afterlife · Uncategorized · writing

Heaven or Nah?(the conclusion )

Taking my hand, this man who felt new and old to me, I let him lead me through the beautiful, forest. The sun, about three suns shone brightly. There was no darkness, no shadows.

Wanna know the super cool, mysterious inspiration for this story? Click to skip to it!

Then roughly, I am pulled tight up against him. Our naked bodies- whatever they were made of, felt a thousand times more sensitive than on earth. Many tingles rippled throughout my body, causing me to moan.

Suddenly it all came to me.

Tipping my head up with a finger, the handsome being drags his lips across mine like twin feathers rubbing against each other. His arms wrapped about my waist and then our lips pressed harder.

His mouth was a like a vacuum sucking me up into the feeling, into his lips and his touch.

Teeth, tongue, mouths wet clashed and clanged against each other full of unnatural want and need.

My heart, wherever that was, beat loud in my ears. My spirit was incendiary and instead of seeing colors. I FELT them.

“Who are you?” I asked after we pulled away. I had to gasp for breath. I couldn’t help but stare at and through this magnificent man. “I think I know you.”

The right side of his mouth curled into a smile. A wicked, sexy one. “You know me, Nanine. I am yours back there.”

My skin prickled in confusion and excitement. Both his large hands rubbed down the length of my arms. I made the mistake of looking into his eyes. Which suddenly looked like small, twin planets. In them and through them, I saw what looked like stars, bursts of light and a shadow of doubt and of love.

Beautiful.

“Adin. My name is Adin.” He said wearily.

“Adin! The love of my life!??” My brain snapped back to the past. The white hospital room, the alcohol scent, sick smells, the wailing of my family. My boyfriend, Adin.

The cancer that ate my life.

I am dead. But what am I now?

“You are one of us.”

“Wait. One of you?” I pull back farther. I am happy to see Adin, but what was he doing here?

Once again, he heard my silent question.

“I am with everyone in their final hour, Nanine.” His brows furrowed. “I have always been with you. Exclusively in your last hours though.”

“No. We. We dated. We were planning to get married. Remember?” Sunlight began drift from over his face, slowly and his skin began to lose its glow., a beautiful shade of navy and purple midnight crossed his handsome features.

“We have been together some time, Nanine. I, particularly like you, but I am not what you’ve been thinking. You already know my name, don’t be afraid to say it.”

The words bubbled in my subconscious. His name floated on every wind trail, every cell of my body. It was in every kiss. Every whispered conversation.

Every look.

The name that was ancient and forever. An ancient forever name, an event no one can escape.

“The cold one. The one that should not have been. A perfect, exact non-discriminatory design.”

His eyebrow raised. His full lips twitched.

Death.” I said as the suns dipped lower and we were finally cloaked in darkness. I heard the humming of women and children. A gentle tune of sorrow and loss. But saw no one. It was just us.

He nods solemnly, his long brown hair and brawny body, lithe and muscular, shimmers and shifts to a more pale color, a design slowly crawls over his left torso, down his left rib cage. Ink. Ebony ink, in the shape of a huge, black scorpion.

Gone were the rainbows, the squirrels- life. We both stood in a dark forest. I did not hurt. There was no devil chasing me.

“You can move around however you wish here. There is a boundary you can not go beyond though.” He points behind me and up into the sky where I see a silver lining arc across the night sky.

“So this isn’t, heaven? Is there a heaven?”

“Heaven….” He comes over to me and take my hand. His feels like a solid block of ice. “Heaven is in your mind.”

“Then the churches and the bible was wrong.”

He did not flinch when I said bible. Wasn’t he bad or something? Evil? Did he believe in God’s word? Funny I should be this judgmental in the afterlife.

“Actually, darlin’ the bible is a snippet of stories woven together to tell truths based off of personal experiences. I can not say it is completely wrong, but your finite minds cannot grasp the whole truth.” He lands another soft kiss on my lips, surprising me by how soft and cold his kiss is. “But you accepted me and kept your mind open. Which is why you’re here.”

Adin went on to explain that others before me, made it here, but are in another location. Others who pass on, stay in darkness forever, their minds shut down. He called it ultimate hell.

With a thought, I wished it light again. I wished for the silver blue oasis of water and the birds and squirrels and it made my Adin happy. When I opened my eyes again…all had come true.

Unfortunately he told me there are men, women, and children whom he granted the Kiss of Death to and I felt a familiar pang in my chest. Could be jealousy, not sure. But I watch his naked back as it turns away and walks into the clearing of the forest, the ground lighting up as he walks his path and into some void I can not see. A path where he will collect more of the dying.

I wonder if I will be alone here forever…

*****************

©Copyright 2017 Ericajean

Thank you for reading! I hope you enjoyed the conclusion to my Flash Walk story.

***BONUS: What inspired me to write this story?***

A few years back, I had a dream that I was “trapped” in this wooden gazebo thingee. It was big enough all around but I could touch the smooth glass and peek through it looking at life all around me. Somehow, without anyone telling me, I knew I was dead.

The gazebo kept me encased where “the dead belong” but I was floating and there were others around me in these small gazebos.

Inside me a voice said, I can move about but not past the gazebo, because then my spirit would fall.

Anyway, hope you enjoyed this. Stay tuned for more blog posts and stories this month!

 

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book review · Brain · writing

When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi

When Breath Becomes Air memoir
Image courtesy of Random House Publishing Group

Paul Kalanithi’s memoir When Breath Becomes Air swells with hope and intellect but leaves room for sorrow.

What makes this book a must read is Paul’s enduring love for literature and the inclusion of patient-doctor dynamics he learned during his practice.

At 36, Paul discovers he has lung cancer(he was a nonsmoker). At this stage of diagnosis he has several things to ponder on: His new life with wife Lucy, the future of having children, continuing  residency- all of these thoughts begin to fly out the proverbial window as Paul realizes he will be leaving his family behind.

As the reader, you are in his head and his heart. His ability to see past his mortality and ramble onward with jewels of poetry is astounding, refreshing.

He graduated from Stanford University with a BA and MA in English literature and so throughout the book he sprinkles timeless quotes from T.S. Eliot, or Shakespeare, and Walt-Whitman:

“What makes human life meaningful? I still felt literature provided the best account of the life of the mind, while neuroscience laid down the most elegant rules of the brain.”(From When Breath Becomes Air, Kalanithi, P., 2016)

Throughout his account, Paul shows us how it can be rough vacillating between patient-doctor roles. He describes his first time cutting into a cadaver, the grueling hours of a brain surgeon, rude patients and tired, nonchalant doctors.

Then, there are the moments when he had to strip himself of “doctor” labels and look up to specialists for answers and  support.

However, what makes this book golden syrup for the soul; what makes it a potential inclusion for literature in all academic spheres, is Kalanithi’s way with words. He faces death with literature in one hand and a scalpel in the other, a warrior who stood brave and true and yet died so young.

He passed on March 2015.

But his spirit lives on in this powerful book.

*Book received for free for my unbiased review from Netgalley