Beyond

Warning: Religious people shouldn't read this story.

Author's Notes: I am grateful to Beatrice Otter for editing this story.

The pain was gone. The man was standing in front of him, no more than the arm-length away. He looked somewhat like that Hoffan he tried to feed from so unsuccessfully. But the Hoffan was dying. This… human was… healthy. More than that – the Wraith had never seen any human so full of life before.

"Can I feed from you?" he asked. Somehow this question didn't feel inappropriate at all.

The man wasn't scared. Surprised, slightly concerned perhaps, but not scared. "Are you hungry?"

The Wraith considered his feelings. "No. I was." He looked around. Luminous fog surrounded the place they shared. "What am I doing here?"

"You were tortured to death by the followers of my path," the man was silent for a while. Then he shrugged: "Means, I'm responsible."

"I killed many of those who looked like you," said the Wraith.

For a second the man seemed uncomfortable. "I know. It was… painful… But this is not the only shape I take."

The man disappeared. A small animal stood on his place – gray fur, little horns, strange yellow eyes with horizontal eye pupils. Next moment the man was back, holding the animal in his hands. "You know, humans sacrifice them."

"Kill them? For food?"

"No. Cut their throats, toss the bodies into the flames. They think it pleases the Father. Most of them never even read the Book. They use Father's name like some lucky charm. They don't even know what they believe in." The man crouched and placed the creature on the ground. It ran away into the fog.

"I do not understand," said the Wraith.

"Sorry. I'm babbling again… It's just… so painful to die every time."

"Then why are you doing it?"

"My Father sent me here to… feel the feelings…"

"So, every time a living thing dies you have to die with it?"

"I don't have to," the man stated irritably. "It's just… no one should die alone. Think, how nice it would be, if you die, and would be here, alone, in the darkness!"

The Wraith couldn't help it – his lips moved, baring his pointed translucent teeth in a wicked smile: "You are weird."

"So what?" the man snapped. "I am God. I can be as weird as I want!" he stopped himself and was silent for a while. "Oh, well. Come, I'll show you around."