I never knew how beautiful my home was until I saw it after having been away for a third of my life. So imagine my terror when I crossed the Moahchuck point and discovered two paths where there should have been one, each leading to my home. I shield my eyes from the overhead brightness as I struggle to come up with a logical explanation for this double vision. Then my heart skips a beat. Its desire, the one I’ve been longing to see, the reason I kept fighting— runs toward me. In duplicate.
“This way! Hurry. Your home is here, with me. I know you know it,” yells the one on the left.
“Over here! You are dead in that realm. I know what you’re seeing. Don’t trust anyone from that side. Survival depends on making the correct choice.” The one the right extends a hand, waiting for me to take it.
“You’re hesitating,” left one says. A tear slides out with the next words, “Death. You see the realm of the dead, and the reaper is disguised as me. I saw it too, but my reaper was you. But I knew it couldn’t be true. That’s how I survived. Please, Love, know who I am. Use your heart.”
Right gives a head shake. “Don’t listen to whoever you hear from over there. Going there will certainly mean that you are dead, too. None of the living can walk among the dead.”
A fair point. The one thing that all the battles taught me was that the living and the dead could not mix. But what happened to the dead was a mystery, one that had been debated since our species had a language to debate with. The latest war might well have been over that very question. I’m just a warrior— the reason for the fight didn’t matter that much during the actual battle. It wasn’t as if there would ever be a real winner. Wars end when someone not covered in the stink of death decides that enough lives have been sacrificed.
What those of us on that final battlefield feared was not death from the other side. We were more concerned with the purple light. It hit bodies from both sides, leaving them mostly dead. Mostly, because the medical teams couldn’t fully confirm they were dead. Even the ones who had a head on one slab and a body on the other. To my understanding, that was dead. Having no head should equal dead. But that light was cruel.
Standing here, listening to my duplicated love argue my path, I know why they were neither dead or alive. The war isn’t over. I haven’t been released to go home in time for the New Holiday. The purple light must have hit me.
– J Lenni Dorner
December 17, 2015
Word Count 466 FCA
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