Thursday, 17 July 2014

Short Story - Cheating Death

I’m dying but I don’t know why. I can’t remember anything. Mum keeps reminding me of who everyone is. I forget. That’s all I seem to do these days, just forget everything I’m told. The only thing I don’t forget is my plan. That’s what’s kept me going, knowing there is hope yet.

“I love you mum, and you dad. I’m sorry for anything bad I’ve ever done and thank you for everything.” Mum hugs me for the last time. I can feel time slowing down, the beating drum of my heart stops and I close my eyes. Everything is black and I can feel nothing.

But then, gradually, I sense my whole body floating to the ceiling. ‘Oh my goodness’, I think to myself, ‘I’m on the journey to heaven. Quick! I must stop it; I know there is a way back down the ladder to the living.’ I try to wave my arms around but I have no limbs of any sort. I focus my mind on climbing down the ladder. Step by step, panic is rising, ‘I’m never going to make it.’ My mind is in a whirl. ‘Concentrate,’ I tell myself, ‘think about each tiny movement and each part of the spirit that you are.’ I begin to see, I have the use of my eyes, but I see only darkness.

I hoped my plan would work, I’ve always known that when I die I would try to cheat death and come back to life. Over the seemingly never-ending time in my confining hospital bed, I have been running the plan through my head. Mum would force a smile as other visitors gave pitying looks in my direction. Yet I would be off in my own world, developing my plan so that by the time I died, I would be prepared to steal death’s trophy of life. My confidence doesn’t last long though, a searing light blinds me. I was worried the gateway would be opened in advance; it will be harder to resist going to heaven than I thought.

I focus on the ladder again, but the sound of beating wings distracts me. A wave of bliss flows over me and I find it hard to escape the desire to float up to heaven. Yet I know I must not go and I struggle with the urge to relax and let go. I now have the sense of some hands. I move them down to a lower rung; they start to feel more like my own.  Moving my hands one after the other down the ladder, I start to descend. I have made it out of the dazzling light, I could laugh and cry.

Slowly but surely, I regain control of my body. I rush down the ladder and back into the real world. I open my eyes and out flow tears of joy. “I love you mum.”

“I love you too darling; we thought we had lost you. But you came back.”

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