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A Hill Named "Cross- Over"
“Mother, who is that man?” the little girl asked.
“That man is your grandfather,” her mother replied gravely.
The little girl and her mother tightly held each other’s hand, staring at me with cold eyes. The sun, the moon, and the stars have gone, and utter darkness enveloped the firmament, like ash clouds that have engulfed the earth after a volcanic eruption. Strangely, in the absence of light I still could see that I was standing on a grassy plain, with nothing else in sight. I could not identify the color of the grass- everything was black and white. I knew one thing, however: that darkness and the ash colored grass- the razor- edged grass sharp enough to cut through my wrist and my neck- were the only things in sight, until they meet at the south, east, and west horizons. Dead silence filled the air; I could hear absolutely nothing, not even the slightest breeze of wind. In fright, I pawed with my bare hands into the soil to hide myself under the earth. The ground was hard as glass, and my nails scraping against the glass produced a horrific, screeching sound that traveled up my arms to my jaw. I felt painful cracking sensations inside my mouth, like my teeth were stones being chipped away with a nail and a hammer, and as each of my teeth cracked, I spit the shattered pieces to the ground. Blood oozed down my chin from my lips, and I continued to dig until the part of my fingers where nails used to be was torn, bleeding flesh, exposing the small bones of the fingers. Giving up, I turned north and looked up at the child and her mother, standing motionless on top of the hill, still holding each other’s cold, pale hands.
There was something strange about this little girl. Her skin had absolutely no hue- just pure paleness, as if all her blood had been drained from her body. She had long, straight, dark hair that covered her forehead and part of her round, dark eyes. She was wearing a brown dress- not quite a wedding dress, but a funeral dress.
I stood up and climbed the hill, towards the child and her mother. As I approached, both of them recoiled in fear and disgust. I studied their curled brows, squinted noses, and wide eyes, and then I looked at myself. My complexion was no different from the little girl’s; absolute pallidity marked my entire body. I was wearing a vest and a tie, torn and discolored from age. Suddenly, I felt worms crawling up my left leg, and when I looked, I saw maggots eating through my flesh. My leg was not a pleasant sight; the meat had turned black and was oozing a thick yellowish liquid, and at certain areas the meat was eaten until dry shin bone was exposed. A foul stench rose from my leg, as the crawling creatures consumed me slowly. After studying myself, I realized that I was a rotting corpse.
From an expression of fear, the woman’s face became blank.
“I do not believe you remember me,” the mother of the child stated in a disturbingly serious voice.
“I remember you well, Bana, and what you have done to me,” I sternly replied. I felt my voice quiver.
The woman smiled strangely. “After everything that has happened, who knew we’d all end up in the same place?”
The little girl came out from hiding behind her mother’s skirt. When I saw the little girl’s purple hand, I realized that her mother had been gripping her hand as tightly as she could to prevent the girl from escaping.
“Let the little girl go. What are you doing to her?” I said sternly.
“Tavor, meet your lovely granddaughter, Sarah,” Bana declared.
I looked at the little girl. Her attention was fixed towards the southern horizon. She was watching something.
I turned my eyes towards where she was looking. A man wearing a long black cloak, with his face concealed under the cloak’s hood, was walking towards us, some fifty feet away.
The woman saw him too, and a smile came across her face once again. She looked at the man with an expression of reverence, or perhaps, even worship.
Blood was dripping to the ground from the tip of my phalanges, where nails and flesh used to be.
Seeing my expression of fright, the woman was satisfied.
“Well, Tavor, I am pleased to inform you that your son is doing perfectly fine. He’ll surely be with us down here in a coup----- Aaagh!!! Aaagh!!!”
I did not wait for her to finish speaking. With my index and middle fingers, I jabbed into her eyes, and a reddish purple liquid squirted out from them. She let out a violent scream, and I jammed my phalanges deeper into her skull until she fell to the ground in pain. She was yelling and struggling, and when I pulled my fingers out from her skull, she snapped at my fingers and tried to chew them off, growling. I yelped in excruciating pain. As she blindly attacked me, I took my other hand and ripped through her chest. A blot of blood burst out of her mouth at the same instant, and she was completely motionless all of a sudden. She was painfully grunting as my hand was searching inside her chest cavity, and I felt through the bones and the tissues until I reached the heart. I tried to obtain a good grip, and once I have done so I pulled her heart out as fast as I can. I heard a ripping sound from the inside of her chest, and as I lifted my hands I saw her heart, still pumping in and out.
The woman lay still on the ground, and then I realized that the little girl was still there. The hooded man was approaching closer.
“You have to cross over to the other side of the hill,” I said.
She obeyed, and as she climbed down the hill, the sun rose from the northern horizon. She kept running and running, until the rays of sunlight was striking her. The sun’s orange glow gave her skin a healthy, bronze complexion, as though it was painted. As she basked in the light, her black hair turned light brown and seemed to part from her forehead, revealing her beautiful, twinkling eyes. Her brown funeral dress transformed into a little white dress that seemed to give off its own bright light.
The girl glanced back at me curiously. She lifted her right hand and gestured for me to come with her. I climbed down the hill obediently, but as I approached closer, the sunlight went off abruptly, like a flaming candlestick blown out by the wind. The man with the cloak was right in front of me, only a little more than ten feet away.
The sunlight lit up on the other side of the hill. I turned the opposite direction and ran up the hill once again. The little girl was still there, waiting with open arms. I ran towards her, but when I was ten feet away, the sunlight went off once again, and the hooded man was walking towards me with open arms.
I stopped in my tracks. The man was approaching closer. His face was concealed under his hood, except his eerily smiling lips. It’s too late for me now. I curled my fleshless fingers like claws, and I ran as fast as I could towards his direction, slashing my claws through the air.