Since time had no meaning in the darkness, Josh couldn’t tell how much time had passed since the lights went out. He wasn’t even sure if he’d been conscious the whole time. He wasn’t receiving any of the normal signals from his body. No thirst or hunger pangs. He felt numb. Even though his brain rumbled with anxiety, he couldn’t feel his heart pounding with fear. All he sensed was that he was there—suspended in space, watching the nothingness around him. Over and over again, he reviewed the thought that he might be dead. Then he worried that he might still be alive. He dreaded whatever was going to happen next. He hoped something—anything—would happen to break the monotony.
He heard a snapping sound to his right and the outline of a closed door appeared. It was as if someone had drawn the door on a blackboard with white chalk. He would have gasped if he had a voice. He didn’t think it was possible to be even more possessed by fear. He didn’t want the door to open. At the same time, he was panicked it would remain closed, keeping him in the dark.
It was now or never. He had to make a decision. He had to somehow will that door to open. It was the only way he would ever hear her voice again—see her face again.
Even before he finished this thought process, Josh found himself on the other side of the door. At first the sunlight was blinding. After a few seconds he was able to look out on the scene around him. This was the world he had earlier seen on the panel. He sensed movement in his body. He was able to bend his head down. The nausea returned as he looked at his hands. legs and feet. They were not his.