Time passed slowly.
Lonely, slow time.
No sound except her own breathing. Silence never sounded so cold. No scent, no stirring of faint breeze, no stimulus of any kind, except that she could still smell her own mysterious scent, hear her own voice, feel the soft smoothness of her braid.
In all that great expanse around her, there was no one. No one at all.
Would she pass her final moments alone in this emptiness as vast as eternity? A startling thought flitted across her mind: maybe she’d already died from the virus and this was eternity. But no. Stress and the overwhelming nothingness caused that kind of panic. She still drew breath; by all the heroes of Valhalla, she was still alive. For now.
The vast, dark silence pressed in on her, unbearably, painfully, as if she were an astronaut whose lifeline to the mothership had broken, leaving her to float off into black, empty space, alone with her thoughts until her oxygen ran out. And the darkness suffocated her, as if it were a living thing, surrounding her, engulfing her, consuming her.
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