I returned from my job to find that the void had grown larger while I was away. The line I had drawn the night before, the line that had remained, eternal and monolithic, even as the arc had disappeared, was gone, gone, complete gone. A fresh wave of panic flooded my body and my mind. This had never happened before. The hole always got larger when I was at night, when I was lost deep within some dreamless sleep and unable to watch it, but never during the day. Never when there were other things to consume my time and my thoughts. Never when I could allow myself to slip into the role of “office worker,” to distract myself by performing my appointed functions and keeping my fellow office workers from growing too frustrated or concerned with my performance.
Not even that was enough now. It’d been swallowed up, too.
I stared into the void silently, motionlessly. The blank, pitiless walls stared back, and sometimes I thought that I could see flashes of light that might have been glistening eyes regarding me. Sometimes I thought could hear a rumbling that might have been a deep, deep laugh. But these things could only be my imagination. There was no presence there. There couldn’t be. There was only the void.
I made a decision, then. I would fill the accursed thing up. I would seal the damn thing, choke it with whatever I could find.
I looked around my home. What could I let go? What wouldn’t I miss?
I forced my coffee table into the hole. I dropped plates and glasses into it and listened as they smashed against some unseen bottom. I threw books, pots, pans, everything I could think of into it. The sound of the wind coming from the hole seemed to change, to drop in tone and volume. I smiled. This would work. It had to.
I went to bed, content that my problem had been solved. I dreamed for the first time in ages that night, and although I forgot it almost as soon as I awoke, I felt peaceful.
And then I stepped back into the living room and my breath caught in my throat.
It was bigger still. This time I could hear the raspy breathing, like wind shaking the branches of dead trees. The cold, shining eyes watched me. I knew then that I would be unable to seal it with mere furniture, with inanimate objects. It was foolish to expect to be able to. There could be only one explanation, and the breathing had confirmed it. This void that had taken up residence in my life was a living thing.
And it hungered.