Oh my, I’ve made it to the end! I hope you made it this far as well, but if you’ve missed any, the link to catch up is below.
This story was originally written as part of a larger group with a similar theme, but it depends how everything shapes up (obviously) and what my health will allow me to do. Good news though, I’ve found a charity that is willing to help me purchase some dictation software, so things may pick up eventually, but as you can imagine, nothing moves at the speed of light, so things will happen when they happen, I guess.
The same charity may also be able to help get me a tablet so I can access the internet from somewhere other than this bloody uncomfortable chair I’m currently sitting in!
Last time, Nancy spoke with her mum and thought back over what she’d done.
Read the previous posts HERE, but now, on to part #12 The final part!
The pain in my neck and back is like fire, and Amy steps close to stop me falling. That’s when it comes to me. I know what it is that I’ve been unable to see. I reach down and grab the phone receiver.
“Mum? Mum? Are you still there?”
For a second or two there is no sound, then I hear her voice again. “Yes, I’m here. I thought I’d lost you there for a minute.” She is still crying.
“Mum, where am I?”
“I don’t know, love.” She struggles to talk for a moment as she is wracked with a series of loud sobs. “Where do you think you are?”
That’s not helping. I already know where I think I am, I just want someone to say it. I turn my face up to Amy. “Am I dead?” It sounds stupid now I’ve said it. “I don’t feel dead.”
Amy looks down at me and smiles. Not a happy smile, not an ‘I’m glad to see you’ smile. No, this is an ‘I’m sorry to have to break it to you’ smile. But she’s not saying anything. All this time and all the talking she’s done and now she chooses to shut up.
“Where are we?” I ask and shake the woman by her shoulders, as if I could shake an answer out of her.
“I’m not sure what you want to call it, but yes, you’re dead. Me too,” she adds after a moment, with a smile, “as is everyone here.” She points back along the corridor to the hall we had come from what seems like a lifetime ago. “Some of them are here for only the briefest of moments. Some of us are not so fortunate. You could be one of the lucky ones. Don’t miss your opportunity.” Amy pulls the handset from my hands and wiggles it in front of me.
“But I don’t remember any of it!” But that’s not wholly true. I think I understand that I’m dead. I honestly think I’ve known that for a while. Don’t think I want to accept it, but I understand it. What I don’t understand is what happened. I remember fire and running and screaming, not much else. How that led me here is the piece that I’m missing. I snatch the phone back from Amy, but bring it slowly to my ear. “Hello?”
“Nancy?” My mum is still crying. “I love you and miss you.”
I should feel something more than I do. This woman gave birth to me, now she’s lost me. That must be awful for someone to go through. I can’t imagine much worse, but I feel…nothing. I want to feel something, I just don’t.
I look around as behind me, a door clicks open and falls ajar. There is light behind it, spilling out into the room. It’s only open a crack so I can’t see what’s in there. But I want to.
“Nancy? Are you still there?” She sounds farther away, distorted slightly.
I look back at the door again. The light is pulsing. It wants me. Again, not wholly true. I want it. More than I’ve ever wanted anything in my…well…life. The woman on the phone is still talking, but I’m not interested. I need to see what’s behind the door, so I set the handset down, step towards the door and grasp the handle.
That completed my puzzle. I can remember. The pain in my neck flares briefly and I once more raise my hands to my throat. I remember the rope that was there, the stairs. I remember stepping off and once more I experience a sharp pain in my neck and spine, or perhaps it’s just a memory.
None of that matters now. I need to open this door. Even with my eyes closed, I can sense the power of the light inside. Looking behind me I can still see Amy. She’s looking at me, perhaps jealous, perhaps happy. The women behind their desks are both looking at me. I can hear the woman on the phone calling my name, but I’m done with that.
I turn my back on all of that. I’m going in.
My question to you:
Are stories like this a cop out?