The Canyon

I awoke.

Grogginess slowly cleared from my mind. I looked around. A deep, angular canyon wound jaggedly for as far as I could see in either direction. The walls sloped away at a 45° angle. Every so often, an enormous boulder clung precariously to the wall of the canyon.

I try to determine in what direction the canyon traveled by looking at the angle of the sun. But this proved an impossible task. Bizarrely, the sun spun continuously overhead like a disco light. Worse, the light was a strange color. Not the warm yellow we're accustomed to, but a garish, harsh light.

As my eyes grew accustomed to the light, I saw that my canyon was a uniform black color. None of the strata, the variegated colors you often see in canyons, but a faceless, monotonous, black. Black. No other color. Just black.

So I was faced with a choice. Climb out of the canyon, or walk along it until I found another way out. I thought perhaps it would be quickest to climb out of the canyon.

As I began to climb, I was presented with the strangest sensation of all. The canyon walls felt, for all the world, like plastic. Despite the 45° slope, the canyon walls were slippery. There were no projections, no footholds. This was going to be a tough climb.

So, I stopped and once again stood at the bottom of the canyon.

As I stood pondering what to try next, I began to hear a distant rumbling. Before long, the rambling became distant, muted music. It was music from a classic album that had been popular in my youth. I smiled, because I had enjoyed that album.

That settles it, I would follow the canyon to the source of the music. That would bring me to civilization.

So, I slowly walked off toward the sound of the music. Walking proved to be tedious, as I often had to step over or around boulders at the bottom of the canyon. The slippery floor of the canyon didn't make matters easier either. Worst of all was the constantly undulating path of the canyon. It was as if the creator of this place abhorred the concept of a straight line or a gentle curve.

As I walked, the loudness of the music grew. Perhaps it was my imagination, but it seemed that the music was growing louder too quickly.

The music was loud now, but the source of the music was not in sight. I continued to walk toward the music. But with each step, with each instance, the music grew ever louder. Soon, the music was unbearably loud. Still, the source of the music did not come in the view. And still the music grew louder, becoming literally painful to hear.

I sank to my knees, overwhelmed by the power of the music. My hands over my ears, nothing could withstand the unimaginable loudness of the music.

I felt a breeze, and my body began to vibrate in sympathy with the music. I looked up in time to see it.

Racing down the canyon toward me was an unimaginable sight. A smooth, colorless mountain, upside down, descended from the sky. Its tip rested against the walls of my canyon perfectly, creating the illusion that the upside down mountain was traveling along the canyon walls.

But it wasn't an illusion. The upside-down mountain was indeed riding along the walls of my canyon, rushing headlong toward me.

Nothing could stop it. The upside-down mountain was nearly upon me.

I froze.

I screamed. My scream was inaudible to my ears, consumed by the solidity of the music.

Meanwhile, John was enjoying his favorite music on a vinyl LP. He smiled with satisfaction. It wasn't just the music. And it wasn't just the superlative sound. It was the accomplishment of setting up the delicate turntable and its fiddly adjustments.

John leaned forward. He heard something in the album that he had never heard before.

A scream.

He had never heard a scream in that particular track before.