The Widow and the Blacksmith with the heart torn out

Flash fiction story this Friday .. and last for this year!  Before that- Happy New Year celebration! Got your resolutions ready? Don’t forget to make a wish! Cheers x and see you next year :-)

Now back to the story. Never written a thing like it, and I dearly hope it worked out well & good enough for you to like. I dare say its a fairy tale of sorts, or a folk tale. Could be both. Well fantasy it is ! Might spot a few rhymes, no real intention to make ones. I’m rubbish at those :-D   Too much babbling from me :) Do enjoy your stay and your read :)  Here begins a story about….

 The Widow and the Blacksmith with the heart torn out 

Somewhere in the East there was a stream

One born of magic and of wisdom

with waters flowing with pure gold

Time passed and a group of people settled down near by it, but alas they never knew about it

Until one day the blacksmith’s wife was picking herbs and flowers

deep into the great dark woods

And then there was the sound of flowing stream

its ringing sound caught up with her

She stood up with a wonder

What sound is that, what river flows?

She felt she must go see

for curiosity was strong with her

So she followed down the sound

More deep into the woods

What she found made her froze

Made her shiver, breathless for unspoken words

for the stream was glimmering in gold

She then decided

to kept it silent, and rushed home right away

She told her husband only

what wealth the forest hid

He took the blazing sword he forged

and ran into the woods

with his eyes to see

The waters of the stream were gold, the magic true as well

But wisdom was the one thing that the blacksmith cared for less

He put his sword away

kneeling down to touch

the golden waters of the stream

And what he did not see

were the sacred beasts

who roamed to forest

the guardians of magic

the protectors of the stream

He heard a grow, and took his sword

turned around and faced a roar

teeth went deep, flesh turned red

the blacksmith fell down dead

with his heart in three feet to the left

*  *  *

His wife went worried

Much time had passed

and

Night had fallen

She ran in to the forest too

went straight down to the stream

The water was still gleaming

reflecting on a stone cold face

She found her husband dead,

she found his heart apart

The silence was then broken

by a misty choir of ancient voices

-       We the beasts of this forest speak now to you. Human you were greedy, wanted magic for yourself. Woman you went silent didn’t share the wealth. Your husband had no wisdom, we took his heart away. You should have told the people, the ones that live with you. You should have shared the secret of this stream, for it was made for all of you. You will feel our punishment, our curse upon you. Your husband’s dead, now what will you do?

The woman felt ashamed

she felt the wrong

and started crying

Her tears fell down on the bleeding heart

With heart as heavy as a stone

she then stood up, and took her husband’s sword

Raised it high and struck herself

straight into the chest

-          Pity, woman for you lack wisdom too. Look with your dying eyes; this torn heart beats for two. Now you die, while your husband lives; you paid a price, and he did too. Alas there is more for you to do. Your souls will echo, stay forever here, until you find out the secret of how to save each other.  Vice versa may it be. For your punishment for greed was never death- it was living with this unknowing and regret.  You will not remember how each time you die. You must feel it in your heart and do the right. Farewell for now, oh mortal ones, farewell to your sin until the dawn.

*  *  *

Years had passed. Centuries if must. People found the stream, found the gold laying there on its bottom. They lived happy, lived blessed and the small town soon progressed. But every time they went to pay respects to the sacred beasts who led them to the stream, they felt a presence, one that seemed to linger, and seemed not to go away -the one of the Widow and the Blacksmith with the heart torn out heart.

Fairy tale gone bad perhaps :-D

Merry & Snow

Hello there!

This is a story just in time for the Christmas holidays.  Without much explanations, I simply wish you all happy holidays,  a good rest from work, and a  Merry Christmas with loads of great gifts ! :-)  Cheers & enjoy this short story of love and friendship.

 ❅

Merry & Snow

The metal blades of her skate shoes scratched the thick ice layer of the frozen lake. From aside she looked like she was dancing, spinning around, her body in perfect symphony with the music of the silent forest.

Then again if watched from above she could have been taken for an artist, a painter of the abstract, drawing tin white lines with those metal blades. She could be anyone, or anything, if she sang she would be a singer as well. But she was only Merry. And she was dancing with Snow under the falling snowflakes, melting on her face.

He on the other hand didn’t require skate shoes to slide on the ice. Unlike Merry, Snow couldn’t be pictured as anyone or anything different then what he appeared to be. The imagination of a possible intruder on that lone and lost lake in the woods would simply not comprehend the view before his eyes. Because Snow was a talking, laughing and sliding on the ice real snowman- always smiling wide, with big black marble eyes, black top hat, long red scarf wrapped around his neck twice, loads of different sized and shaped buttons, and a long, long pointycarrot nose of which he tended to make jokes.

Now Merry had her hands either in his tin and wooden, or was holding him by the scarf, while going all over the ice. They’ve been dancing for hours. Time became unneeded once she stepped on the surface of the frozen lake, the forest grew silent; the birds went away followed by the wind. Nature, sense, reason & time- all of them left the two alone. They left Snow to stare at the woman’s red hair, flowing around as she spun; left him to listen to her laughter, to her stories.

Merry was a woman now. All grown up. And as unbelievably as it sounds, Snow remembered the first time she came to him, a 6 or 7 year old girl with freckles and hair as red as the sky lightened by the setting sun. She wasn’t afraid of him, but curious. He could still remember her tiny, ringing voice as she asked him if he would play with her on the deeply frozen lake. She apologized for not bringing skate shoes for him too.  He was so puzzled by this little human being that he let her take him on the ice, and he danced with her, clumsy at first, not sure how dancing should be done. But she was a clever girl. Knew every step, and taught him the dance she used to do with her father. He couldn’t come with her on the lake today, she said, has been busy every day. They used to come here every year, the two of them, but not anymore. So she came by herself without her dad having the slightest idea of her whereabouts. The snowman wasn’t sure what to say to her, because he knew nothing of people and their way of life. He did only as asked- danced and played with the girl all day long, until dark. When she asked him what his name was, he gave no answer- he wasn’t given any. So she named him Snow, and introduced herself as Merry.

Every year since then, right after the snow had fallen and covered everything in his white dress Merry took her skate shoes and went to the lake to surprisingly find Snow waiting for her there. He soon learned more about people, of what they liked or hated; of their feelings and needs. Year by year he felt closer to becoming human, which he liked, because was able to understand Merry better, and every time he was about to melt, he reminded himself that. The very next year he used to open his eyes with that very same thought. While waiting for Merry, he danced by himself, training to maneuver his body on the ice, as if dancing. The result, as Snow found out, made her utterly happy.

As he watched her now, so many memories came back. Snow had learned that was part of being human. Remembering things and moments with people who you care about, and no matter the amount of time that had passed, those memories are there, and become alive as soon as you lay eyes on that very same person shaping them.

Merry let go of him made a circle and stopped:

“Hey Snow, I was thinking about the first time we met 19 years ago. I still can’t believe it to this day. All those years coming here. And you always waiting for me. Didn’t you get tired? What if I didn’t show up?”

“You would never do that. As I will never be tired to wait and greet you- Snow made a pause not sure why she was asking those things.- You don’t want to come here anymore?”

“No, silly, of course I want to come! You were my first friend. You are my best friend Snow. I will come here for as long as I’m alive. – She looked in his button black eyes, and again as many times before waited for a blink. There was none. – Snow what will happen with you when I….die? Can you go somewhere? I’ve asked before, but aren’t there others like you? – He shook his head to those last two questions silently answering no.

“Don’t know what will happen – Something pushed the thoughts into his brain of snow- I will probably disappear, melt down, to never be reborn again. The next year. I will die as well.”

“But there will be snow again. You can be alive again- said Merry with hopes. She never stayed with Snow when he melted. She couldn’t bare the view.”

“There will be no Merry- He saw her eyes widen- You are the one keeping me here, not the snow. I live through you; exist because you need me. For a dance, remember?” – Snow’s smile became even wider as he laughed a bit, then he casually scratched his nose, and Merry thought he looked very human just now.

She slid towards him and hugged him, standing on the tips of her blue skate shoes.

“I will never forget a year Snow. I will never miss it. So you better be here waiting for me when I come back. – She whispered to him. The wind was back, and Merry didn’t want it to take her words to the forest and its inhabitants.

“I will” – Snow still did not understand what death truly was, to people, but to him dying was only equal to not seeing Merry. Ever again.

“Merry Christmas Snow- the melting snowflakes mixed with her hot tears- I love you. – She pushed back from the snowman’s tall figure, sent a kiss and gave it to the wind to give to him. The trees started moving with unease, waving a goodbye. The lake was nothing more than a blur mirror to the darkening sky. Snow felt something which was there all along, but needed a word to be acknowledged.

- I love you too… Merry.”

As Snow slowly moved to his place under the big oak tree, awaiting the cycle of his dying and awakening from death to begin, night fell above the forest, hid the trees deep into the color black, made the lake invisible for all, and left the dark hours for the yellow eyed night creatures and the music of the wind.

The Paper Doll

Some time ago I’ve submited a flash fiction story to Morgen Bailey’s Writing Blog and she was kind enough to post it :D  in the section for Flash Fiction Friday, which you can find here, if following Morgen’s daily & flash fiction you’ll see it there, as well as many other amazing stories which will blow your mind away! So link is posted bellow, hope you like “The Paper Doll” and don’t forget to check out the rest :)

http://morgenbailey.wordpress.com/2011/12/16/flash-fiction-friday-no-13-the-paper-doll-by-cindy-vaskova/

Enjoy and take care :)

As I counted to three

I bet a lot of kids asked themselves what in the world comes after three.  My parents never played that game on me. I believe nothing happens. But just in occasions….

As I counted to three

My mother always used to count to three, to make me do something that I didn’t want to. And she always succeeded. I didn’t wait to hear what comes after three. I was too scared of that number, of the unknown to come after it. I never dared to ask. I lived in fear.

Now as a grown man I ask random people what comes after tree, and none of them knows. I am no longer afraid of that childish nightmare of mine, but am curious. Turned out my mother didn’t know the answer to her punishment theme song as well.

Soon I figured it out on my own as I counted to three before chopping her up, before doing the same to those random people.

One… two…three. Hm. Only silence comes after it.  Silence in red.

Glimmer in the night, Footsteps from the dark

You’d probably recognize where the inspiration for this one came, but just to put a hint- you can see it while reading Four Past Midnight. Better read it after 04:00 AM as I did :D

Just to make it clear the sudden appereance of the name “Jack” in the middle of the story is not a spelling mistake, it was put there on purpose , and it worked it’s purpose very well :)

So there it is, just a short horror story, hope you enjoy it, as much as I did when writing the final words :)

 

Glimmer in the night, Footsteps from the dark

-         Wait for me guys! – Zack’s voice shouted on the street as he rushed to catch up with his friends.

It was late, too late, way past the time for him to be home. He was the youngest of the group, but no one treated him differently. They’d make some friendly jokes about it, yes, but other than that he was equal to the rest. John and Katie were both 16, Matthew and Lenny 14 and 15, and he was 11, soon to be 12.They were best buddies, always together, taking care of each other. They lived in the same neighborhood, just a few streets separating them and knew one another since they could walk and talk. Through summer, past autumn, into winter and waiting for spring again, they were always up to something, some new game, or new adventure. John could have been their Peter Pan, Katie their Wendy and the rest The Lost Boys. It felt like that sometimes, because all of them looked up to John.  He was smart, and had outgrown his age. He would usually think of a game, make up the crazy rules and give everyone parts, and roles and tasks in it. And the games they played, were ones that triggered their imagination, made the invisible-visible, the unknown -familiar, the unbelievable- believable. The neighborhood was their playground, and everyday it was a different set, a different scene. It was like Halloween, only that the costumes they putted on were visible only in their minds. The five of them grew up to love many things, and to always be curious.

One of the reasons Zack could hang out with John and the others up this late today- it was past eleven o’clock PM and he usually was strictly home by nine- was that his parents trusted John, and when John had said they were working on a new creative project in his house three blocks away, which would take some more time, but he will bring Zack back home by 23:30, they were suddenly ok with that, and allowed Zack to stay and participate.

They were more than three blocks away from Zack’s home and not really working on a project at John’s place.

They had been investigating their new playground, an old factory near the railroad. It was unused and according to John would make the perfect setting for a scavenger hunt. He insisted they visit it by nighttime, to feel the place more real, to create the perfect environment for a hunt in their heads. And as John had told them “to take a good look around, and see where the items from the list he’d make might be hidden”

Zack was a bit afraid of the place, but he reckoned it wouldn’t look as scary as now in daylight.  And he was excited about the game. John had said there would be a prize in the end for the winner. Nevertheless everyone was a winner in their little games.

Now the group was walking past the elementary school, in the cold autumn night, streets silent, trees silent, all lights off, except for those of the traffic lights and some of the street lamps.

Zack’s shoelaces untied themselves again, for the sixth time and he kneeled down to tie them up, while his friends continued walking up ahead, laughing and singing some scavenger motivating song, unnoticing the lack of his presence. He felt uncomfortable being alone just kneeling there, but the fact that he could still hear and see his friends, made him feel more secure.

Some wind blew from across the street, and made the boy shiver. He was still hearing the loud voices of his friends, but they sounded somehow distant, unfamiliar for a moment, as if the wind was blocking them. Zack stood up, ready to run and rejoin the group. He gave the fence of the school a random look just to reassure himself he doesn’t want to see it at this time of the night again just like the old factory.

The building resembled a massive rock, black, with windows like blind eyes, barely reflecting the light from the lamp across the street. The trees in the yard seemed like tin giants with twisted bodies, reaching out to the starless night. Zack shivered again this time from his own imagination, creating this terrifying vision of the school in his head. The quietness of the hour contributed to these horror themed thoughts of his.

The boy was about the shout out to Jack and the rest to wait but the words died in his throat, and he stopped walking. His body froze because his eye had caught the glimmering of something in the school yard. Now that he was looking straight at it, the glimmer steadied itself and became a glow, that of two big yellow eyes illuminating in the dark, like two flames. They were piercing him through the fence. It was too dark to tell whom they belonged too, but the only reasonable conclusion was that they were dog’s eyes. Zack thought for a moment they belong to some fairy tale beast, to a dragon, or a werewolf. This thinking ceased momentarily when a great, big, black dog walked out of the shadow that the school casted, and stepped into the dim light of a street lamp. It was bigger than any dog Zack had ever seen, even too big for any known to Zack dog breed. Its fur was rough and dirty, but despite that the structure of its body was all muscles; its paws were as big as a horse shoe, its snout wide and long, ears sharp and pointy.  Zack’s mind gave a new description to this character of the night- to him this dog looked a bit like the Egyptian god Anubis, only much more massive and impressive. But the only feature Zack couldn’t make a word about was those eyes. They were enchanting, staring right into Zack’s eyes. And they were delving into the boy’s soul and mind. The shimmering was more golden than yellow, and still illuminating through the darkness. It seated, but continued to watch the boy. Zack found that too bizarre. Did it want food, or to play? It didn’t seem aggressive to him, nor was it growling. But still Zack’s heart was going to burst out of his chest, and the cold air was touching his cheeks with its cold kiss, but he did not dare to move. There was something about this dog, something out of the ordinary and a kid at his age could sense that easily. Zack wanted to speak out, call for John and the others, but instead of that he made a whispering sound, addressing the dog:

-         Hey boy, it’s ok. I’m not going to hurt you. I don’t want to scare you so please don’t scare me. I will just go now and leave you alone ok? – His voice was shaking with every word he pronounced. He just hoped the dog would understand his good intentions and would just walk off to somewhere. Instead of that it stood up and made a few steps towards Zack. In his terror, he made that which every child or grown up would make- he ran as fast as his feet allowed him, his heart racing even faster out of fear from the terror which could be following him. So he shouted out, waiting for a friendly replay:

-         Wait for me guys! – His voice was tin and too loud. He dared not look to see if the dog was following. He didn’t hear heavy footsteps from behind or any movement on the fallen leaves except for his own running shoes. It wasn’t following him, and there was a fence between them, so there was no reason for Zack to worry. A few steps more and he stood beside John and Katie and Matthew and Lenny. He didn’t tell them about what he saw. He didn’t dare. They were braver than him, and would probably want to see the dog too. Zack kept it for himself hoping he’d forget about this terrifying night. Despite his wanting, he would never get rid of the memories of it, nor would ever forget the glimmer of those burning yellow eyes, not now, at age 11 or later at 16, or 18, at 25. He might have not accepted that now, but truth was he would still see the eyes of the beast as his own close on his dying bed. Zack shook his head, casting away the image of the dog for the time being, and started singing the made-up scavenger song with his very best friends on their way home.

The great black dog growled a little, but with joy of the forthcoming hunt and his grin showed many and sharp teeth. It stood up, and stretched its body. Its eyes were changing color, the yellow was fading away making place for a crimson red. His nostrils were filled with the fear of the boy. Terror was in the air, in the night, in the threes. It howled as if it laughed. The hell spawn started walking after the group of friends, slowly, patiently imagining the taste of their souls and flesh in his mouth.

Περιμένω

It’s story time again!

This piece of flash fic was born from a spontanous twitt of mine, which I thought in a very spontanious way , could become a story. And there you have it , the final result written and posted for your enjoynment ! Have fun reading :)

 

Περιμένω*

A loud thunder shattered my windows and a lightning came in to join me for an afternoon tea. The rain watched with envy from outside.

The tea was very good.

I betted those silly little raindrops could smell the aroma from it. Almost imagine what it would be like to accidentally fall in a cup of tea, and become something more than just water. Blend with the flavor, the essence, until they no longer remember they were raindrops.

The lightning doubted that.

She thought raindrops didn’t have that much time to think, or dream before they’d hit the ground. And she couldn’t care much. She was here only for a few seconds herself; time enough for one sip of my precious beverage, before she fades away, disappearing into the late afternoon sky. But she would stay in my eyes, like an imprinted image for more than that- for hours, or day’s maybe. I’d remember her shape and that frowning face she made, and how she sipped the tea, carefully because it was too hot. Me, I was glad to have her around from time to time, when that grumpy, loud old thunder would let her come. We didn’t talk much; there was no need for it. We shared thoughts. I could read her signs, those written on her face just as well as she could read mine.

I’d always make a notice of how envy and sad those raindrops look, and she would just shrug her shoulders careless, continuing to drink the tea from the porcelain cup. And I’d smile, and tell her my own thoughts of why they are like that. One day she paused, leaving the drink slowly on the table. She had a different opinion than mine, one she wanted to speak out. They were sad and envy yes on that she agreed. “They are curious what it would be like to become human, being it only for a mere moment”. – She told me. Just like her. But they never got the chance to do so, for it was not their purpose. They were bound to fall, and die, and be gone. “They are watchers. Observing. They do not participate.” She continued. They were not children of the Gods’, like her, but only their servants. Whatever next I asked, she remained silent. Humans are not to question the decisions of the Gods. And I ceased my cravings for information, and I tamed my curiosity. I was human.

The last night she came to me, there were no signs on her face, no words in her mind. But she stayed longer, didn’t fade so quickly. And she made me a promise. “Soon I shall be a Goddess too, the descendent of my mighty father. – She said. – “Than I will come and stay for as long as you desire, my dear friend. No, I will stay for as long as you need me. I will no longer be a flash in the corner of your eye, a smile in the distance, in the gloomy night sky. I promise you that. You just wait, wait to hear the shatter of your windows from my arriving, and prepare your tea for you and me. I shall come”.

I didn’t say anything in response. She knew I would wait. She saw it in the sparkle of my eyes. She understood it in my silence.

So I sit, day by day with two cups of tea, watching the rain fall outside my windows, watching it run down the glass, and I envy it, for it comes from where she is, and I wait here, sad, forgotten and soon dead. For I am human, and she is a golden haired Goddess of the sky.

* Translation from Greek:  Περιμένω means “I wait/ I await”.



When a suicide goes wrong, or the short life story of Ben Taylor Part 2

So this is part 2 from yesterday’s story “When a suicide goes wrong, or the short life story of Ben Taylor”

It might need a few more touches, but overall this is it. It’s a bit long the whole story but, reading it in two parts, I find that easier.

So enough babbling from me, enjoy reading, and feel free to comment, give tips and all that comes to your mind.

 

Part 2: The man who was tempted by both life and death, ends up in a rather strange place – the “to be continued” from yesterday.

Ben felt like he’d woken up from the longest dream. And like many times before he could still sense the presence of it, pictures from it even sounds or words. From this particular one the last thing he remembered was falling from the roof of his building and remembered closing his eyes just before the impact with the ground. It was so real, the tears in his eyes from the wind and the speed, his body flipping over like a paper doll while flying, his troth hurting from all the screaming. It wasn’t the usual “flying” type of dream. It was a nightmare, Ben realized, getting fired, being dumped and deciding to suicide himself. “I am definitely under some serious stress, resulting in crazy dreams…maybe I’ll call Frank and tell him I’m taking a few days off” Ben thought.

A person would need just a few seconds to shake off from the feeling of sleeping and dreaming , but in Ben’s case it took him a little bit longer than that. He wasn’t in his soft bed at home, lying on his pillow, but on a cold and hard ground. To reassure himself he turned to the left, arm reaching to touch Cat’s hair, but he gripped air. There was nothing there, no body, no unpleasant sound which she used to make when he woke her early. His hand started searching the ground blindly like a man who had lost his glasses, but he only felt the cold, cold touch of the stone. Ben had opened his eyes by now, but there was only darkness surrounding him. He came to the rapid conclusion he wasn’t in his home, and this was when the sleeping/dreaming scenario went to pieces and Ben panicked, standing up on his elbows, then jumping quick on his legs.

He was dizzy. It’s interesting what thoughts run through a panicked persons head when he finds himself trapped somewhere unrecognizable. Ben thought he might’ve been drugged and kidnapped for ransom. Yes that seemed right to him. It explained the dark room, the absence of Cat; the drugs explained the weird dream. This idea seemed clear, Ben was about to question why isn’t he tied up which gave him some hopes of getting out when a raspy voice spoke up:

-         You done thinking and panicking? Come over here, I do have an eternity to waste but you are one of many to waste it on. Get over here you human. To the left- Ben went still for a moment, before slowly turning to the left from where the voice came. There was a door, wide opened, and he was pretty damn sure that door wasn’t there a minute ago. Smooth red light was coming from it, and at the entrance someone was standing, looking like a black silhouette.

This man, because the voice belonged to a male, seemed to be letting him go. If not Ben was going to push him aside and run until he finds the exit.

-         Ah yes, no point in pushing me and running for an exit, because there is none. Come one, come on let’s go Mr. Taylor.

Now Ben had stopped moving at all. This guy knew exactly what he was thinking and of course knew his name. The other man sighted stepped into the room, and with two steps stood right before Ben, much taller than him. The room had become brighter, visible walls and ceiling, but Ben didn’t make a notice of that because he was concerned on how the other guy looked like. He had dark brown skin, orange eyes, a black pointy beard, and long black hair which he had tied. He was wearing a coat, and had sharp black boots with flames on them. Without speaking anymore he walked behind Ben, and pushed him towards the door.

There were lots of people in the other room, sitting, staring into nothing, different races, and different ages. They all had empty eyes, lifeless eyes. The sight scared Ben. He turned over to the other man wanting to ask him about them but he interrupted him, reading his mind again:

-         My name is Iril, and I am as you may say your social worker at this moment. So this is what you do, don’t mind all these people just go and sit right next to those two over there, holding the red cards with the letters R.S. and I’ll sort things out for your… stay here. – Iril coughed to cover his little laughter.

-         Wait, wait…where am I? What the hell is this place? And what are those letters? – Ben started asking, but Iril just putted a finger on his lips and said- Go sit there, I’ll be right back- he walked off with a wink.

Ben eyed Iril as he walked to some other massive black door, and disappearing into it, then turned to the left than to the right and started staring confused at the long, long line of people obviously waiting all of them holding cards but with different black letters written on them. On the far end to the right, there was only a wall and two men, who didn’t look much like men who were guarding what seemed to be only a wall. Ben dared not look at them again, for he did not understand their nature, and was unable to think very straight right now. A few steps back from where he was standing there was a high desk on which a woman sat. She had this dark purplish color and pointy ears that stick out too much from her head. Her eyes were black, all black just like her afro resembling hair. She was cracking some little bugs with her right hand, before eating them. For Ben’s surprise there was a sign on her desk which said “People distribution agent- Ura”.  He was tempted to go and ask her what the bloody hell was going on, but she gave him a terrifying look making a pause to her awful cracking bug’s action. Without hesitation Ben turned the other way and looked at the two men Iril had pointed him to. They were talking, and laughing, and were sitting in the middle (if that line had a middle at all) of the line. The room had to be very fast, for all those people to be in it, and yet again it didn’t seemed that big to Ben. Maybe it was some sorts of optical illusion, but since he presumed this is the real dream, it seemed right for this impossibility to be possible. The walls were dark red, blending into black at the top. There was a chandelier, bringing the light; huge and sharp all the way round. And of course the chairs which made the line, made out of dark wood. After he’d made his quick observation of the surrounding,  Ben, seeing no other thing to do, or no one else talkative enough to ask, he walked to them, and again for a surprise found out that there was one place empty. For him.

-         Ello- one of the man said to him as he sat down- I’m Nate, this is Phil.

-         Hello…I’m Ben…Listen what is this here? I might be dreaming, but no harm  to ask even if it’s the weirdest thing – Nate and Phil gave each other a look before sadly smiling and saying:

-         No mate, afraid you aren’t dreaming. Your dead- said Nate.

Ben just looked at the ground speechless at first. He didn’t argue with what the other man said, perhaps because deep down he knew he was right.

When you die you don’t expect to hear that you are dead. You don’t hear a thing. You are a corpse in a casket, lying deep in the ground. So how do you react when you hear you’ve died? You just stare blankly, eyes fixated on some random point. You don’t cry, or yell. Ben couldn’t move. It wasn’t a dream after all…the falling. The sound of the wind passing by, waving a goodbye to him, his reflection on the windows of the building as he fell, and then the screams of the people who saw him falling, or maybe his own scream blending into theirs. Oh how scared he was, how he begged for it to be unreal. His eyes saw once again the concrete becoming closer and closer, some people running away, until he saw nothing more. Now he was here. Some afterworld he thought, where the dead hang out.

-         You all right mate? He hasn’t overcome the shock yet- Nate said to his companion Phil- It’s hard at the beginning…we are ones to know that for sure. No, don’t think about your family or friends, or how the birds sing, or how the sun shines. Don’t think about the things you used to do, you used to like. It’s pointless since you are dead, and if you make a lot of fuzz the guards will come and take you or you’ll get some extra years on your record. I’ve seen one or two today. Not a pretty sight – Ben stared at Nate with amusement, and did not understand how this man was so calm.

-         Aren’t you dead too? How can you be so calm about it?  – Ben asked.

-         Accept the fact. What’s done is done. You can’t turn it back, now can you? And yes I am, but because I wanted so. You know I killed myself.

-         Liar. You just screwed up like me – said Phil with a deep growling voice.

-         Shut up! I did want it- Nate defended himself.

-         Then why do you have those letters on your card? – asked Phil on his turn.

-         Well… It’s a mistake, and I am waiting for them to fix it. That’s all.

-         Yea true my ass…- opposed Phil but Ben interrupted them.

-         What are those letters? What do they mean?

-         Reconsidered Suicides. Means you wanted to kill yourself, but then hesitated on doing it, possibly even gave up on that idea, but on some wicked turn of events you actually killed yourself- explained Phil.

-         Doesn’t that make it an accident? – asked Ben looking puzzled.

-         Probably it would, but in our R.S. occasion we died exactly the way we intended to do, even if it was an accident in the end- Nate nodded in approval to what Phil said.

-         I didn’t want to die. I reconsidered, and wanted to walk off the edge of the roof but I think I slipped and…well fell – said Ben with a sad expression.

-         Yeah me too…But I hanged myself in the garage. I was about to take off the rope and go live my life, but accidentally I kicked the chair and you can figure out the rest.

-         I died because I wanted. I wasn’t such a coward as you too, clinging onto precious life…bullshit that is! All I’m saying- continued to say Nate

-         You sat on the train rails and waited for the train to smash you. If that isn’t pathetic I don’t know what is. – said Phil in return crossing his arms on his chest.

-         But I sat there until it actually came. And I wasn’t having second thoughts- Nate made pauses between every word he said, putting a high meaning in them.

-         I heard Iril saying different. You panicked when you heard the horn, and tried to run away, but in fear and confusion about the big old heavy train coming you froze, unable to move and it hit you. That’s reconsideration if you ask me

-         Is not! Telling you I wanted it!

-         Poor thing you wanting to believe your lies so bad… I have news for you, we are in Hell and no one gives a damn about what you say- continued Phil

-         Listen you…- Ben stared with opened mouth the two of them arguing over who wanted death and who didn’t, and listened as their voices became louder and louder with every single word they said. They reminded him of little children fighting over a toy.

-         I’d wish you to go to Hell, but since your already here, I SINCIRELY wish you receive the hardest of all punishments until you are rotting through eternity.- said Nate

-         And I…- argued back Phil, but this time the lady-thing behind the desk shouted out to them

-         Oi you two lot, keep it down! Or better yet, shut up.

-         This isn’t the library to shush us down, this is Hell. I’m going to do whatever I want- said Nate with attitude which Ura didn’t seem to like.

-         This is the lobby smartass Hell ain’t as near as you think. So if I tell you to shut up, you better do it or I send a report for a few more centuries of hard ass labor to be signed to your record. Understood? – She cracked another bug, and ate it slowly and demonstratively for the personal displeasure of Ben, Nate and Phil.

-         Whatever… Yes, yes understood. Will keep it down.

-         This isn’t much different from when we were alive. Rules, rules, rules. I always pictured Hell as a mayhem place- torture, fire, demons, devils and all that. Not waiting in lines with some cards, and having a… don’t know what she is with a sign sitting on a desk. And a social worker? Where’s the train to Heaven? – Phil said.

-         We missed it, when we thought of suicide- Ben said, unexpectedly, and the other two turned their heads towards him- We are sinners. So we belong here. Even if we didn’t do anything bad in life, taking it before the time had come is a sin.

-         You some sect member? Or just happen to know how Hell works?- asked Nate

-         I can think. Logics that’s all. How long have you waited in this line? – Said Ben turning the conversation in another direction, which he hoped would take his mind off Cat and her pretty smile, or her green eyes which he wouldn’t see anymore. Or her body which he wouldn’t touch ever again.  And then he thought about her crying when she finds out he’s dead. Love him more or less she would share a tear. If he could cry now he would. But he found out he has no heartbeat, no breath coming out of his mouth. Corpses don’t cry.

-         Don’t know actually… seems like hours now. For me that is. They don’t really have a clock pinned to the wall – replied Nate pulling him out of his thoughts.

-         Seems days to me. I’m the first to get a card like this. Weird huh? I think this is a new category, Reconsidered Suicides. Iril said I am one of a kind in this whole century. Guess not anymore- Phil smiled

-         What about the rest of the people here?- asked Ben

-         Can’t say about them. They’re all too traumatized to say anything. Not very social. Killers, rapists, thieves, drug addicts. I’m not very keen to interact with those. I…we differ from them- answered Nate

-         They look like they’ve been here forever. So numb and silent. I can almost feel their emptiness. They don’t have any thoughts either. They are hollow except for one feeling which fills them up, a feeling from which they are made now. It’s sorrow. They know what they did, and it lives in them. But they will not find redemption here, only punishment. What else to do except to put up with it and wait for the doors to Hell to open and devour them with their black souls. They are doomed, just as we are. We are not that different from them, only seen brighter days. – said Phil, looking at the line to the right. Nate was silent, Ben too. He knew he wasn’t like those poor souls, but what if one day he became? Here in Hell? What if he forgets about Cat? Forgets he was ever a human? Then he would have lost it all, he would have let go of the one thing that made him walk off that edge. This fear grew in him as he watched groups of people walk to that guarded wall, disappearing into it, as if going through an invisible wall. They didn’t come back, but instead of that more people were greeted into this “lobby” from the room he’d walked out of.

-         What are we then? In the end? You two arguing about who, how died, laughing and talking as if we’re at some bar. And me… still wanting to be alive. No I can’t cope with this. I can’t understand it.

-         For everything waiting is the easy part. It gets you nervous, but it’s always easier then what comes next. We feel human right here, right now and we appreciate it I suppose. Cling onto it. Pretend. Chose to ignore what it really is. Make a laugh out of it. Name it whatever you like. Hell is a few steps away perhaps, but while I wait in this line I feel like I am…alive. I feel able to talk and laugh and discuss and argue. Maybe I crave the need to it, because of the surrounding. You think we’re not scared? Are you scared Nate? – asked Phil, looking at Nate who for a moment wanted to say no.

-         Yes I am. None of us damned souls knows what’s coming for us. We can only guess, and I prefer not to. That’s what we are. Souls. – said Nate, changing his cockney “I don’t give a damn” mask with his real face, which was of a man, terrified.

-         Yes gentleman, you truly are damned souls. Soon to be bound by chains, dragged into the Pit, to serve there for eternity. As for the rest of them, but you are a bit more special. They all live with doubts, they all want to be alive, but sadly they’ve all been dead long ago they really died. You know what I mean, don’t you? Once you overstep some boundaries, you lose the human in you once and for all. We just bring that up here, face you with it over and over and over again until you can no longer feel anything. One of Hell’s purposes.- Iril had shown behind them, with a grin on his face which made the three of them shiver, and shift uncomfortably on their seats. He kneeled and whispered to them- This line has no end, but you are lucky to be at its very beginning. The ones further away, have waited for a few centuries now. Like I said you three are special, because right now you are one of a kind. Reconsidered Suicides group. Has a ring to it doesn’t it? So one of the Dukes of Hell wants to have a look at you for his own pleasure and curiosity before you get destroyed by the rest of the souls. You should be up to go in… a few years so enjoy your sit here. Ah, almost forgot, Mr. Taylor here is your card for pass. Would enjoy to say congratulations, because you are on the winning side here, for at least some time more, but…I see you are still very, very confused, I tend to leave the “champagne and celebration” for later – Iril gave Ben the same card, red with the letters R.S.

-          Excuse me? I thought you said wait years? What does that mean; we are just to sit here, doing nothing but…becoming dull as those lads here? – said Nate pointing at some man next to him who only moved one of his eyes to look at Nate. Iril’s eyes shinned brighter orange, on his dark face. His friendly smile was gone now, replaced by a grin showing sharp teeth.

-         Hm, maybe the Duke will be satisfied with only two of you, and I take you to meet my dog. I’ll watch her eat you. Then spit you out, than eat you again. Torture ride can start early for you.

-         Erm… no thanks, I do enjoy sitting here chatting up my mates. I was just asking, no big deal. Sorry. Shutting my mouth now. – Quickly replied Nate, and Ben and Phil nodded agreeing to that, reassuring their own skins.

-         Very well then. I will get to feed you to my dog in a few years time – Nate’s eyes were wide open. Ben could bet he was picturing some dog eating him up, piece by piece while he stays conscious.

-         Iril? – the demon turned to face one of the guards, 7’6 tall monster, with a hood on his head, only the mouth visible, no chin only sharp teeth showing and saliva drooling on the floor. He was strong, very strong, with big muscles, and multiple scars, and burns on his torso and missing some fingers on the right foot. He was holding the largest and heaviest lance Ben had ever seen. And there was some blood on it. He stank like dead, like flesh. And was breathing hard, like an animal. Iril nodded and waited for his report. The guard was speaking unknown to Ben language.

-         Thank you, you may return to your post. – The guard bowed and walked back, with heavy steps – Ura, change in schedule. Varoumin had gone wild again gulping the last set of souls that got in. Someone needs to tie him up better, or feed him more often, or he’ll start eating all the souls. The Master won’t like this. I am taking the next one.

-         Can you take those three with you they’ve been giving me a headache for some time now. I’d appreciate if you rid me of them, thank you.

Iril looked at Ben, Phil and Nate, and smiled. This was probably; no this was the last smile the three of them saw. And it stayed imprinted in their minds.

-         My pleasure. Gentleman, this way – A little hesitating, but they stood up and started walking with the rest of the people which were before them in the line. Ben knew he was walking into his final and most true death. He knew he was about the feel pain he never imagined, and he knew he would feel it forever, until he starts looking like one of the monsters inhabiting Hell. He put his hands in his pockets, trying to find a comfortable place in his head. There was none. For the second time today, first while living, now while dead Ben Taylor wanted to be a natural born idiot, to be unable to understand what was happening to him. And as the gates to Hell, twice as big as his building opened and a path with no end covered in flames shaping themselves like faces and bodies was revealed , Ben wished for the last time  this to be a dream, and sent out one final prayer to the God who sent him the enlightenment on the rooftop. As the first flame touched his face, burned him and hurt him, he knew no one would hear him, he knew no one would wake him up. He was in Hell now.