At some point or another, we will all encounter the veil. It starts with a feeling, a tingling on the back of your neck like someone or something is watching you.
Despite yourself, you turn and see it, that piece of cloth: invisible, yet wholly opaque. You can’t see it unless you look closely enough and allow yourself to acknowledge that it is there, but no matter how hard you look you can’t see what lies beyond.
You step forward and reach out towards it. You can hear something behind it, a hulking mass, shifting its weight, stirring. It’s breath sulphurous; heavy, humid air stirring the curtain that separates you from it. A monstrous creature. A terrifying creature.
Part of you want to know what lies beyond it. Knowledge is power after all. To know what it is, to gaze upon it with your own eyes, will surely give you some, infinitesimally small piece of power over it.
But even as you feel the veil beneath your fingers, a part of you screams out. To avert your gaze, to turn, to run away. To pretend that there is no veil and no unknown horror beyond it.
To pretend that everything is okay.
To pretend that you are safe.
To pretend that your safety is assured.
So even as you clutch the impossibly thin fabric in your cold, clammy fist and will yourself to tug, just a little and peer beyond, you can’t.
And so you remain. Frozen. Trapped. Unable to act and unable to keep yourself from acting.
Poised on the edge of oblivion.