My body's stiff in the cave's cold darkness. Water drips to the groundwater pool I'd created . . . months ago? I am unsure. My mask emanates a pale, blue light, and every crack and crevice is made known to me. This is my home. Strangely enough I find myself sitting by this still, cool pool far more often than I rest in bed or spend time in my study; perhaps those things aren't meant for me now that I am . . . this.

What is this? What are you?

I pause, annoyed at my own question. What am I? No matter how long I take, this body feels strange. This 'skin' like a prison and this 'flesh' like a curse. I am drowning in clay, and even the depths cannot cleanse me.

I was Jason. I am Jason.
You don't sound so sure.
He isn't. Are you?
I am mud. Clay. I am dead. Or I was. Now I am fading. So are you.
I am Jason, but I am dead. I too am fading, but I am still here. So is he.
I am . . . Jason? I'm trying to be. It's been so long . . .
Too long. Since we left this cave. Too long since we felt the sea.

The dripping of stalactites dips into my thoughts, and I am aware of the cave once more. How long have I been sitting here? How long since I last ventured out? How long since I last prayed? How long since I was . . . real?

Mud belongs here. Mud belongs inside the cave.
Maybe you're -
I will not be mud just yet.

I stand, my body strangely stiff and slow. How long have I been in here? Moss clings to me in places and dirt drifts to the cave floor.

I am going now. I must.

Light shines as I walk towards the exit. I am still alive. I am still here. I am still Jason.

For now.