Summary: AU. When one dies, they don't expect to be brought back to life to help a lonely kid after a massacre. I've learned to start expecting the unexpected. (OC-centric)
*I will be deleting the existing chapters and posting the re-writes as I complete them—I apologize for the inconvenience*
First person POV
There are many factors that can lead to utter panic.
Paralysis and blindness are the two major indicators that basically overwhelm one's self; and lucky me was hit with both of them simultaneously.
There was solid ground beneath me, so the sense of actually feeling was still there—but the only real feeling I got was aching pain.
There was oncoming headache that nestled itself deep into my skull, and the dull throb pulsing in my lower back didn't help much either.
And if that wasn't enough, sucking in oxygen was becoming more of a chore than a God-given instinct. But the air itself wasn't normal—there was a twinge of staleness, almost as if the air had never seen the light of day; always circulating the same walls, never leaving.
And if the air was trapped, than I most likely was too.
The panic returned—the pressing questions of where I was and who I was and where I had been taken violently circling in my mind.
I didn't even notice that I had started to hyperventilate.
In my frightened haste to get free from whatever I was imprisoned in, I begun to push at the enormous gap of darkness—pushing for a way out—an escape.
Streams of light poked through, noises and colors illuminating and flashing hurriedly.
There was strain now, a sense of heaviness everywhere, but I was desperate.
Desperate for answers, desperate for freedom—I wanted out.
And finally, I was given opportunity.
The darkness illuminated tenfold—colors bursting from every direction. It was overwhelming, chaotic. Colors shifted rapidly, tiny glimpses of shapes and pictures appeared and disappeared. In a matter of seconds, voices started mixing in with the hectic slideshow. They were familiar—painfully so. I knew those voices so well that it hurt.
It was like this never-ending loop of pure disorientation, and all I could do was absorb it.
"Stop," I whispered, eyes squeezed shut and hands protectively over my ears, "stop."
The battle for control was waning—and I was losing.
It was complete overload of just everything—a feeling of who I was and who I had been colliding painfully and being ripped away forcefully.
The colors continued, morphing into a hazy face that sent chills down my spine from familiarity.
Mentally, I tried arranging the colors to fit the face I was seeing; pressing for it to change into something, anything. My want outweighed my need, and I willed for it to continue into a clearer picture.
I wanted to know who this person was—wanted to know why everything was complete chaos due to the awareness I had because of this face.
With one last silent, strangled cry, I forced the pictures to settle—the noises to blur into smaller silence.
And confusingly, whatever force I had worked.
They had turned into a woman, I realized, and she was crying.
"Please," she croaked, sobbing into her hand as the bright surroundings behind her and in front of me blurred into utter nothingness, "don't take her away—please, god, no. Please."
She continued sobbing, thick tears streaming down her horrified face. I felt each one hit my skin, tingling upon impact.
Dazed, I realized the ache was flaring, but the paralysis was returning.
The pale hand—my hand—she had clasped in her free one went completely limp, and the sobs became louder.
"Please don't take away my daughter!"
There was a brief acknowledgment of what was happening—a tiny understanding of what just unfolded, but it was halted before it was completely processed.
The scene shattered in a million pieces at the new, deeper voice.
The darkness came back, flooding out all of the colors and reflections.
I found myself sitting up with my eyes wide and shoulder shaky, gasping for air once again. The sudden halt of whatever that just was left me dizzy, disoriented even, and I tried to focus back on reality before I passed out from nausea.
I strained my ears to listen to the soft footsteps that echoed on the smooth, solid ground; sounding a lot closer to where I sat than it should have been.
I waited with baited breath, unsure of how to react—was it help? Danger? An attacker?
The darkness of the room was so vast that I couldn't even see my hand an inch away from my face—let alone some nutcase that was potentially about to murder me.
Shifting to sit on my knees with a slight groan—because god, that hurt—I swallowed the lump in my throat, deciding against my better judgment.
"Uh, hello?" I called, my voice sounding thick and raspy from lack of use.
It was an utterly stupid idea—true horror movie victim potential—but curiosity overcame logic.
Immediately after my 'ingenious' plan, candles sprung to life; an eerie glow lighting the beautifully designed arch ways that hung overhead, wisps of dust and smoke flying everywhere.
I coughed and hacked, blinking dazedly as I was assaulted by the fray.
Shivering as I held back another cough, I noticed the atmosphere shift—turning into something more intense; ancient even.
As I gazed up, I understood why.
With halted breath and horror filled eyes, I gazed at the figure before me, not sure whether to scream or run.
Instead, I remained frozen, thoughts racing a mile a minute.
You'd do the same if you were face to face with the grim reaper.
"No normal human is able to be to do what you have just done—it is one of the laws of the universe," he mused dryly, shifting his weight from foot to bony foot, "but you seem very adamant on defying those laws today, Ms. Flynn, in more ways than one."
Dazed and a bit apprehensive, I peered deeply into his hollow eyes, not exactly sure what he was getting at.
"You look rather confused," he stated, bony head inclining a bit at the assumption, "why is that, exactly?"
"Defying the laws of the universe?" I asked hesitantly, still a bit in shock, "and Ms. Flynn? Is that my name or something?"
I accusingly narrowed my eyes slightly when I could feel his amusement rolling off him in waves.
"I should have foreseen that you would forget almost everything entirely—but yes, Flynn is indeed your last name in your previous life—Susana being your first." He replied smartly, gesturing to me with his skeletal hand.
"Previous life?" I stuttered with intensity, shocked to the core.
I saw his chin slightly incline once more—a nod, perhaps? He swiftly gestured to me, bony hands gripping what appeared to be a scythe, "Yes, previous—you died on the wrong date, Ms. Flynn—defying that law I had just mentioned. No normal human just dies before they're supposed to—yet here you are, obviously an exception to that rule."
With my body stiff and rigid, and my arms and hands numb, I stared at the floor with wide eyes.
How could I be dead?
I don't remember dying—I don't remember anything really.
There were bits and pieces that clung to my consciousness as he stated my name—reminding me of some smaller details of my life.
I was fifteen—I liked baking and I liked the smell of carnations.
But in truth, that was it.
That's all I could remember.
My bleary eyes focused back to reality when I saw hands—bony and skeletal hands, mind you—pass back and forth between my line of sight and the floor.
Snapping my head up, I stared with confusion in my eyes at the figure before me, not really knowing how to take all the information in.
Yes, I was dead. Yes, I was panicking. And yes, I was slightly intimidated by the guy in front of me who lacked skin.
What on earth happened today?
"I believe it to be right of me to explain your current predicament." Death rasped, standing up straighter—empty eye sockets boring a hole in my head with his stare.
"An explanation would be nice, yes." I replied dryly, still anxious about everything going on.
His turned, swinging his scythe forward and revealing a parchment of paper that appeared with a pop only seconds later. He leaned forward, gripping at the edges of the worn sheet, and made a slight noise of understanding.
"It says here you were to die at the age of 76 from a heart attack—yet I don't believe your current age is 76, correct? At most you'd be fifteen, which is highly odd considering the situation." He mused, rubbing the part of his face where his chin would be.
I just blinked—already associated to the oddity of the situation—and processed the information.
Urging him to continue, he got the gesture, reading a few more lines before he hummed, "People like you are rarities. It is like the saying, 'you were in the wrong place at the wrong time', isn't it?"
He was trying to make light of the situation for reasons beyond me.
It didn't work in the slightest.
"Wait," I spoke barely above a whisper, clenching my hands at my sides, "you're saying that I died, but I shouldn't have? How on earth did that happen?"
"I am not quite sure," he responded, not missing a beat, "This situation hasn't happened for over two millennia, therefore the situation is indeed a mystery. But I am entitled to give you a 'second chance' per say—due to the circumstances and all."
"A second chance? What kind of second chance?"
"Well," he uttered, snapping his fingers and making the parchment disappear, "you still have a lifetime that belongs to you, hence the second chance—I'll be giving you it back partially."
With a confused furrow of my eyebrows, I quizzically look at his dark from, "Partially?"
"There is a price to be paid for the second chance—you did die after all, so there will be repercussions. Repercussions with risks, that is."
"Risks," I asked, a bit apprehensive about what exactly the danger would involve, "what risks?"
"Your life will be yours," he stated, tone echoing, "yet it won't."
There was a brief pause, a slow moment in which I processed the information delicately.
"What?" I asked, not-so-gracefully.
He hummed and let loose a long sigh, "Youths these days," he muttered lowly, trying to remain inaudible, before finally enlightening me about what he was talking about, "you will be given another life to live, but you will spend part of it helping someone who's life they won't fully be able to live due to a great loss or close ordeal with death—much like yourself in a way. I have no control over who you will help, and most likely there is a high risk of wherever you are placed will not always be completely safe as it had been previously. In simple terms, the risk is death, one where you will not be given a second chance."
There was a continuation to the thought, a slight hum as he noted how truly in disbelief and shock I really was: "but you dying will be close to none if you are careful."
My gaze was distracted as the shadows flickered along with the candlelight—could I actually do this? Would the second chance really be worth it?
I was already dead—but this was a second chance; and I had no intention to truly pass it up, "If I take this chance, will I be able to remember who I once was; how I died?"
I watched as the space of the hood where his shoulders were rose up and calmly fell—a mere shrugging gesture, I realized before I heard his raspy voice answer, "I can give you no guarantee, Ms. Flynn, and for that I am truly sorry—it will depend solely on you whether you remember or not—but judging by the display earlier, I have no doubt that your memories could return."
Completely tense for a slight second, I relaxed and heaved a weary sigh.
I took the remaining breath in, shivering as I gained the confidence to look deep into his orbless eyes.
There really wasn't any going back now.
"I accept the consequences," I murmured, "I accept your choice of a second chance."
He nodded, arm shooting out lightning quick as the scythe started to glow.
"Are you positive—once you say yes you will be given no other option but to take the second chance." He asked, sounding more serious than he had before.
"Yeah," I replied with a smile, "what's the harm in a new life? A new future? Plus, I might get to remember my old one."
He didn't respond, instead he merely nodded his head in agreement to what I said.
A minute passed—and then another—and I found myself watching closely as he snapped his fingers, the residual sound his bony hands had made caused an echo to bounce off the barren walls with force. As if it were all a part of a domino effect, the candles started to slowly burn out, making the shadows loom on the walls in a haunted scene. Death's form started to get hazier with each prolonged blink, and my breathing had turned into shuddery gasps.
I was falling into the dizzying abyss once again—a feeling of weightlessness settling in. I didn't want to go back there—go back and feel helpless.
My consciousness pushed for freedom, for bright light.
But there wasn't any escape from death's darkness.
With one last breath, I felt myself slowly start to fall; sleep overtaking me and whatever weird magic Death had used working.
"Goodbye," a voice that sounded hushed spoke through the haze, "remain careful."
'I hopefully will,' I prayed, finally feeling nothing.
Original publish date: 10/9/14
Hello everyone! Like promised, here's the rewrite of the prologue.
To clear things up, the changes will vary in extremity—they'll either have small tweaks or different plotlines altogether.
All in all though, the rewrite should last only for a short time—and I do apologize to the long lasting readers I have that will have to go through the story once more.
Thanks for reading!
Any comments? Questions? Concerns? Let me know!
Question: What's a better way to publish my re-writed chapters.