Rebecca was out there somewhere. She didn’t know where. Nobody did.
“What’s happening? How did I get here?” was all she could think to herself. The words stuck in throat. She was racked with thirst. Surprisingly, not hunger. Only thirst. She was unable to enunciate a word and she was squashed up as if in a cupboard. She must have been there forever. She had no consciousness of time and there seemed to be no relief for her thirst, her loneliness, her sense of disorientation. She had been here forever. She sincerely hoped she would not be there forever.
She had memories of another life, but they were dim, faint memories. The last thing she remembered happening to her before she’d wound up here was dicing with death on the railway tracks. That was a little game she and Sy loved to play when they were drunk, really out of it. They would go and sit on the railway tracks and jump out of the way of the train just before it arrived. It was a great buzz. Sometimes, they even parked the car on the tracks and indulged their darker side. She always knew when Sy was getting in the mood for this. After copious amounts of cider he’d say something particularly dark.
“Let’s tempt the Grim Reaper,” he’d say, grinning. Yes, she remembered. But now, it was all over. The Grim Reaper had been tempted too many times. Now there were no more chances.
She had come to grief in that car on the railway tracks. She’d seen from afar the car in a mangled heap. Sy had escaped but she had gone under the train. Mercifully, after a brief moment of agony, it was all over. She’d roamed weightless for a while. Then a few really dark looking characters had arrived and bore her off to some kind of courtroom.
The characters who had borne her off were dark looking creatures indeed. They looked overly familiar. Just as she had roamed with a crowd who dressed in dark colours and favoured the deathly pale look, these creatures looked as if they moved with the same crowd.
When Rebecca had been a child, she had often astounded her mother by discussing her imaginary friend, a tall beautiful creature who came to play with her every day. Oriel. A golden creature of light who had told her many good things. As she’d grown older, Oriel seemed to disappear from her life. But that day, the day her existence had changed forever, she had seen Oriel again.
There seemed to be some kind of court in session. The main item on the agenda was she, Rebecca. A tall, decaying looking character (for that was the only way to describe him), he too deathly pale and giving off an aura of corruption and menace, seemed to be arguing that she belonged to the dark world. She was in love with death, he argued. She had courted it. She had no place in the Kingdom of Life and her own life was the witness to that. They even had video recorded scenes from her life to prove this. Oriel, on the other hand, argued passionately that something was badly wrong. She had gone way before her time. Had she another chance, she would prove herself. He had been over-ruled.
She longed to go to her old childhood friend, to feel close to him and safe again. She was not allowed to do so. Unseen hands had borne her away to this place.
Strange, but deep down in her spirit, she felt Oriel speak to her. Sometimes so clearly. What was he saying?
“Rebecca, I’m coming…….”
“Oriel, I’m waiting……come soon!” she tried to reply. But she dared not enunciate the words. Although she was packed in what seemed like a suitcase, she knew she was being watched. Observed. Commented on. So she clung to her hope that Oriel would come. Meanwhile, she suffered on. Waiting, just waiting.
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