Author's Note: I don't want to leave anything out here. First and foremost, every single negative, anonymous review will be deleted immediately. I don't care if you want to review negatively, but don't be such a chickenshit pussy that you can't offer me some way to reply.
Secondly, yes, this is Jim/Pam story.
Finally, what is this story about? This is a sequel to Eraser, since people wanted to know what happened after. Other than that…
Admittedly, this story is weird and I don't expect many people to enjoy it. However, Halloween is coming up and people wanted a sequel to Eraser, so I figured I'd try this. I tend to get distracted easily, so if you actually want this story to continue, then you need to keep me focused. Feedback is much appreciated. I'd also enjoy talking to you personally, and you can IM me at basher529 on AIM.
Also, like always, though I may be writing this story for both you people and myself, I still don't care about any complaints you have. Someone recently called me thin-skinned because of the review I left on another of my stories. I'm not thin-skinned, I simply couldn't care less about the problems you have with my writing.
I realize that will probably upset some people who think their own opinions are very valuable. Go to Google and search for grief counseling, because it's not my problem.
He was crashing through the blackness, the deafening wind one continuous wail as he hurtled blindly.
When he opened his eyes, all he could see were gnarled, gray trees, their branches covered in ash and devoid of leaves. In the gloom, he saw thickets of thorny, sick-looking bushes woven between the endless landscape of trees. He tried to speak, to call out for someone, but he couldn't talk. Panicked, he tried to turn his head but found that he couldn't. His vision was limited to straight ahead and whatever information he could gather in his periphery. Eyes straining downward, he couldn't see his body, instead seeing only a dried, gray trunk stretching out into the black earth. His eyes finally adjusted to the darkness around him and he could see further out. Right next to where he stood, a rocky pathway lead directly in front of and past him, branching off into smaller pathways. In the distance, he could hear the echoing snarls and barks of dogs and, almost drowned out by the incessant howling, screams of people. He tried to call out again, but couldn't.
Scared now at his unfamiliar, hellish surroundings, he cast his gaze upward, and it was then that he saw his body, naked and covered in cuts, dangling from tree branches somewhere above him. His body – the one he was apparently disconnected from – shook, and he heard soft animal noises. Eyes starting to burn, he could just make out what looked like two wings draped around his feet. He blinked, and upon reopening his eyes, he saw a clawed hand carve a red, two-fingered gash down his back. He felt himself trembling, fear coursing quickly through him, and he almost missed the bald head with the long, feathery neck and empty eye sockets twist around from behind his body. The mouth on the head opened up, rows of needle fangs glistening in the almost nonexistent light. The thing's obscene tongue coiled out of its mouth, and Jim tried to scream, but found himself losing consciousness instead.
Pam could never remember crying at a funeral so much. She thought she had cried herself dry during Jim's service, but when they got to the cemetery, when she first laid eyes on his polished silver casket, poised over the black maw of the grave, she started again, sobs coming heavy and painful, her diaphragm wracked with spasms of pain. She hung onto Angela heavily the entire time, with Dwight's hand awkwardly placed on her shoulder in an attempt to provide comfort. It helped, a little bit.
Roy wasn't here. The day that Jim left, she had been planning to announce that they had set another date for their wedding, that they were finally, actually, going to do it, but after Jim…she found that she didn't care about the wedding. The empty hole in her chest, torn raw and ragged, would allow her to think of nothing except Jim. From the moment they had gotten the word, Pam had been lost and inconsolable, heavy with guilt and regret and so much pain.
At the funeral, the only one possibly more upset then herself was Michael. He was sobbing just as uncontrollably, leaning on Carol while Jan held his right hand. The rest of the office had turned out, Phyllis with tears in her eyes, Dwight looking withdrawn and oddly devastated, Angela sniffling quietly, Kelly crying while still maintaining her death grip on Ryan's arm, Ryan himself looking at a loss and confused as to how this could have happened. At the back of the procession, Gil had his arm around Oscar, whose expression pretty much matched everyone else's: disbelief, shock, loss, sadness. Stanley, Meredith, Creed…even Devon made a reappearance when he heard the news. They were all there to see him off to whatever lay beyond the world they were so accustomed to.
After everyone had stepped up to the casket to briefly say their last goodbyes, with Michael taking the longest, they all watched as Jim was lowered into the ground, the casket reaching bottom with a hollow sound. Pam stepped forward suddenly, reaching into her pocket, to pull out the picture.
She had drawn it during one of her slower days. He was leaning back in his chair, taking a break from the phone calls he was making to clients. His head was cradled in his hands, and his eyes were closed. Jim was smiling slightly, probably glad to be taking a break, and Pam had quickly drawn out a rough sketch on the back of an old fax that was sitting on her desk. As she quickly captured the rough structure of the scene before her, she had stared at him, memorizing every detail of his face. Later on that night, with Roy predictably absent, she had gone back, adding the detail carefully and reverently before tucking the picture at the back of one of her drawers, hidden underneath her socks. She would take it out from time to time and look at it, trying to tell herself she was just admiring her handiwork. She had never shown Jim the picture.
She was showing him now.
With trembling hands, she unfolded the recently creased paper and held it over the hole, letting it slip from her fingers, traveling slowly, gently down to rest on the casket right where his hands would be clasped. Her throat was raw, but that didn't stop her from resuming her sobbing, choking on air as she tried to form the words for a last goodbye, instead coming out with a stuttering apology and a three-word revelation that was so soft, no one else heard.
She was all he could think about. After he figured out that moving, sleeping, or speaking wasn't an option, he had nothing to do but think and try to avoid casting his eyes upward to see his mutilated, limp body being torn further apart by the bird creature with the bald man's head.
He thought of all the apparently misguided hope he had had, all the time he'd never get back, wasn't even sure he wanted back. He loved her still, and he longed for her more than ever to ward away the chill of the dark wood he was in. He mourned the fact that they would never be together, ever.
And slowly, his thoughts transformed to something darker than even this place of black desperation could ever hope to be, and he felt himself slipping away from the trees with bodies hanging from them, the thorny, screaming, bleeding bushes, and the dogs that chased frantic-eyed, naked people through the forest. He slid into yet another unknown.
Pam had had an excruciating time coming back. Michael had allowed her two weeks off, during which time she had moved all of her things across town into a new apartment. In the months following Jim's death, Pam had to come to terms with her loss and the feelings she had for him, the love she carried for him, finally confronting what she should have so long ago.
It had been hard. Too hard, in fact, and after the first few weeks, she began seeing a psychologist downtown. Slowly but surely, though, she got better. She opened herself back up to people at work and was finally reclaiming herself, taking herself back from the despair. But whatever she did, however good she was feeling, she kept Jim's memory always in the back of her mind.
As the clock struck five, everyone began to file out of the office, ready for their weekend. She smiled at each of them and wished them a good weekend before slipping on her coat and heading outside to her car. She needed to be downtown for her appointment in fifteen minutes. She would have left earlier, but Michael had actually worked today, and she'd some important faxes to get out on his behalf. She should be able to make the appointment. She keyed the ignition and maneuvered her car out into the street.
As she made her way downtown, she thought about what she wanted to talk about today. Lately, she hadn't been feeling down, but she had been thinking a lot about her feelings for Jim and how she didn't feel she'd ever be able to surpass them and move on completely. She was just so in love with the man he had been, she wasn't sure that she'd ever be able to be with anyone else. Jim was such a part of her that she wasn't sure she'd be able to have feelings for anyone else.
She pulled up to an intersection and waited at the red light. She turned on the radio and calmed herself, like she usually did before her appointment with her psychologist. The light turned green, and she lightly pushed down on the gas and thought to herself, This will all be ok. I can make it.
She didn't see the dump truck run its red light, only to smash into her car at a blistering speed, way above the posted limit. Her world tilted crazily, and she heard rending metal and the scrape of the asphalt and the shattering of glass. The car tipped over onto its roof, and she felt her seatbelt come loose, and then pain was blossoming in her head, traveling down her neck and spine, and her whole world went black.