A/N: This is a story set in the afterlife. Suicide is explicitly discussed, shown and even made fun of (I have a really dark sense of humor). If that is in any way triggering to you, I suggest skipping this one. Also, so you're all properly warned, there will be no happy ending for this one. The ending will be bittersweet and a bit hopeful, at best.
The title is taken and translated from the lyrics to Viðrar Vel Til Loftárása by Sigur Rós. I'd recommend you rather listen to Vaka by Sigur Rós while reading this first chapter, though.
we rode to the end of the world
Here is how it ends
A man lies bleeding in his bathtub. Outside the bathroom door, his apartment is in disarray, broken furniture scattered across the floor. There is stillness in the air. The man sighs, his eyelids fluttering as his life drains from him. He utters one word, his last word on this earth, heard by no one:
It turns out he forgot to write a suicide note.
Here is how it begins
First there is darkness. Then there is light.
And then there is me.
I wake up feeling remarkably well, considering I just took a razorblade to my wrists. There is light burning my eyes, but it doesn't feel unpleasant. It's just sort of there. Am I dead? Or am I at the hospital? I honestly don't know which I'd prefer.
I open my eyes to a clear blue sky above me. Not at the hospital, then. The surface I'm lying on doesn't feel like a mattress, anyway. It feels more like... sand?
Yes, sand. Feels wet, too.
I sit up. It seems like I should be in pain, having just tried to kill myself and all. Maybe I really am dead?
I glance down at my hands and do a double take when I see them soaked in blood. My blood. There are two gaping wounds on my wrists, still bleeding profusely. It's strange, because it doesn't feel like they're bleeding. They're wet and a little sticky, but the cuts don't hurt.
Am I dead? Am I dreaming?
I look up. There's nothing but black sand and blue sky, stretching endlessly towards the horizon. How did I get out into the dessert?
I've got so many questions, but it doesn't look like there's anyone around to answer them. I might as well have a look around.
My legs shake when I stand up, but I manage to keep my balance. I'm wearing the same clothes as before. My work shirt, the sleeves rolled up. A pair of comfortable jeans. No shoes, no socks. Not exactly the best hiking clothes and it seems like I'm going to be walking for a while. I don't have any water either. Whether I wanted to die or not, collapsing due to dehydration in the middle of a dessert does not sound appealing to me.
Better start walking, then.
I feel like Moses. But worse. At least he had company. At least he had the sun to guide him - despite it being bright as day out here, there's no sun in sight. I can't even tell how long I've been walking. Feels like years.
It's becoming abundantly clear to me that I don't have to worry about dehydration. No matter how long I walk, I don't get thirsty, or hungry, or even tired. It's infuriating.
Terribly painful death might be preferable to this. There's nothing out here, nothing but sand and sky and more fucking sand and-
I start running. As I get closer, I can see it's more than a shadow. It's a man laying down.
Another person! I feel like falling on my knees and thanking... someone. God, I guess.
God, thank you for cutting me break. Even if it turns out to be just a hallucination.
I finally reach the man in the sand, and he is no hallucination. He looks to be about the same age as me, possibly a few years younger, and he's wearing what looks like funeral attire.
His skin is also deathly pale and his lips blue. His chest isn't moving.
I sit down next to him, my eyes filling with tears of frustration. It's not fair. Why should this man get to die and I don't? I don't even feel guilty for envying this person who probably never wanted to die in the first place. Any fate is better than this.
A morbid idea strikes me, one that I probably would never have followed through if I wasn't so desperate for company. But I really, really am, so I bend over the dead man and give him a kiss. He feels cold to the touch, not that it's unexpected.
The knee to my stomach is, however.
I reel backwards, the wind knocked out of me. It doesn't hurt, exactly, but I'm shocked enough. The dead man has sat up and opened his eyes, and he's glaring at me.
"What the hell do you think you're doing?" He hisses.
I blink, stunned. "Um. I was... kissing you?"
He raises an eyebrow.
"To see if you'd wake up?" I continue, feeling more idiotic by the word. "You know, like Sleeping Beauty?"
"I wasn't sleeping," the man says through clenched teeth. "I was trying to die."
Alright, so he did want to die. The thought makes me strangely sad, considering what got me into this situation.
"It did look like you were succeeding," I point out. The shock is wearing off and I'm almost grinning. "For what it's worth."
"I wasn't," the man sighs, brushing sand off his jacket. "I've been here for hours, but I don't feel any deader."
"Oh." I try not to look too happy, but it's a real effort. The relief at finding another living person out here is too great. "Do you want to come walking with me, then?"
The man eyes me warily and I do my best to look friendly. "I might as well. There doesn't seem to be anything else to do around here."
"I'm Blaine, by the way," I say and extend my hand in greeting, practically thrumming with excitement. The words Another living person! Another living person who wants me around! are blaring through my mind. "Blaine Anderson."
The man stares at my offered hand. "Do you know you're bleeding?"
I draw my hand back with a sheepish smile. "I'd forgotten. It's been a few hours."
The man stumbles to his feet, shaking his head when I step forward to help him. "Don't you have anything to use as a bandage?"
I hesitate. The thought hadn't occurred to me.
The man sighs again. "Come here."
He doesn't wait for me to comply, but steps closer and grabs my left arm. With an apologetic look he rips off the sleeve of my shirt. "It was ruined anyway."
I nod dumbly. I honestly don't care about the state of my clothes right now. The man rips the sleeve in two and wraps one strip of cloth around my left wrist. The other goes around my right.
While he works, I stare unashamedly at his face, drinking in the sight with all the fervor of a man dying of thirst. The Sleeping Beauty comparison was very apt- this man is probably the most beautiful person I've ever seen. His deathly pale skin only serves to make him look more ethereal.
"Done," the man mutters, looking up just in time to catch me staring at him. He drops my hand but doesn't comment on it. "This should tide you over until we find a way out of here. I hope."
Those last words make my heart drop to my stomach. Even if I did manage to find another person, I'm still no closer to finding out where I am, how I got here or how to get out. It's disheartening to say the least. There will be another pair of feet making the trek, but it will still be the same rhythm of step, step, slip as it was before.
"Are you coming?"
I'm snapped out of my thoughts. The stranger is walking away already, and I'm not ashamed to admit that I give myself a moment to appreciate the sight. I'm in no hurry to be left behind, however, so I quickly run after him.
"What's your name?" I ask when I've caught up to him.
The man doesn't even glance my way, but keeps his eyes trained ahead on the horizon. "Kurt."