In a rare moment of silence, with the sun long ago set, his eyes adjusted to the darkness. He became flooded with thoughts of the next life. What were those voices that taunted him and hid amongst the darkness?

Without identity in this life and the next. Such mystery clouded all of it. What use was he back here in this old life? Certainly, there was some place better.

He focused hard, seeing past the shapes the cluttered his bedroom. As his eyes adjusted to the shadows, a newfound level of frigidity ran coursed through him, as though liquid metal entered his bloodstream at the toes and worked its violent way north.

Vision locked and all senses frozen. This time he felt his spirit packing its bags, sensing a permanent vacation was at hand. Nothing to do but succumb to the transformation from life to death, and in this case, it was a welcome process.

And in that beautiful moment, as all color left his eyes and he exhaled one final hissing breath, Mother opened the door and witnessed her baby’s expiration. The glass of water she carried got tossed into the air and shattered simultaneously with her first of a thousand screams.

His body, still and covered, lay motionless; fully unalive. Eyes open and flesh already cool to the touch, and no heartbeat could be found by Henry who burst into the room after hearing Mother’s blood curdling shriek. Mother was literally on Peter, holding him tight around his waist. She was walloping her head into his pubic bone as she wailed and hollered, certain to bring anyone back from the dead.

Family members flooded in. With twenty some humans pushing their way through a door way, a massive pile up ensued. Grandpa Ernest and his new wife Gladys flew in after Henry, and then came Aunt Betty and the dogs, followed by Morty and the triplets, all trampling Gladys and Ernest. And it snowballed from there. Pee Wee, Burt and Nigel Collins of the Collins family (long time neighbors) came running in a fit and ended up stomping all the other intruders fawning, or attempting to fawn over the two-time dead kid.

Mother, now stopped thrusting her head into the corpse, sat up. “Mother!” someone cried out. “You’re bleeding!” Mother had hit her head so many times, she was now dripping blood and a fair amount, onto her lifeless son’s carcass.

Mother, receiving a towel thrown by Caulfield peering through outside the door, dabbed at her noggin and asked, “Why God why! Take him once, damn me. Take him twice… pardon my French but… ahh!!” She wept openly and dramatically, as everybody looked on, or more specifically at her. They all figured she should just get it all out. And so they watched. And watched. It must have been hours, or maybe just a lot of heavy minutes, enduring her relentless sobs between towel changes as the blood never really let up.
The Other Realm…
Awakened and dead, again. A sense of salvation and a sense of terror slithered through him as purgatories air found its way into his lungs. Choking, shaking and not quite aware of his surroundings, he fell flat to the soil, rich and cold. The chill of death wasn’t near as icy as this after life scenario.
And then the voices that once spoke yet muffled and distant, became clear as day. The dissonance was too much to take. All the once blurred voices now called to him, in tones and decibels causing him to recoil.

Upon sitting up, he opened his dry eyes and recoiled in the chilling realization that he was surrounded by many disembodied spirits, all circling ‘round, speaking to him and clawing at him…

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