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The LifeAfter Ch 1

The accident was inevitable. The patch of ice was nearly invisible, and she had been driving too fast. The sight of the car flying off the bridge into the Mississippi would have been perfect for any action movie.

Slowly, Andrea felt herself detach from the body in the submerging vehicle. She scrambled to reattach herself, but the most she could was hold on. At first she fought detachment, for some reason she did not want to give up her body. She tried to maintain a firm grip on it, fighting against the relentless force pulling at her body. She was trying to hold on, but it was more distant, harder to focus on. She managed to hold onto it for several minutes, until the car hit the bottom of the river, jolting her out of her body.
She fell through the car, and began to continue through the ground slowly. She tries to push herself upwards, but her arms, too, slid right through. She pulled them back out and prepared for a second try. She stared at her arms, wishing they would be more solid. She felt her arms change slightly and tapped one on the ground. It was solid. She stared at her hands, wondering how her thoughts could have changed them like that. She prepared to try again. She focused on her arms being solid and pushed down. She slid out from the ground and hauled herself out from under the car, focusing on staying solid the entire time.
She slowly stood back up. She was looking at herself in the badly damaged car, her blonde hair was swirling in front of her face, meanwhile there was a red cloud spiraling from beneath the dashboard. She pushed her new self away, and then Andrea looked down, inspecting her legs. There didn’t appear to be any damage, in fact, her whole body felt fine. She was a little surprised when she realized that she wasn‘t wearing the uncomfortable dress she had on only moments before, instead wearing her favorite jeans and shirt. Continuing upwards, Andrea discovered that she was emitting a soft white light from her hands. They didn’t appear to be any different, except for the glowing.
She looked back up to discover that she had drifted away from the car due to the force consistently drawing her backwards. Andrea spun around to see that she was at the mouth of a tunnel. At the end of this tunnel there was a bright light, brighter than anything she had ever seen before, like a thousand suns, yet strangely, she did not feel the urge to cover her eyes, nor any discomfort. The light was actually quite pleasant.
Andrea debated heading straight down the tunnel, but she was afraid of what would be waiting on the other side. What if there wasn’t anything besides that light and everyone in Church had been wrong? Then all of her short life would have been for nothing. Or what if there was something there, something bad? What if she hadn’t done enough to be good in her past life?
These doubts swirled through her mind as she tentatively landed. The diminished gravity of water no longer took affect, and she felt herself regain the weight she hadn’t had several seconds before. She cautiously took several steps into the tunnel.
She picked up pace as she went, becoming more sure of herself. She stopped herself when she had progressed the entire distance, which had been pretty far. She considered it; it had probably been a few hundred yards long. She slowly extended her hand into the light. When she was up to her wrist in the light, she felt something brush her hand, something rough. She gasped, quickly withdrawing it. So there was an afterlife. She looked down at her hand, only to discover that this light had eaten away her skin leaving her with a dark void in the shape of her hand. She slowly flexed it and watched as this alien object obeyed. This dark void appeared to be sucking in the light she had just put it through. Andrea gently bent down and prodded a pebble with her dark hand. The fraction of a second in which she took her hand away it disappeared. It just completely disappeared. Andrea gasped and pulled her hand away.
She looked back up to the light, now even more scared than she had been before. She sprinted back down the tunnel to the car crash.
Reaching the mouth, she glanced down. She clung onto the hope that Will, who had been in the crash with her, would offer some advice. She focused on solidifying her arms and legs and swam down to the car, against the pull of the tunnel. His body was in the passenger seat, His black hair was standing on end due to the gel he constantly used. His green eyes were still open, though glazed over. They were staring horribly off into the distance. He was still clutching the party invitation. Around the invitation glowed a white light, proving to Andrea that he was still inside. She waited a few minutes to see if he would come.
Glancing at the tunnel, Andrea gave the body a nudge with her good hand. No response. Andrea bumped the body even harder, causing part of his new body to emerge. Andrea glanced back towards the tunnel, only to discover that it had gotten smaller, about the size of a door. She began to frantically tug on his emerging shoulder, hoping to get the point across.
Finally, he left the body, and then Andrea opened her mouth to speak. Before she could say a word, he immediately began to float towards the ever-shrinking tunnel. Will reached it first and landed on the ground of the tunnel. He took off sprinting at a pace that would certainly prove he had been on the High School track team. Landing, she had to bend down in order to not bang her head. Andrea had no choice but to follow.
“Wait! Will!” Andrea yelled, nearly screaming. They were already halfway down the tunnel.
Will turned. “What? This thing is about to close up, trapping us in here, let’s get to that light so we can be finished with this past life! We died, in case you didn’t notice,” He said, his frantic attitude barely overtaking the biting undertone.
Andrea held up her damaged hand, and then pointed at the light. “That thing did this to me while you were still in your body. I don’t think you will like what is on the other side.”
Will opened his mouth, then slowly took a pace forward and took her arm in his hand, carefully avoiding the black mass. He turned and looked at the light, then back to her hand, clearly debating. He was turning towards the mouth of the tunnel when the descending ceiling began to scrape his head. He hunched over, and then they began to run back towards the crash. A few seconds later, Andrea had to follow suit, for the ceiling was dropping at an even faster rate.
Eventually, Will had to get on his hands and knees, slowing their progress even more. When Andrea had to drop down next to him, she knew that there was no chance for them to escape. They continued, closing the distance to about fifty yards.
The roof began to scrape their backs, causing them to get on their stomachs and army crawl. They were still twenty yards away when the mouth disappeared, trapping them in the tunnel. The sides were closing in as well, and Will and Andrea were forced to stop. They couldn’t continue to move; there wasn’t enough space for both of them. Andrea turned to look at Will; the ceiling was pressing down on his back. Andrea’s heart was in her mouth as the tunnel conformed to Will’s shape and continued to squeeze down on them. It began pressing on her shoulders, then onto her arms. She was unable to do anything but watch as Will’s head disappeared from view as the bottom and top of the tunnel met, and she only knew he was still here because she could feel his shirt in her good hand, she had subconsciously grabbed it when they stopped moving. The tunnel, leaving no exposed part untouched, encased their bodies. Andrea felt the tunnel press into her parted mouth and begin to force its way in. She tried to scream, but no sound came out, the tunnel had smothered any sound she could have made. She slowly felt her consciousness slip away as it pressed on, determined to eliminate her.



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This article has 2 comments. Post your own!

wild-free said...
Aug. 4, 2010 at 11:10 am:

This was very creative! I love how the ending was a cliffhanger and leaves the reader wanting much, much more. I can't wait to see where you go with this! Overall, it was well written and I didn't find too many grammar mistakes. Great job! :)

If you get a chance can you take a look at my story Gone With the Sun?

 
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KK2013 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Jul. 23, 2010 at 4:51 pm:
This is the first chapter of a novel I am writing! Let me know what you think!
 
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