It wasn't like floating in water. It was weightlessness. When you're floating, you can still feel the tug of acceleration from gravity. You are still engaged in a struggle of forces. Weightlessness, the complete lack of gravity, was more lost. The universe does not notice you. The universe does not care.
"Do you know who I am?"
I heard the voice from behind me and froze. "Yes," I said. I steeled my nerves and closed my eyes, coming to sharp awareness.
"And I know you, Simon Francis Sayer."
I found the center of my being and, as my father had taught me, I drew in around the cold, dark blade. I began to push it out from my center toward my chest. I drew my hands to my sternum at the ready.
"Won't you turn and face me, Simon?" the voice chided. "Look into my eyes."
"If I see you, I must slay you."
The voice laughed derisively. "Oh, that you could," it said, "but there is no rest for me."
I felt the strange pressure on my skin as the dark matter pushed through. I flexed my right hand.
"Think, little man. This is no place for one like you. How can you be here? The universe will not let Humans run free."
At that I stopped. The voice was right. I could not be here. "This is a dream."
"As you wish," it said. "Look at me."
I was loathe to do so. "Tell me," I said. "Is this my dream, or yours."
"I have no dreams."
"It doesn't feel like my dream," I said.
"Won't you look at me? Won't you play my game?"
"No," I said. "I'm no pawn for your games."
"A pawn?" I could hear the smile in it's voice. "No, Simon. You are a knight."
"I am not YOUR knight," I said, pushing the blade back to my core.
"No, you are not," it replied. "You are my pawn."
"Why, Simon?" the voice had moved. It was coming around to my right.
I tried to turn to my left, but I couldn't control my movements in the weightless void. I started to spin slowly and crookedly backwards, my feet coming up, or in a direction I had thought of as up. I moved my right arm, trying to stabilize myself, but it just changed my trajectory randomly. I was spinning slowly and moving away.
"Shall I catch you?" the voice asked teasingly.
"No," I gasped, beginning to feel nauseated. "Don't touch me."
"Fine," it said, coming closer. "Why, Simon?" It was approaching fast. I closed my eyes tightly. "Why do you hate me?" It was right in front of me, staying with me as I spun away.
"You know," I snarled, my teeth clenched. "You know what you did."
"I've done so many things," it said, less than an inch from my face. "Remind me."
"Hell," I said. "You sent us to Hell."
"I did no such thing," it said. "I was asked to collect and deliver two things. Rocks. I did that. I have never touched you."
"You knew!" I growled. "You knew what you were doing!" My stomach began to rumble and my head grew dizzy as I struggled for some sense of orientation.
"Perhaps," it said, "you should direct your anger against the motivator. I was just the means."
"We've enough anger to go around," I said.
"Yes, I suppose you do," it said. "Never mind that. It's over. I am here to explain the rules of my game."
"I'll have none of your games." I could feel nausea overcoming me.
"I'm not asking you to play, Simon," it said. "Do be still." As soon it said the words, I stopped.
"Thank you," I said, panting.
"Never mind that as well," it said. "I cannot abide a cheat."
"It's no concern of mine."
"Oh, but it touches your concern," it said. "Here is what I require from you..."
"I do nothing for you."
"Never mind that. I have one rule for you."
I said nothing.
"Thou shalt not kill."
"I do not serve your whim!" I spat at it.
"No? Open your eyes, Simon," the voice said, fading away.
I sat up with a start and scared Samantha's cat, which was sleeping at my feet. It bolted off into the kitchen, its claws skittering on the tile. It took me a second to remember where I was. I was sleeping on Sam's couch. Amy was in Sam's room with her. My heart was thumping away and I was out of breath.
"It was just a dream," I whispered. "Just a dream." I settled back into the pillow and stared at the ceiling. I could still hear the voice in my ears. I could still feel the lurching sickness of weightlessness in my stomach. "Not your whim," I whispered. The hateful name kept running over and over in my mind.