A man stands in a garden. In front of him, a door. Around him, nothing but darkness. He reaches out and grabs the handle of the door, and it opens with ease. A house. This peculiar man steps in through the creaky old door, and as he steps into the hallway, the door swings back violently behind him, however you do not hear a sound.

Dark house

The man is unaffected by the door, as his stride does not break as he walks through the desolate house. The walls are barren and bare and the floor is filthy. It looks as though no one has lived in this house for a very long time. But this is not about the house. It is about the man.

He continues through the house until he reaches yet another door. Again, he reaches for the handle and makes his way inside. Again, the door slams shut behind him, and he does not react.

This time, he is standing in what appears to be a living room. A torn and broken couch rests against one of the walls, and what seems to be a TV stand sits in the corner. The man stops. He does not move, he does not make a sound, for who knows how long.

You watch him, wondering when he’ll move again or even if he’ll ever move again. Suddenly, you notice something else in the room. Away from the man, sitting on the couch, was a young woman.

She looked about the same age as the man, and she sat up straight. She looked lifeless, emotionless. She speaks, but no noise escapes her mouth. You see her lips moving slightly, she must be whispering.

The man however, reacts for the first time since stepping into the house. His neck snaps towards her and he stares intently. He shouts quite suddenly, but again, no noise escapes. The man’s eyes begin to well up, and his head slowly drops as his gaze drifts down to the floor.

The woman is gone. Or was she really ever there to begin with? You’re unsure, but it is of no concern. You quickly look again at the man, and now, his gaze has returned up, looking straight ahead.

You notice for the first time, that a photo frame is sitting upon the TV stand. Then again, you’re not sure. Was it always there? No matter, the photo frame sits at an angle, however you can’t tell in this light what it is portraying.

The man looks at it, and his face tells you, that he must understand. Only one glance at the photo frame in this light, and he knows exactly what it is.

By the time you look back at the photo frame, it was already gone. The man allows himself another few minutes to stare at the nothing that was once something. He turns and makes his way back into the hallway.

This time, when he walks through the oak door in between the hallway and the sitting room, it does not shut itself. This time, it disappears. It is replaced by endless void, but the man does not notice. His eyes looking straight, his stride slow but filled with intent.

He eventually reaches the entrance again, however he does not attempt to leave. Instead, he climbs a stairwell that you swear was not there when he first entered. Of course, that doesn’t matter right now, and your focus returns to the man. He climbs slower than his walking pace, almost as if he was scared of what he would find up there.

The further he climbed, the thicker the air seemed to get. It was as if something terrible has happened. Or, maybe it was going to happen, you’re not quite sure. Once the man reaches the top of the stairs, there is only a hallway and a single door at the end.

The man does not stop, he continues onwards, never breaking his stride, until he reaches the door. This time, for the first time since you entered the house with the man, you are frozen in your place.

The man slowly reaches for the door, and begins to make his way inside. You try calling out to him, but he is unaware of your presence, and even if you had a way of communicating with him, sound has become void in this house.

The door snaps shut. You stare at it for a few moments, until you realise that you can move again. You look behind you and notice, that the rest of the house has also joined the black void. No stairs, no doors, no couch, no photo frame. The only way is forward.

You take the few steps necessary to reach the door, and place your hand on the handle. With a slight push, the door flies open, and you see it. In that split second you see it.

A desolate room, a fallen chair, a dangling rope, an empty man. You stare for a few moments, piecing together what had happened bit by bit, and then you notice.

In his hand, was the photo frame and you can see it now clearly. A woman and a man, holding each other tight. And as his grip loosens, the photo frame falls to the floor, and you hear a deafening crack.