Death wasn't as I had expected. I don't think I had been expecting anything, but it was far less painful than I imagined. It was stagnation for a little while, probably until the funeral. After that, I was vaulted into a hazy state of existence. My identity, Shelke Rui, had been stripped away, leaving me just as I was on the inside. My consciousness and mind remained, even though my body had faded.

"Welcome home." Warm, smooth feelings enveloped me, as inviting as they had been all those years ago.

"We've been waiting." The cool authoritative tone hasn't lost its appeal.

I've missed them.


Thanks to everyone who stayed with me and everyone who helped me with inspiration when my muses were on vacation! Stay tuned for another Dirge fic, epic in length.