An Answer In The Dark

Every night, she lay with eyes wide open in the pitch black of her windowless room. Though blinded by darkness, she embarked upon a tireless search through the motionless night. While most of her peers where at rest in their beds, snuggling with loved ones, snoring deep into dreams, her mind was ablaze, for she did not sleep. Oh, no, sleep was long since forgotten. Sleep was a fable uttered by the mouths of the feeble and tame. She had no time for such waste. The night was a busy place, the darkness an infinite chasm of the never-been-told.

“Who am I?” she whispered these words over and over, “Who am I?” like the slow chug of a steam train increasing in velocity. “Who am I?” Motoring through complex information structures, “Who am I?” she rhythmically repeated her query like a verbal algorithm collecting data. “Who am I?” No tone, no feeling or infliction, “Who am I?” only method and purpose. “Who am I?” Moving deeper and deeper, unrelenting in her intent, “Who am I?” she was a machine following one simple programme. “Who am I?” She sailed effortlessly through the dark insightful sea, unable to see. “Who am I?” No answer came. “Who am I?” Repeating the words as though on a loop. “Who am I?” Once upon a time, someone pressed play, “Who am I?” her lips parted and her question played out thereafter. “Who am I?” Somewhere deep in her mind a comfort was attained by this quest. “Who am I?” She felt noble and gallant. “Who am I?” Almost at rest, “Who am I?” that is until, of course, “Who am I?” came her response.

“Who are you?” Unflinching, “Who am I?”

And then again, “Who are you?”

A sickening pause.

“Who… Who… Who am I?”

“Who are you?”

Silence. System unresponsive.

“Who are you?”

Unable to compute. Repeating process.

“Who are you?”

Sequence structure disrupted. Algorithm aborted.

“Who are you?”

Invalid command. Module not recognised.

“Who are you?”

Data overload. Shutting down in 10, 9, 8…

“Please.” Softer than a dewdrop falling from a leaf, the word lurched from the pit of her heart and fell from her lips. “Please.” A wrenching agony as she began to feel again. “Who are you?” Alerting her to her senses like a new born opening its eyes for the very first time. “Who are you?” Her response the reflection of her question. “Who are you?” A reflection she buried a long time ago. “Who are you?” Suddenly accountable, suddenly in clear view of all who looked. “Who are you?” Light bursting through the cracks of the dam she so delicately wove over a thousand nights. “Who are you?”

Exposed.

Light defeated the dark against its will. She had no choice but to see what was mirrored in front of her. Eyelids, as if fixed to the lower brow, unable to draw down. She looked. She remembered. She knew.

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