Monte sunk deeper and deeper in the ocean of oil that surrounded him as he struggled futilely against the slick black liquid. 'The oil is less dense than you,' a logical voice in his head told him, 'this isn't like water, you can't swim in it.' His instincts wouldn't listen, struggling all the same haplessly against the dark ichor blinding his vision. Down, down he felt himself sink, until he felt himself slow, and eventually stop, suspended in the pitch black depths. Monte's eyes strained against the liquid in front of them, trying to make out anything at all in the pitch black gloom of the abyss, and Monte was about to give up and shut his eyes against the brine when he saw something pulse in the dark, a purple strip of bioluminescence near blinding his dilated pupils. Whatever it was with him here in the deeps was big. It was far away, but as its colors pulsed again, Monte could see it behind himself as well. He was trapped, circled by some great beast at the bottom of this sea, yes, sea, Monte could feel it now, the iciness of the water depths, the pressure from above pounding in his ears, the salt on his lips and tongue.
The great serpent, blurry with distance and refraction and gloom, pulsed again with vivid purple, faster now, the pulses increasing in frequency with each ripple along its impossibly long body, as the leviathan shifted and roared, the water thrumming with its titanic voice. Monte knew that he should panic, knew that he was in danger, and yet he could not look away from the colors of the beast, could not deafen himself to the roar vibrating against his eardrums. He exhaled, watching the bubbles leaving his lips as he let out the last of his air, gazing with a glassy emptiness at the incoming behemoth.
The black water around him felt cold, bracing, but even the chill of the water couldn't cut through the strange haze he felt his mind sinking in as he sunk deeper into the water. He had only just begun to feel the burning of a lack of air when the mouth of the serpent opened, its lips shadowing him from the grooves of light running along its body. More and more light was blocked by the maw as it enveloped and surrounded Monte, and still he felt nothing but a detached curiosity. Before he could take that first lungful of cold water, he was swallowed, taken along with rushing waters into the pulsing purple stomach of the beast.
He felt soft, and the rushing waters of the stomach of the beast gave way to the gentle blacks and purples of a safe bedroom at night, bundled up under the warmest of blankets. The ground beneath him swelled and ungulated like a sea, a endless expanse of black velvet with soft things to touch and hold gently swaying with the easy motion. Something fuzzy bumped into his side, and then another, as soft and fuzzy things rolled down the tides and gathered around the divot his prone, resting body put into the soft black fabric surrounding it.
More and more soft things surrounded them, and it wasn't until a few minutes of comfort passed that they realized something was wrong. Something was missing. And then that thought, too, was whisked away from his mind, leaving him to relax among the softly shifting and gathering balls of fluff, to sink in them, to drown in them. He was nothing but soft, and black, and fuzz, and good. A pretty voice told him important things to remember, and he did. A pretty voice told him mean things to forget, and he was glad to. All the while, he gently wiggled, shimmied comfortably among the impossibly soft cushions surrounding him as the velvet waves rolled above him, so sunken now.
The darkness remained.
It blinked owlishly as a pale purple light cut through the gloom of the softness it found itself floating in, its eyes dilating at even the palest of purple glows. When they adjust, it was astounded to see that the sky was splitting above it. A seam had appeared among the dotted stars above, and it widened, as if the heavens were being peeled away. Black vines slithered through the opening, like dark beings from beyond the universe managing to sneak inside, crowning and spiraling above the prone one. It felt, for the briefest of moments, as though it should resist somehow? Panic, or struggle, or vocalize distress, but instead it felt a detached curiosity that gave way to undisguised bliss as the vines wrapped around it, and lifted it up and out of the sky and away from the twilight lit world below.
When it awoke, it felt soft, warm, comfortable and safe, but first and foremost it felt empty, like a drain had opened at the bottom of its skull and let out all the goo inside out. As it reached a hand up to rub the sleep from its eyes, it found itself pausing to stare at its fingers. It didn't remember what it looked like. That was an odd thought, to be certain, but it built to another confusing conclusion; It was pretty sure that it didn't recognize the hand attached to its body. It was....soft. Pale, no callouses or sun damage, and utterly alien to it. And yet, it couldn't rightly explain what it had looked like...before? Before what? Another strange thought to come to terms with, what had come before? For that matter, what was the now that had a before before it? It had begun to think itself into a circle when a voice cut through the confusion.
“Oh good! You're finally awake!”
Its eyes sped to the source of the noise, realizing for the first time where they were. It looked like a fantasy castle bedroom, between the canopy bed, the cobblestone walls, the rounded peaked windows, and the tapestries along the wall depicting scenes of overgrowth retaking an abandoned city. Even more interesting, however, was the thing speaking to it, floating in the center of the room.
“Ghost!” it yelped, hiding its face under the warm blanket it still found itself under.
“Oh roots, oh, no, you're okay, I'm a friendly ghost, see?” the ghost offered to it, hands held up in a placating gesture. Slowly, it peeked from under the covers. The ghostly figure hit all the marks of the disquiet dead, it was transparent, blue, it gently bobbing up and down in mid-air, and wearing weird clothes that were probably period specific or something. Heck, even the castle it was seemingly inside was the perfect habitat for a rogue ghost!...and yet, something inside it whispered to it Relax. You are in no danger here. This is home, and that is your friend. It blinked for a moment, having lost its train of thought.
The ghost looked like a Terran woman, somewhat, though it lacked legs, merely a torso with arms hovering, her lower half fading away to transparent the further down they went until vanishing somewhere slightly below the waist. She wore some cute blouse and skirt combo, and her brunette hair was trimmed in a short butch cut, the only modernity to her archaic appearance. Though it was sort of hard to tell what color her clothes were through the thin blue haze surrounding her.
“H-....Hello?” an unfamiliar voice escaped its mouth as it spoke, soft, breathy, dripping with a nervousness that it didn't remember having before. The ghost smiles, her eyes brightening as it calms down enough to speak.
“Hi!” she said brightly, giving a flourished bow. “I'm so glad that you're awake, and that you're here, and I've been waiting so long, and UGH!” the ghost stimmed, flailing its arms out excitedly. “I'm Dorothy, it's nice to meet you!”
“Oh, uh, hello, Dorothy...? My name is-” it stopped, a cold sweat on its palms suddenly. It didn't remember its name. Dorothy, somehow anticipating this, swooped lower to get close, a pale cold hand touching its shoulder and grounding it as it began to breath heavily.
“Shh shh, it's okay! The Madam will give you a name, I'm sure of it! There's no need to stress!” Dorothy tried to placate, looking worriedly at the nervous person before her.
“W-What happened to my name?!” it managed to splutter, though it was much softer and quieter than they intended. They had wanted to scream it. Dorothy's supportive smile widened, and she slapped her hands together, giving off a distant hollow 'clap...' that sounded like it came from far away.
“The Madam will be able to explain everything! Follow me!” the ghost tittered with glee as it suddenly flew, hooking around the corner and streaking away down the outside hall.
“W-Wait! You didn't-...ugh.” it looked down at its shaky legs that it could have sworn used to be thicker, and with great care lifted itself onto pale tottering legs, as it minced down the darkened castle hallway after the mysterious specter.