Unbeknownst to most life in the vast universe, there exists worlds with life that nestle within cracks in the void of the physical plane of existence.
Whether these worlds are the realms of the afterlife is unknown, but what is clear is that sometimes…
physical or not…
real or not…
tend to slip into the cracks…
“Hmm?”...I woke up and see nothing but darkness before me. At least I think I’m awake and opening my eyes. It’s also really cold.
That’s really odd…I also feel really tired for some reason. As if I just went through a 10km jog without rest while carrying a sack of potatoes. And yet, it also feels that I’m floating.
“Where am I?”
A reasonable thought. I don’t remember falling into a manhole or something. My last thought was that…
“Wait! It can’t be!?”
That’ right…the last thing I remember was that I was running from a truck. I remember seeing one of the tires come off and the truck was heading straight for me. Of course, I panicked and ran in the opposite direction, but now that I think about it, it was a stupid idea.
I mean, even if it was missing a tire, how the hell was I supposed to outrun a speeding truck?
”I guess some people really do make stupid decisions when they panic…”
And apparently I’m one of them…
After brooding for a bit, I realized that I’m still in this dark place.
“So…am I dead then? That kinda sucks but at least it wasn’t as painful as I expected. Then again, where the hell am I?”
I was anxious with the idea that I might be dead, but the fact that I wasn’t feeling any pain and was actually cold gave me some sense of comfort that I might still be alive. It seems this line of thought helped me keep calm.
“Heeeey! Can anyone hear me? I’d really like to know if I’m dead or if I’m in Hell.”
I’m surprised I could still be sarcastic despite the predicament I’m in. I wasn’t really expecting a response in the dark but the next moment gave me quite a shock.
“…Child from beyond the void. Why have you come here?”
An old sonorous voice suddenly sounded in my head as if it was ringing from within my skull. My first reaction?
I swore mightily in my fright as it almost gave me a heart attack.
“…Child…I would appreciate it if you’d answer me without spewing profanities that would shame your own mother.”
The voice reprimanded me sternly but calmly. And with its effect, calmed me as well.
“I’m sorry…I’ve never had a voice speak into my head before. Panic always gets the best of me.” I replied, politely as I can.
“…It’s all good and well as long as you understand. Now as I asked earlier Child, why have you come here?”
It asked me again, and this time I made sure to respond in kind. I spoke of my circumstances and my concerns hoping it would give me the answers I sought.
“Hmm…I see…Child…it’s unfortunate with what happened to you and that you currently do not know of your current state.”
My current state? When he said that, I had a terrible sense of foreboding.
“Child…it is unfortunate for me to say…but you can only enter my domain if you were a soul. And as of now, you are indeed a flickering soul. You have, unfortunately, already passed from the physical plain.”
As he said the words I dreaded, my heart fell and I felt as if a great weight fell on me. As my emotions were in turmoil, I found myself screaming in despair and regret. For how long I screamed and cried…I do not know…
After what seemed like a very long time, I somewhat calmed down and the voice spoke to me again…kindly…like a caring grandfather…
“Poor Child…if it would help alleviate your pain, I would be happy to listen to your story. Tell me of your life, and the memories you’ve lived. I’ve been here for as long as I can remember, and though the eons pass, there has been no light and life in this dark place. You are the first soul I’ve come to meet.”
I looked onto the darkness and as I thought, I felt inclined to speak to this voice of who I am. It seems I’ve forgotten my name no matter how hard I tried to remember, but I told him of my world, my life, the good things, the bad things; I told him everything believing in some hope that I would never be forgotten.
It’s strange…I’ve always asked why people tried so hard to be remembered in society or in history, but now it seems I can understand. The fear of being forgotten…that you’d gradually fade away out of existence…only then…would you truly be dead…
I’ve already lost track of time after I’ve told him all of my being without tiring. And afterwards it seemed that he had truly enjoyed it.
“Hoho! Indeed…such an intriguing world! A world built upon logic and knowledge through the ingenuity of man. To think such a world existed where man has gained control of the elements through the use of tools called machines and this so called science. This world I reside in could hardly compare with the accomplishments of your world despite the existence of that which is called magic.”
After listening to him, I couldn’t help but notice what he said at the last bit. Did he say magic? As in, that sort of magic? And also…this world?
“Um…excuse me…sir?...um…what do you mean by “this world”? and did you really say magic?”
I timidly asked him to confirm what he said.
“Hmm…now this won’t do. You and I have already formed a bond and closure, so I’d appreciate it if you didn’t call me “sir”. Then again, I’ve also already forgotten my true name…Well, no matter, it is of no import. Child, this world that I’m referring to is the world beyond this dark place. It is a world filled with magic and fantasy as you so earlier described in your stories. Now I ask you, considering the regrets that you’ve spoken, if given the chance to live once more, what do you want to do? What do you hope to achieve?”
…did he just toss aside the fact that he forgot his name?
I shook my head and didn’t think much about my reply, “If given another chance to live…I’d want power…the power to never be pushed around by those who’d want to take from me.”
I remembered that when I was alive, I was usually a pushover and people would always take advantage of me. I wouldn’t say I was bullied, but I was very dissatisfied with myself about not being able to take back the things taken from me…even my pride.
“I want women! That’s right! I want to sleep with girls! I want to get laid!”
…that’s right…owing to my timid nature, I lacked the confidence to speak to girls and ended up growing up still a virgin.
…I DIED A VIRGIN DAMMIT!
So I can’t help it if this desire was so strong that it almost became the center of my being.
“But for me…the most important one of all…is that I want to have a family! A happy family! A big family! So big that I’ll never be lonely again!”
That’s right…this was what trumped even my desire for women…this was the true center of my desires. I never knew a lot about my parents growing up since they left for abroad when I was young then separated in the end. People stole from us as they left, and somehow it felt like I was to blame for not realizing it.
The only person I could talk to was my brother who also felt unloved, so we only ended up supplanting each others dark feelings even further. Even most of the families around us ended up miserable with their lives…filled with fake smiles and “hopes” that their children can help improve their lives, that was the world I lived in.
I know it’s not as bad as some people had it, but my desires for having a happy family was truly the strongest wish burning within me, a feeling of hope that I would never be lonely.
“Hm hm…very good. Hearing your regrets, I can even feel your desire to live, and it is indeed very strong…Child, if I told you I may have a way to help you live again, would you take it?”
After hearing this, it felt like my entire soul shuddered. Since I was literally a soul, perhaps I looked like I bug shaken in a glass container?
“…there’s no question for it, however…what’s the catch? Why are you willing to help me?”
Even though I was ecstatic at the possibility, I didn’t lose grip of my reason and wanted to confirm my suspicions.
“Good, good. I understand your suspicions Child and you are wise in asking. You have every right to question the possibility. After all, nothing comes without a price.”
I knew it…I could only hope that the price isn’t too great. After all the novels and books I read, I wouldn’t wanna be reincarnated as a bug, no matter how cheap the price is.
“As for why I want to help you…the answer is simple. I’m bored! Bored of this dreary life of waiting in the dark. Though in a sense I may not be alive as well, my soul is bound here and I simply continue to exist. It is a hell quite unforgiving. As to how helping you will quell my boredom, that’s where the price comes in.”
I gulped as my nervousness reached its peak. My anxiety was killing me as I listened in.
“My price…is that my soul be bound with yours. That I may be able to experience the joys and the sorrows of your new life along with you! I who has existed in such a long time have yet to experience enjoying life, henceforth, I would like to learn from your experiences so that once you are fulfilled, I might be able to enjoy it in my own cycle of reincarnation. The only concern I have…is that I may not be able to revive you as a human…at most you will be humanoid, but that is all I can promise. So what say you, Child?”
I said yes.