended up in this place.
Yet, I eventually decided to settle on the consequences of my actions that I remembered from back in my flat.
The most recent seemed the most vivid, but I was still afraid it wouldn't be the most trustworthy.
"I ended up here because I must finally face the inevitable result of the effects my reclusive habits have brought me.
I've never tried to make myself anything more than a hermit; because I've enjoyed lying and cheating people all, so I might get what I want.
Even if what I want might be seen as despicable by others. I see now everything I have tried to put behind me is coming back to haunt me, something which I ignorantly deemed impossible.
I was brought here to understand there's no running from my actions. I've been forcefully made aware of that through a method I would call purely nightmarish!"
My 'father' remained motionless with his arms tightly crossed.
I was desperate to know if I had fulfilled the expectations of his question.
"Well? Was I correct at all?" I asked.
"You tell me..." he answered.
I was confused. "What do you mean? Surely you must have had an idea of what you wished for me to tell you?"
His head shook slowly. "I don't see the purpose for any right or wrong answer in this case; everything that has happened to you has always been entirely under your control!
I'm just a puppet in this process!
So, you tell me if you believe yourself to be correct..."
"I can't say," I replied. "I can't really say if there is any clear definition that describes fully the sort of person I am... I don't know."
All of a sudden, my 'father' turned to the door.
A key; was inserted, followed by a rough turning in the lock.
Had I accidentally answered acceptably? His actions told me; yes, but I couldn't help get the sensation that this had been too easy.
With his grip on the handle, my 'father' turned his head back to me.
"You go through here, son, and I promise everything will become much clearer to you... You might not understand immediately.
However you must not let yourself become disorientated, else this cycle could very well begin all over again for you! If you focus, you will understand!"
My voice remained silent, possibly from the anxious apprehensiveness over what I had been told.
He didn't, however, give me time to overthink my decision as to whether or not I would follow through with what he was telling me to do.
There was a loud scraping sound when he suddenly pulled the handle and dragged the door open.
On the other side, I was expecting to perhaps feel a gust of fresh air hit me, or gaze upon either a midday sun or midnight moon.
Nothing was waiting on the other side, only a wall of pitch-black unknowingness.
"Where does that lead to?" came my immediate question.
"That is not for me to tell you," he replied. "Just go through and see for yourself."
An invisible voice within me was pleading with passion against my walking through that door.
Nevertheless, whatever fear was possible for me to feel had made my yearning for a rapid escape dominatingly drastic.
I decided I would take my chances since I felt an inexplicable sensation of trust.
The most probable reason for this; might have been because of the presence of somebody which; I had hoped to make amends with until the day he died.
I guess there was still a part of me that didn't want to turn my back on him again.
Despite my initial reluctance to walk straight through into something I was blind to, I continued forward and past my 'father'.
I stopped momentarily whilst standing central in the door casing and looked back to him one last time.
The exchange shared between the look which; we gave each other is what I believe too complex to put into any less irreducible words.
However, I can say that maybe for that short period, I felt as though a weight could be lifted: from my shoulders.
It was unimportant to me whether this individual possessed the personality and mindset of my father.
I had managed to speak to him in what appeared as a realistic environment, not just repetitive words circling my troubled memories.
Once our vision had separated, my fear grew much more potent, yet I couldn't feel more at peace with many troubles buried in my past.
The further I walked away from the doorway, the tougher; it became to decide my next decision, even if that was the next step I needed to take.
Naturally, I was expecting a noticeable scenery or physical object; to indicate to me; where I was standing. Yet, no matter how far I walked, I saw nothing.
I suddenly spun around to call back to my 'father'.