By: Joshua Koh Jun Xiang
You stand at the edge of the world, looking down. The water rushes under you, but you hear no trace of it striking the ground – there is no ground to strike. On your tiny piece of land, the water laps against your feet. Around your island, a piece of land, just large enough for you to stand upon, nothing but water can be seen. The water stretches for miles, no end in sight. You are alone, with no way of retreating from the edge. You turn around. The bridge of land you crossed to reach this island is rapidly crumbling away.
You stand at the edge of the world, looking around. You marvel at how the water all around you seems peaceful and tranquil – until it transforms, without warning, into a relentless deluge, an irrational power, at the very edge of the world. The water all around you is eroding the island at your feet, causing it to grow smaller as more and more of the clear water touches your feet. You panic for a short time, but you eventually grow calm once more. You understand that soon, the island upon which you stand will be completely eroded, and you accept that as fact.
You stand at the edge of the world, looking up. The sky is empty, yet it is filled. It is nothing but a black expanse, stretching on as far as the water around you, but it seems to be filled with something, nonetheless. It is filled with emptiness. As you come to this conclusion, the delicious irony of the idea pulls the corners of your mouth upwards. You seem to hear faint voices whispering to you, “Step off. Step off. Step off.” Your small smile morphs into a grin, and you step off the island into the water.
You stand at the edge of the world, looking forward. The water flows across your feet. It is somehow hot and cold at the same time, resisting your movement while simultaneously guiding it. You stand with both feet immersed. You can feel the pull of the edge. You briefly consider skirting the edge for some time, but decide against it. You look down, off the edge. The void which the water flows toward holds a strange allure. You notice something. Looking back up, you observe that the restless waters have now grown completely still, awaiting your leap from the edge. You scorn the mock tranquility and let loose a laugh. A meaningless laugh, that of a mind gone mad. The stillness of the water exerts a pressure on you. Try as you might, you are unable to make yourself step back away from the edge. So you stop trying. And you look down once again. You cannot go back. There is only one direction in which to move.
You jump. As you fall, all becomes silent. The water no longer makes a sound. The voices are quiet. No sound reaches your ears. You cannot hear anything, caught up in this sensation of falling. Whether the sounds have truly ceased or whether you have merely become unable to hear them, you do not know. All you know is that you are falling. You keep falling. You begin to wonder where the plunge will end, but the wind rushing past your face blows the thought from your mind. The only thought on your mind is how long you will fall. In this world without sound, you fall.
You are falling. As you fall, you realize you cannot feel anything. Not the wind rushing against your face, not the g-forces pulling back your skin, not the sensation of your clothes on your skin. You can feel none of these things. Having lost your sense of touch, you believe that you are still falling. You can see the scenery by your side rapidly changing, but you hear nothing and feel nothing to evidence that you are falling. However, in this world without sensation, you fall.
You are falling. As you fall, the world goes black. You cannot see anything: the rushing water, your flapping clothes, your rippling skin; all are invisible to you. Blind, unseeing, you find yourself without sight, without sound, without sensation. Your senses fail you. You think you are still falling. Using logic, it only makes sense that you should still be falling. But you can only think and believe. You cannot see, hear nor feel yourself fall. In a world without sight, you fall.
You are falling. In a world without thought, you fall.