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I fell swiftly, scraping my skin on jagged edges while falling further through the catacombs. Rocks fell with me, gravity propelling us down at the same rate. My hand reached out instinctively and landed a few inches palms up underneath a lone rock. I curved my fingers in pretending I controled "the force" as we fell. The whistling noise was softer than the last time, each time it seemed to get less painful. My hair whiplashed back and forth behind me. My face felt harsh from the pull of the ground wanting me yet an innocent smile played on my lips.
Tight black clothing was surprisingly adequate in a free-falling plummet towards the center of the earth. The glowing green lights appeared once more, innocent globes of life beamed softly. Somehow these lights fell upward floating against the current as usual. I flipped slowly, folding my upper body in and down until my face was headfirst. I smiled widely then and put my hands out in front of me like an experienced diver. Don't worry...I'm coming..
The glowing green globes started circling around me, the cave opened in a wide birth giving me more room to manuver. The sharp edges were safely away from me now. I laughed silently with determined eyes. My hands touched ground then, pausing in a virual handstand. I flipped my legs over and landed in a Matrix position. Finally, home again.
I stood up with slow precision, unlocking my knees from their crouched position.My back straighted and my hands fell limply at my sides. My ears thundered with the sound I could no longer here. I gazed apon the shadowed path ahead of me and stepped forward with ease. Small drops of water sounded further in the cavern. I walked with a determination I had never felt before. Small torches were lit randomly around my dark wet path. Most were in the air above me, leading me to my destiny. I followed the burning scent of reality that trailed behind them.
I stepped over misplaced rocks that were warm at the touch. My shoes were warm and toasty, it was nice, like a massage I didn't have to pay for. I bent down and layed my hand on the warm rough ground, feeling the earth I'd left behind time and time again. I extended my whole body on the ground and crawled on my knees and elbows craving the warmth of the rocks beneath me.
I reached the lake in minutes, it had a deep blue color palete that the sky could never pull off, it was lukewarm and inviting, just begging me to enter. Discarding my worn shoes I slipped my feet into the mysterious yet familiar lake. The small orange glowing torches sank down one by one into the huge pool of water. I watched them miraculously not lose their flame as I slowly slid into the water after them. I opened my eyes widely and breathed in the water, the sweet smell of wet leaves and fresh air entered my lungs. Trees stood upside down from my view swimming downward. Leafs fell up towards me, landing gentley on my nose. After all this time I never got over the fear of the water not letting me breathe. It is said that if goodness is within your soul the water at the center of the earth will give you the gift of life, but in return you must give this lake what it strives for, death.
I watched the torches sink further down into the water, I had to follow. The torches stopped abruptly then slowly surrounded me in a tight circle. I waited expectantly for the pain to come, and it did. The lanturns tilted sideways, laying their flame on my pale skin, making it burn, making me burn. My eyes widened in agony and a silent scream left my lips. One gasp, one feeling of extreme pain, and I was drowning. This, afterall, was a suicide mission.
My body went as hard and as ridged as a wooden plank. The laterns left me to cross over, alone. I drifted down slowly towards the upside down trees at the bottom of the beautiful lake. All I could do was stare stiffly and starkly at what was layed beneath me. My body flipped around letting my face look towards the cerface of the water. The laterns were glistening faintly, almost too far away for me to see anymore. I shifted my gaze to my own body and watched the upward rising leaves drift through me. I was a spector. Waiting patiently to be guided once again to my afterlife.
The stiffness loosened as I reached the top of a loan maple colored tree. I stretched out my limbs and watched as a dark branch came through my out stretched arm. I smiled softly and closed my knowing eyes. My back hit the ground lightly with a thud moments later and my world turned right side up. I could no longer see the glistening lanterns that were now long gone but I watched all the crinkley burnt orange and dark green leaves float up around me. I gazed amusingly at the maple tree staring me down which was now also right side up.
I knocked lightly on the maple tree, then lightly scraped my fingernails harshly across the wood spelling out the initials of the organization-FL, Free Life. The tree snapped in half with a loud booming sound. My shoulder length dark hair flew backwards at the blast, then fell back into place covering one of my eyes. Not a hair out of place. Wood chips scattered the ground and my tight black clothing, making me smile wickedly at the sweet satisfaction of destruction. My eyes glistened softly as pink mist filled my eyes and knocked me practically unconcious on to the splintered tree trunk, impaling my stomach with it's sharp edges. Dark red liquid poured out of my wounded stomach and I fell to my knees. I smiled swiftly upward as blood trickled out of my dry mouth. I would be unconcious soon. I heard swift foot steps and layed my eyes upon familiar black combat boots and the smell of leather and unsweetened coffee.
" You made it kid. "
His husky voice triggered memory flashes in my head,then, I blacked out.
I ripped my eyes apart reluctantly an unknown time later. The room around me was sanitary; completely white with contrasts of grey from the unlit candles arranged around the living space. I pulled my body upwards into a sitting position, oddly relived. There was no pink mist or stomach pain. There was no oozing blood drenching my dark clothing or was there a leathery smell. There was however, a note scribbled on a torn sheet of lined paper. ~Welcome back. I will see you shortly.~
Glancing down I found that the fabric now covering my body was too bright for my taste, yet I respected it. The silky white kimono was smooth and light on my skin, it was ancient yet still beautiful with swirling patterns randomly placed. I embeded my hands into the soft white comforter and pushed off the bed with certainty. I walked out of the doorless room, glancing at the full windowed walls surrounding me, giving me a demo of the outside world. I watched glistening waterfalls crash silently and crinkled leaves glide slowly to the pathed grounds outdoors, it was as if dipping yourself in magic was as easy as stepping into the roofless wilderness.
I stared straight ahead, tilting my head slightly as the sound of distant footsteps came to my sensitive ears. I smiled slyly, no one could sneak up on me, or even try. I stood still and motionless, listening to the soft breaths coming towards me and counting the carefully placed footsteps. The smell of leather and sugar-less coffee tickled my nostrils, making my hand twitch instinctively. I blinked once, inclining my head back as I felt my visitors eyes pound into me.
"Victor." I said with a casual tone, turning my head to face him.
"Emiline." Came the reply
I gazed curiously at him, he was the same as always. His head was shaved making the indentations around his face and neck stand out. That squared jaw of his was set, yet somehow friendly like all military personal would be. The white combat clothing he wore made my eyes focus intently on his black biker-looking boots. His eyes shone a light lavender, they made him fiercer somehow, but I more than anyone, knew the extent of his kindness. Did he value and sense the kinship we once had in my piercing blue eyes? It seemed he had.
"It's been a while my friend, Free Life has missed your presence."
I bowed my head acknowledging the compliment I decifered in his words. I was still welcomed here. He removed a small flask from his back pocket, the antidote, the antidote of eternal life. Free life. Life without the fear of nonexistance, without the fear of absolute death. With the antidote I was immortal.
"This is what you are here for is it not?"
He extended his hand to me, the flask's liquid quivering ever so slightly. I stared straight into his eyes, I saw the fear in them and he saw the wavering paths in mine. Mortalitly vs. immortality. He slipped the flask back into his pocket tight lipped. My decision was not made, and before too long I would be dead. Victor turned on his heel and Slipped away from my view, leaving me to stare at no fixed point.
To live or to die. It was my choice. The absolute afterlife was unknown, would there be a life after this? One without pain? Or would my soul cease to exist? I lifted my arm to the spotless window in front of me, tracing the downward pattern of the distant waterfall with my smooth pale fingertips. The glass felt cold and foreign on my skin. Where did the waterfall lead? Oblivion? Possibly.
I stepped forward a few paces, decided fresh air would help my lungs to breathe naturally. I reached the glass door without a handle and pushed gentlely, a soft breeze hit my features in a calming way. I smiled thoughtfully at the forever consitant weather patterns here. I'd been here time and time again with the same purpose, the gift of immortality. I thought I was mentally prepared for a life without fear, but something stopped me everytime. I was a reckless person at heart, I would go to extreme lengths for a thrill that made my lips pull back from my teeth, far enough to expose my sharp canines. Three times I fell through the catacombs, and three times I refused the gift Victor presented me with. This was the fourth.
I stepped out of the immaculate structure that held me within moments before. I hadn't realized I was barefoot until the soles of my feet felt the cool marbled path on my feet. Each step was easy and comfortable, my hand twitched as I gazed upon the fountain ahead of me. It was also white marble, glistening water poured out of its spout in a hushed tone. Leaves covered the marble walks that lead to this fountain. The leaves were green, orange, yellow, red, and purple. Trees in all different seasons of life scattered the land in front of me. The infinate color palette glistened in my blue eyes.
My feet crunched into discarded leaves of certain beauty as I took my last steps to the fountain. My stomach turned slightly at the sight of the water, but I held my posture. This was the source of the antidote, every marble path lead to this point. A drop is all it would take for a life unending. My hair flew out sideways at the sudden drop of my body, then fell quitely back into place once my knees hit the hard ground. Internally distraught I dipped my index finger into the cool water. My temples pulsed loudly in my head as I swiveled my finger back and forth. My eyes were intent on the rippling patterns my finger made.
Was life worth this? Could I leave this place of magic and wonder for the ordinary world again? Do I want the slightly depressing life of the average human? Could I let the blue of my eyes metamorphosize into a light lavender like Victors? Could I never come back again? I could stay here only until the light of this world blinded me, only the immortal lived in this place of true freedom. I gazed quitely at the world around me,the light of this place was bright and brillant, soon my choice would be made for me.
I cupped my hands together, making a diamond puddle of water between my palms, I brought my hands to my lips, opened my mouth, and let the cool liquid slide down my throat. My eyes stung horribley as my knees buckled, falling the rest of the way face foreward to the ground. I sensed Victors running footsteps toward me and smelt his intoxicating smell. Tears left my eyes when I saw his friendly face. He gentlely pointed to the sides of my burning eyes, giving me a half-smile of pleasure.
"They're purple aren't they?" I asked quitely.
He smiled wider, bringing his fingers over my eyelids and shutting them. I smiled at the intimacy I felt at his touch, and slept my first sleep as an immortal.