Afterlife

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I was dead. Just like that.

I remembered all the details.

It had begun with my usual, innocent, morning run through the park. I had expected at worst, the smoldering of my muscles as I pressed on. Definitely not death.

The sun had yet to rise, yet a dim predawn light illuminated my path through the scattered trees and the gentle expanse of clear lake water. A sheen of sweat had begun to form over my skin from the mile or so of the beaten trail that my feet had already conquered.

Then he was there.

The chilled, crystalline kiss of the blade sent a shudder through my spine the instant it made contact. Silver light slanted off the smooth dagger that was held in place just between my shoulder blades by black, gloved fists. His voice- soft and charming- tickled my ear;

"It's always so easy... but this time, it's harder... Brynna."

White hot pain radiated through me in the moment when the blade went in. I had let out a gasp, strangled as warm liquid bubbled in my throat. Though it only lasted a few more seconds before ebbing away, ever so slightly- the burn, the raw, agonizing sensation of the wound- was utterly...excruciating.

I wanted to scream, to whirl around and attack the unseen force constricting me- as if it would help. I wanted to yell and shout, or attract some sort of attention to myself, not for medical help, but just so someone could be with me or see my murderer. The problem was that I couldn't.

Pure, undiluted rage pooled within me as I saw his face in my mind, and I wanted him gone, in some place where I would never have to see him again. He had never known what an incredible life I had, and what I was going to do. All he knew was that he had stolen it from me, and that he had once been a part of it.

Soon the pain was gone, extinguished by the coolness of the air and the blade, like ice. Then there was nothing.

Nothing.

All the nervous connections within my body seemed to be lost- like I was floating in a dream. The breeze that swept over the water, blew about the leaves and other woodland debris around, and teased my hair out of my loose ponytail, wasn't truly there to me.

I couldn't decipher if time moved slower or faster as my hands and knees struck the pavement. Sound began to fade as well, until the entire world became hushed whispers. Only the stuttering, watery beat of my heart remained.

My arms had then given way to my body, and then hung limply at my sides as I fell further down. I just barely managed to fall without a faceplant. Somewhat intrigued, I managed to draw up a limp, paled hand upwards from it's position on my chest, into my fading field of vision. I saw the blood. The thick, crimson liquid dripped from my fingers- fueled in an abundant supply by my injury that would never heal . For a moment, I had just stared. I observed myself like I was a dull, lifeless painting in an art museum, from the eyes of an ill person that had seen extreme beauty. There was nothing particularly interesting, but it was all I could do.

No panic struck. No incredible will to live or otherworldly strength arose in me. I was simply empty- like a photograph faded by the passing of time, buried under the rubble of what was once someone's life.

As the calm, unruffled, blackness approached, like everlasting night, all I saw were the shadowy trees in front of the beautiful lake... and the sun which didn't rise in time





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