Friday, February 15, 2019
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    Estimated reading time — 7 minutes

    I hadn’t done anything different that day. It started off very normal, in fact; I awoke to the blaring alarm clock. I brushed my teeth. I fixed a breakfast, and ate it. I kissed my mum goodbye and I dashed out the front door, swinging my backpack with me. I sat on the bench at the bus stop, waiting for the bus to arrive. I get there early every day, just to be sure. The only thing different that I recall would be the grass; it looked a little greener.

    I entered the bus and found a seat. At my seat near the back of the bus, I rested my headphones on my head and listened to some music. I listen to the mellower songs in the morning.

    As time passed, the bus quickly filled up with people. It was a school bus. The children were chattering and teasing and twisting and shouting. They were normal kids. With the headphones, however, all I could hear was the music, the soft piano layered on melodic, spacy harps and horns. I don’t listen to normal music.

    We reached the school. With the headphones still on, I get up with the rest of the kids and become a drop in a rushing ocean of children, not eager for class, but eager to arrive.

    School was loud and busy. The classrooms, filled with students and teachers, went on teaching all matter of subjects; while the students remained restless and less enthusiastic of the knowledge. I met up with all my friends at recess. I played basketball with Tommy and Michael. They were my closest friends on the playground. After we tired of basketball, we went and dug around the rocks and woodchips that edged the enclosure, looking for bugs and worms.

    I distinctly remember the moment just before the blackout. We were taking long woodchips and poking at the dirt with them. I joked with Michael about what we would do if we found a little bug friend. Tommy said he’d squish it, but we laughed, knowing he wouldn’t ever do such a thing. The giggles resided and I shifted my gaze to the dirt on the ground, smiling and stabbing away.

    For three years, I’d been having these “episodes,” my mother calls them. They occur every few months or so, just when we think they’re gone for good. To my mom, I just go limp and blackout, waking up 45 minutes later in a hospital bed with doctors around me. My mother knew nothing of my experiences during the 45 minutes of being out.

    Imagine a night of sleep where you don’t remember your dreams, where it’s a brief blackness that is ended by your eyes waking up to the morning light or your ears sucking you into reality from an alarm. That’s what I saw, except in that darkness, there is a figure. The face is shrouded and the details are indistinguishable. It didn’t feel like a dream either; rather, this figure has been watching me all my life and I just now peer through another world and meet his dark gaze. He just waits and watches. Nothing had been said, and nothing moved. But I knew he was there; I got that recognizable feeling of another presence with me.

    As I stabbed at the dirt, the “episode” began. I recognized that it was beginning as soon as I felt my eyes were about to pop out of my face. But by then, my breathing had already stopped and I couldn’t speak. My fingertips began to tingle; my face and feet begin to burn, hot, as blood pooled to them. A horrible sensation deep inside my stomach wrenched and tore me. At this point, I lost my vision and consciousness. I don’t remember ever hitting the dirt.

    I was in my blackness again. This had happened so many times before, that I thought I had become familiar with the figure, as well as the blackness. I was ready to meet him, and to stare into his strange gaze. However, for the first time, I was struck with fear. The figure was there, in the blackness, but I feared it. I hadn’t before. It was strange, but I just wanted it to end.

    “Yes…” the figure spoke. I heard his voice with chilling clarity. It was deep and old.

    “You are…” he took a deep inhale, as if he’d just completed a long, daunting task. “… done.”

    Done. That’s it.

    I woke up on the playground. The sun had moved to the other side of the sky, so time had passed. It was dead silent; looking around, the lot was completely empty. I get up, confused. Usually I wake in a hospital or on the floor of the office with the teachers gathered around.

    I approached the glass doors to enter the school. Peering through the glass, I saw nobody. I walked inside. In the office, I sat in the chairs by the door to regain my thoughts. I hear the rustling of papers and look up. I see a folder floating through the air, from the main desk and down a corridor.

    I quickly got up and followed the folder. Down the corridor, a door opened and the folder drifted in. I follow, and watch as the folder approached the desk. The swivel chair turns and the folder flopped down on the table.

    I bolted out of the office, feeling alone and confused. I ran to a classroom and saw a piece of chalk writing a on the chalkboard. I panicked and left the school. I saw cars driving in the streets without passengers; doors opening for no people; gardens being gardened by floating tools.

    I couldn’t see people.

    After a very long while, maybe weeks or months, I noticed a few things. I couldn’t see my reflection. I could have guessed that. What’s interesting, however, is that I don’t seem to get hungry or need to eat. I just sort of wandered around, looking at things. The boredom drove me crazy. The only thing worse than the boredom, was the loneliness. I kept myself company by talking to myself while I aimlessly wandered city streets, houses, stores, parks, and anywhere my feet could take me. I’d watch as people I couldn’t see went about their daily lives.

    The wandering eventually became an interesting task for me. I would go for very long walks during the day, counting the numbers on people’s home addresses. I’d see floating hoses watering lawns and drifting helmets riding bicycles. At night I would sprint through the streets, dashing under street lights.

    I came up upon a library. That kept me busy for a long while. I scanned the bookshelves and read almost half the books in the entire place. I just sat alongside other floating books, knowing somebody invisible is getting a good read. I’m able to retain information very well.

    I came across a cemetery. I spent a long while scanning the tombstones, reciting the names to see if any rang a bell. I recognized a few last names of my old friends. I would look at the dates and count how many years they lived to be. Sometimes I’d see incomplete dates, tombstones of those yet to die; this humbles me as I ponder those planning for death. I felt sorry for them. Sometimes I’d come back and find the incomplete dates completed; the dirt freshly turned. I’d go along, row by row. At night I couldn’t read them, so I’d sprint through the streets, dodging cars that couldn’t see me.

    Today, I was finishing up my cemetery walk. I came across a tombstone with my name on it. The realization hit me hard, but it makes more sense now. The birth-year and the death-year were both engraved. I stared at it for a long while. You wouldn’t believe how upset I was. I thought one day I’d wake up and see my mum again. I thought maybe I was in the hospital, and I’d wake up, get better and go back to school to play with Tommy and Michael. I think I cried, but I understand that I probably don’t have any real tears.

    After sitting for a while, an idea occurred to me that hadn’t before.

    And that’s how I got here. I know I can interact with the objects in this afterlife, but I also know that the living live among me as well. I went into my old house – it’s more familiar.

    I get on my computer and type what I know. I submit it onto this website where hopefully it won’t gain too much attention; creepypasta, where stories like this are abundant, but fiction mostly. I guess I’m mostly just writing this to organize my thoughts about what had happened, especially with today’s realization. I doubt I’d be able to actually send any sort of message to the living world. I had tried before, to no avail. Oh well; it’s not like I don’t have time to waste.

    Credit To – Nick Farella

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