A Passing of Life - Account of an Unknown Traveller

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A Passing of Life - Account of an Unknown Traveller

Post by murdrkitten on Sat Nov 18, 2017 3:31 pm

Death gripped me, but in my last breath there was no light to see, no surrounding glow to break me from the shadow of the woods. No, instead I awoke in a place of gloom, where wandering souls whisper their wanton thoughts to me in the dead of eternal night. I felt bathed in hopelessness, and as I looked around, saw that I was alone in a place familiar to where I just was... in fact, it was a carbon copy of it, if not for those trees being swaddled in misty death.

I gazed down at myself for a moment to see that my ethereal form had parted ways with my bloody and beaten body. I could watch as the beast that had mauled my carcass to bits lumbered away, crushing twigs and plants in its wake as it disappeared into the darkness of the woods, never to return. It hadn't feasted on me, which was a blessing--a man deserves his dignity after all, especially in death.

I wandered those plains of twilight solitude and was struck by a constant sense of deja-vu, intertwining with another emotion which I could only describe as dread. It took me a while to reach any conclusion of where I was, even though looking back it should have seemed obvious. I was dead, that much was sure, but where was I now?

I reached a misty dock. My feet barely touched the forest floor as I walked miles and miles, what surely must have been days, but I never tired and I never grew hungry, and even though I knew that my travel had taken time, there was a complete suspension in my ability to count seconds, as if everything was drawn out like a frozen breath.

There was a figure standing there clad in dark robes, with a staff of smooth wood reaching several feet above his head. It had been bent--or grown naturally, more likely--into a hook shape at the top, and dangling from the curve in the wood was a lantern which jingled in a despairing sort of way, and which cast a light that seemed to reveal the shadows around him more than anything tangible or true.

He turned to me and, from beneath the shadow of his hood, I could hear him eschew forth an impartial sigh. I asked him what was wrong, to which he replied in a sullen voice, "We are booked. Come back after the world dies."

I was, as you might expect, confused. "What do you mean?" I said, staring in a way which I can only assume made me look a quite stupid.

"I said, we are booked. Come back at the end of the eternity and I will take you across the river."

I still didn't quite understand. Booked for what? What meaning did this river have? He must have heard my thoughts, because his reply came swiftly, in that same low monotone as it always had.

"You are a fresh one, I see. Let me tell you something you clearly do not know. You have been seperated from the realm of the living, and now you, like many others, shall walk the lands of the dead for the rest of eternity. You, like everyone else, will just have to wait until the apocalypse comes. Then, and only then, am I taking fares to cross the river into the peace of afterlife beyond."

I started to understand what the ... man, if he could even be called human, was telling me, but as answers were given, questions came forth like rushing water. "So... how do I go back to where I was? The land of the living?"

He shook his head, clearly in grave disappointment. "You souls, you never learn. Why not enjoy the peace of the land of the dead? Why not stay here, instead of rushing back to the land of the living, where your heart can stop and pain can be felt? What do you have to gain that you haven't already lost? Go away, I am busy."

He discarded me with a wave of his thin, bony hand and turned back to the water, staring at the misty surface of the river. There was no boat to his name, it seemed, and he, as he had said, was waiting for eternity to pass.

Just like the rest of us.

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