365 Writing · Stories

Re:Awakening Plus?

I woke up again. So it was happening. Everything happened the same way as before, the cave, the old man with the sword, the monster I was unable to defeat and finally waking up again, and again. I was locked into the same choices, unable to break them.

Knowing that I would wake up to do it all over, I started to try to break the loop. I took the sword and used it on myself. Woke up again. I threw myself into the chasm in the cave. Woke up. I climbed the cliff behind the cave, slipped, and broke my back on the ground below. Woke up again. As I had countless tries, I eventually reached the top only to see more forest around me and the monster. Once again I woke up. Shortly I had tried to flee in every direction in the woods as I could. It would always catch me, and I would wake up again and again in the grassy meadow.

Since it seemed to matter little I began to train with the sword each time, perhaps it would be possible to beat the monster. With unlimited tries, I figured that eventually, I could. I lost track of the times I tried and failed. Learning as well as I could, was the only thing that kept me going. Every time I died I learned and practiced the move. While the monster would act each time differently, even if I practiced the same steps, it made me wonder if it too was stuck in this loop and learning from me. I improved but yet so did it. As soon as I began to anticipate its movements, so did it. What was the point?

I could never defeat it. I could never move on. I could never progress. It was like I was in an infinite cycle that was worse than the finality of death. Death itself began to lose meaning and eventually I started to stay in the meadow and wait, unmoving. The pain each time robbed me of any serenity there could be found in accepting this, but eventually, even that began to be just another aspect of my torment. The drive to escape in the back of my head slowly began to fade into nothing just as I did every time I died.

Was that it? Just a meaningless struggle that no matter what I did I could not change. As it came to kill me for the last uncountable time, I asked it. “Why? What’s the point?” It paused before it finished me… It paused?