I chose "The Call" by Austin Wintory (0:00 - 2:39), a piece from one of my favourite video games.
This story is best experienced when listening to the music simultaneously.
A ray of sunlight pierces through the Traveler’s closed eyelids. She sits up slowly from her bed of sand, squints, and shields her eyes across the desert dunes to the horizon. The wind picks up, whimpering and whispering as it carries the white sand along its back towards her. Her fingers find their way to the compass around her neck as she watches the sand swoop into the air, smothering the sun that had greeted her in billowing clouds that advance slowly, ominously.
The dunes ripple in anticipation as the wind begins playfully singing through her hair and fluttering her robes. Swirling sand turns to whirling storms that rush towards her armed with rough swords. She crouches to brace herself against the now howling winds.
Her world is devoid of anything but the sandstorm. She is engulfed in the blindness of white, in the stinging pain of grains of sand pelting against her cheeks and her arms, in the triumphant cry of the wind deafening her.
The Traveler feels everything, and then nothing.
Senses return to her: cool air, earthiness, distant whistling wind. Her eyes flicker open, and she finds herself in a cave, the walls softly glowing white with a steady pulsing light. Paired with the sounds of the breeze, it was as if the cave was breathing. Strange rattling echoes around her, and she slowly stands up, glancing around her.
A passageway opens up to her, pulsing and shining with more intensity than the walls around her. Water drips down the unseen end of the corridor, tempting her to quench her throat and mend her cracked lips. She grasps her compass, and holding it in the palm of her hand, notes that the hand points straight ahead. Driven by the need for water and guided by the compass, she pads down the passageway.
With each inhalation, the glowing from the walls ever so slightly brightened, and as she exhales, the light dims. She becomes aware of the pattern, and as she experiments with the shortening and lengthening of her breath, she wonders if the cave is mimicking her, or if she’s mimicking the cave.
She turns the corner, and halts before a blinding wall of expanding and contracting light. A glance at her compass confirms that she must continue forward. Cautiously, she reaches out and brushes the glowing white light.
Wisps of light flows off of the wall and onto her skin; in its trace she feels a brusque wave of cold and fear, and then the sense of warmth and belonging, as if she was always supposed to be here. The light trails down her fingertips and weaves itself through her hair, slowly spreading and illuminating her skin until she too is glowing.
The Traveler’s eyes drift close as she lets the gentle yet terrifying whiteness embrace her, knowing she has finally reached her destination.