As he opened his eyes, he knew he was dead.
The darkness overwhelmed, but the harder his eyes searched the black, shapes became visible. The landscape was like none other he’d known; dips and craters amidst earth and rock. As his eyes became more familiar with the shadows, he could see his breath, alarming him of the cool temperature.
He wanted to move his feet but at that moment he realized that he had none. He reached for the wall beside him and was not able to touch, for he bore no hands. Who was he? Or more so what was he?
His paralysis was short lived; using his mind, he transported himself, and could move in a flash if he so desired. The only way to go was down, as if he was inside of a maze in the belly of a great mountain.
He was alone. He discovered no animals, even. He found a room filled with clear pools and upon inspection of his reflection he saw nothing of what he wanted to see. He was clearly transparent, yet visibly clouded, almost murky. He was large yet couldn’t have weighed an ounce.
There were no memories for him. From where he came, of whom he once was…he had no pieces to put together. A strong sense of yearning, and the ever clear knowledge that he had, in fact, perished was all that rang true in his apparitions psyche.
This couldn’t be heaven. Was it Hell? It was desolate and cold, and he was so alone. Or was he?? Every now and then a quiet murmur could be noted, coming from all sides. He tried responding . He tried to speak but only what could be described as jibberish came out.
Blasts of wind caressed him and the murmurs got louder. It was as though wings brushed his canvas, and silenced voices begged to be heard. He felt he was spinning in a tunnel, being propelled forward into oblivion. He put up what would have been his hands to protect himself as he was hurtled through the cosmos. The pressure was intense and blacking out was the only option.
Meanwhile, back on Earth….
His family was defeated, devastated and in a world of shock at the early passing of their son. They stood arm in arm, tears streaming down each somber face as they watched the casket begin it’s decent six feet into the earth. Amazing Grace was played on a violin to the left and if not for the brief screw up, an embarrassment to the musician, no one would have heard the quiet pounding from inside the airtight coffin.
Gasps were heavy in the crowd as they watched in grave horror as the coffin itself shook. Screams now became audible inside that wooden box as the banging intensified.
“Henry!” Mother yelled. “Pry open that lid!!”
The family circled the casket in total disbelief and mortal shock. Henry and Dawson made quick work of ridding the coffin of its nails, breaking the seal and allowing entry.
“Okay boys,” Henry nervously said as he wiped his sweaty brow. “On the count of three….” Standing in front of the still wiggling box, they placed their hands on it.
They made terrified eye contact and licked their lips. Before Henry got to three, the lid swung wide open, kicked out hard from the inside…..