Six minutes is all I have. Six minutes until the pain is over, six minutes until I finally die...
The clock on the wall ticks away the seconds with agonizing slowness. I’m not sure whether to laugh or cry, but somehow both seem appropriate. Just hours ago I was told there hadn’t been one like me in years - that I was the best. What would they say if they saw me like this - a crumpled heap of broken bones and slashed flesh lying in a pool of blood on the floor? It was almost funny.
Five minutes now and the pain is still there. For some reason I thought one goes numb before dying, but maybe that was just something Hollywood made up for movies because they didn’t actually know what happens. If only they knew how wrong they were. With each heartbeat, the blood pours from the deep gashes under my skin, adding to the already massive puddle beneath me and sending my body into tremors. It feels fabulous.
Four minutes. Holy shit this is taking forever. Here I thought I had been prepared for this type of thing and now all I can think about is how everything hurts and whether there’d be any hope if one of the others found me. Of course there wouldn’t, but can you blame me for wanting to live? We spend our whole lives doing everything we can to prolong it or make it better so it’s only natural to cling to it with battered hope. Great, now I’m thinking of all the things I never got the chance to do - did I even live at all?
Three minutes and I can no longer feel my toes. Hmm, I guess parts of you do go numb when you die. If only it were the parts that mattered, like the gaping holes or broken bits. I can hear something in the distance, but turning my head takes too much effort. Suddenly, I’m cold, but still kind of hot. What kind of shit is that? Can’t I just be comfortable when I die? Why does it have to be such a production? My kind relishes in a good death, but is any of this “good”? Part of me wants to survive this somehow just to tell them how bat-shit crazy they are to think there’s honor in this sort of thing.
That damned clock says I have two minutes remaining, or at least I think it does. My vision is a little off from all the blood loss, I suppose. I never realized how much blood was actually in the body until now. It’s pretty hard to put into perspective until you’re faced with it. With the amount of holes in me, I’m sure it’s pouring out much faster than I would have thought possible. I can’t tell if the whooshing sound in my ears is something inside or outside my body, but it’s definitely annoying. It kind of sounds like beating wings. Damn, I’m tired.
One minute and fifteen seconds to go. I’m fighting the urge to close my eyes, but I don’t want to miss anything spectacular that might occur as I succumb. Reality can’t suck all the time, can it? I guess when you’re dying, you secretly hope that you might get the secret to all life’s questions right before the lights go out. Maybe a little faerie appears and I can ask the meaning of life. Who knows? It could be pretty amazing or I could just stop breathing and drift away, but I’m not going to miss the opportunity should it arise. No matter how blurry my vision is getting or how I’m just now realizing the searing pain in the back of my head. Where the hell did that come from? Did I get hit in the head? I’m starting to forget how I got here.
Forty five seconds, I think. The whooshing has faded, but now the edges of my vision is fading to blackness. It feels like I’m looking through binoculars, only they’re backwards and the lenses are smudged. I tried calling out to see if anyone was there, but I can’t even tell if a sound came out the last time. Am I even breathing?
Thirty two seconds and counting fast. It’s funny how much slower time was moving before and now the panic is starting to set in. I can feel death gripping me; waiting to pull me with it to the next dimension. It caresses my mind, urging me to give in a soothing to its advances. I want to, but I’m afraid - and ashamed. Warriors don’t fear death, we embrace and welcome it. Warriors are taught that death is our friend and the only true power in the world greater than us. The ones lucky enough to walk with death are our heroes and we’re absolutely clueless. I don’t want to die.
Fifteen seconds and my chest is tightening, like a vice is crushing everything with a vengeance. What I wouldn’t give for some of that numbness right about now. If I could lift my arms, I’d put myself out of my misery, but there’d be no honor in that death. At this point, honor is all I have left. Ow, something else hurts, but I can’t tell what it is or where it’s coming from this time. It’s more like something else hurts worse than before, because I’ll be damned if my whole body isn’t on fire. Fucking demons.
Five seconds. Four. Three.....Two....
....There’s nothing here. Everything is just blank space. An abyss. Complete nothingness. I was promised something after all the years I devoted to our cause, but I guess this is what I get for having faith and purpose. Perhaps I would still be alive if I’d chosen to be a Scribe. Who was I kidding, I hated the library. If I were honest with myself, which I tend not to be, I’d admit that I was born to be a Warrior. It was in my blood and there was absolutely nothing I could do about it at any point in my life. It was my calling and I was its slave.
Isn’t there supposed to be a white light or something? Pictures of my life flashing before my eyes? All I feel is heaviness. I’m a lead weight in the black tunnel of shit that is apparently the afterlife. Fabulous. I started to fantasize about haunting my instructors to teach them a lesson about how full of shit they were to preach about death like it was something to strive for. Too bad I was stuck.
Something tugged at me in the blackened hole and I felt my metaphorical heart skip a beat. It had a grip on my ankles, pulling me backwards through the chasm. Like an idiot, I tried to scream. Who the hell was going to hear me? I cursed at myself, but that didn’t mean I still wasn’t screaming. There was a wrongness to the whole ordeal and even though I was dead, I was reacting to it as I would if I were alive. Some habits were hard to break, I guess. The strangest part was that I didn’t feel different. Was being dead like dreaming? Or was it more like being alive, only in an intensely frightening dimension that made you feel like you were being tugged through a keyhole backwards?
Should I even have a subconscious? That question never popped up when I was alive. I never really thought much about death to begin with, so that doesn’t surprise me. Come to think of it, I was pretty damn sure I’d never die; cocky bastard. That’s what I get. Maybe my death is just unique because I was such a douche in life. Figures. Mental notes to take if ever I’m reincarnated.
“Not yet...got him...go”
Great, I was imagining voices.
Huh? Nothing was making sense. Wherever the words were coming from, it sounded like everything was under water. That was probably the best way to describe where I was; in some type of water being pulled under and hearing muffled words while I fought against whatever had a hold of me. Part of me was tired and wanted nothing more than to give up, but the Warrior inside refused to give up a fight, no matter how one-sided it might be. I was utterly confused.
Whoa, that was my name. I tried looking around, to no avail. There was nothing to see or at least nothing I could see. I was borderline frantic, clawing through the thick air for something to grasp to get away from whatever was trying to hold me hostage. Everything in me screamed to fight against it. Wasn’t this supposed to be my reward? Would it be so bad to give in? The overwhelming crushing feeling was enough of an answer. Something was definitely not right.
My chest began to hurt again. The searing pain like before I died. At least I think I died. If I hadn’t died, than I don’t know what the hell was going on, but the pain was coming back. By the Gods, it was worse than before. Still, I fought the darkness, feeling the grip loosen on my ankles finally. It was so far away, but I had to keep going up. I didn’t know what would be there, but it was calling my name.
“He’s breathing...Angelus...not time”
You're damn right it’s not time. Whatever the hell is going on, I’m not ready for. Maybe that’s why I’ve been so scared - it’s just not my time to go. Not to mention, I didn’t think there’d be absolutely nothing waiting for me on the other side. Hell, I don’t even know if I’m on the other side or someplace else altogether. I just know I’m not ready for whatever has been trying to pull me towards it. I’m not done yet. I can’t be.
to be continued?....
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