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By: Linette Morgan

AS FAR AS I can remember, I’ve only died once.

I remember turning to our friends, Mitchell and Jennifer. They were leaning against the bumper of Georgie’s car, kissing. He touched my cheekbone, bringing my attention back to him.

“You got a little too much sun today.”

“Well, we won’t need to worry about that for long. Do you see the fog coming in, darling?”

“Mitchell!” He called to his best friend and pointed to the Pacific. “Let’s pack up. If we leave now, we can make it back to The Valley before we get socked in.”

A frenzy followed as we shoved towels, blankets and picnic baskets into the trunk.

 

I didn’t notice right away that I’d forgotten my sweater laying in the sand. I didn’t notice that until a little later. But now, the sun was setting and the fingers of fog were grasping at the car. We weren’t going to make it to The Valley.

About thirty minutes later, we drove in darkness, wrapped in a thick, impenetrable fog. By then, I’d realized my mistake and was shivering under George’s arm, between the bucket seats. It wasn’t very comfortable on my bottom, but it was a little warmer!

I was beginning to doze when a bright flash of light brought me awake.  I wish I had slept through the cacophony of breaking glass and crumbling steel.  The loud noise was immediately followed by pain.  It was excruciating, and it radiated out from my center.

I remember watching as Mitchell and Jennifer flew over our heads, and I thought to myself that I was so glad they were safe. I felt Georgie’s hand grasp mine as the pain in my belly began to fade and the darkness came. There was no sound except a soft hum which came from the bright light ahead of me.

I walked toward it.

It would be cliché of me to say that I was floating down a long hallway.  That wasn’t altogether accurate. The path was, for sure, a passage, but it felt more like a tunnel made of light rather than filled by it. Whatever.  Unless you’ve seen it, traveled it, you wouldn’t understand; The light was so bright that it should have been painful, but it wasn’t.  It pierced into my brain, but it was compared more to being filled up with that thick warm light that was quite pleasant. But I digress.

As I drew closer to the source, the mesmerizing hum became more defined.  I was now hearing voices, whispers which called me by names I did not recognize.  Except one that is.  Patricia. That was me, after all.  It only made sense.  I turned my head as my feet touched down on a soft but firm floor. Nothing seemed to make sense here.

As I looked up from the floor, I was caught off guard as my mother stood before me.  She hadn’t aged a single day, and might even have gone backward to a more youthful age.

“Patty.”

The hum of voices faded into a soft combination of bells, violins and singing as my mother and I began to walk.  I’m not sure how long we walked, but I don’t remember much of it, only that when we reached the door, I knew I was dead.

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