AN: Wow. The epilogue. I always get this sort of lost feeling when I finish a fic, like, 'What do I do now?' Not so much this time, since I have the sequel to work on, but still... Speaking of the sequel, it may be a while before it gets posted. January at the soonest. For one thing, I need to buy T2T to reference while I write, since I don't know it very well, and also, I just haven't quite worked out what I want to do with the sequel. I have some ideas (read: way too many to put into just one story. I need to sift through and keep the best ones), I just haven't figured out how to work them all together yet. If you have any requests, send them in now! Specific or general, I'll try to fit them in if I can. Lucan will be back, most definitely. I haven't decided about Leila or Raya yet. As for the Wannabe-goddess... Let's just say that there was a reason why we never saw a body. ;)
Reviewers, thank you! Thank you! Thank you! You guys are great! I write for one reason: to put my ideas on paper. I post for two reasons: for your enjoyment and critique. In other words, you guys keep me posting! Thank you all so much!
If you haven't reviewed before, please do! I want to know your thoughts, even if your thoughts are just a, "That was good," or, "What the heck were you thinking when you wrote this?"
Regardless, I hope you all enjoyed reading. C:
They say that your life flashes before your eyes when you die. Well, I've died three times already, and there's never really been that much life-flashing. Things happened too fast. Afterwards, sure—I pondered deep things like the meaning of life, love, and insufferability, wondered if there was a reason that I didn't—er, did die (but, you know, survived. It gets confusing sometimes). I've had the chance to do some thinking this time, though, to prepare myself.
So, when rational thought finally does kick in again, I'm not all that surprised to find that I am drifting aimlessly in a formless abyss of darkness—or, it seems like darkness to me, who has no eyes to see it.
Unlike the last time I thought myself dead, I don't feel particularly dissatisfied; I don't feel disappointed in myself. My life has been a good one. I had a family that loved me, true, loyal friends, one who was something more . . . and most importantly of all, my death was for a purpose. I can honestly say that I don't regret the decisions and events that led up to my eventual demise.
Except one thing.
Drat, I think unhappily. I forgot to scream something memorable again. Reconsidering, though, I decide that my manner of death was memorable enough to make up for not screaming "Armadillos!" or "Batman!" or "Chocolate-covered coffee beans!"
You're stalling, my subconscious remarks again. I pay attention to it this time.
My thoughts have been a distraction from the all-important question hovering at the edges of my consciousness: What happens now? I refuse to believe that this is all that comes after death. If my 'self', my consciousness, survives past my body, then it must be for a purpose; it must be for more than this.
I don't know it yet, but it will be a long time before my question is finally answered.
The nothingness is awful. I think that time is passing—that there are actual, measurable minutes, hours, days, weeks—but there is no way to mark them, because there is no change at all. The only thing that occupies the darkness is me, and, over the endless, changeless, inescapable monotony of what feels like years, my musings, regrets, nostalgia, curiosity, annoyance, periods of panic, and even boredom finally subside into a dull, listless stupor: I am finally giving up. The point comes that I realize with horrid, utter certainty that I am going to be trapped in this no-man's-land forever. I am not living, and even if I were, there is nothing to live for. There is nothing but the darkness, nothing but the empty void. I'm no longer sure that there ever was anything else. Did Jenny ever live? I have forgotten, if I ever knew. My sense of self slowly fades into the blackness, consumed by the void, until there is nothing left.
Time goes by. The abyss never changes to mark its passage. But— the darkness grows darker, from nothing-dark to dark-dark. The amorphous entity that was once Jenny, Freckles, Fateless—stirs.
It had called itself dead before, when it still had a name, an identity: now what little of that identity remains knows that sometimes death is not what comes after your physical body stops functioning. It is the moment that you cease living for the sake of it and merely exist because you have no other choice. To all intents and purposes, it is dead already.
But part of it still holds close a memory, a feeling—That's life, Jenny says to the unresponsive sentience, trying to make it remember, trying to make it live again. And so when the darkness shifts, the sentience recognizes what it is:
And I wake up.
AN: Don't know if the whole switching of third/first-person view was too confusing . . . it was to add to the effect, to illustrate Jenny losing and regaining her sense of self, but I'm not sure how well I got it across. And I know that it's not quite what I've usually been doing with the prologues/epilogues, but I couldn't really do this from an outside POV. I can just picture it:
There is darkness . . . and that is all. Nothing happens except for in the main character's head, and we can't see that. Then, all of a sudden . . . nothing happens. Except for in the aforementioned person's head.
What do you guys think? Ready to kill me yet because of the cliffy? REVIEW! If you haven't reviewed yet, please do so, even if it's just this once! I'd love to hear from you. :) Stay tuned for the sequel!
P.S. I gotta post this and scram, but I'll be replying to all the reviews from the last chapter (and this one) as soon as I can!
End-of-story notes: Wow! The sequel finally finished! Just one more left. :)
Reviewers! Thank you SO MUCH. I love hearing all of your opinions, and it's great to have my work appreciated. You guys are awesome. C:
Special thanks to Riku's Music Lover, who's been faithfully reviewing all the way through both stories, and to WereCatsRule, godofmadness43, IceyKrystal, RavenWolf2089, and Wolfinson, who nearly always took the time to put a word of encouragement or critique in. Thank you! You guys keep me motivated!