Ryan rolled into a ball and slowly slouched into a sitting position. His vision was blurry and there was a loud ringing in his ears. The air was crisp and cool, which had a calming, soothing effect on a fleeting headache. As he looked around, he found himself in a featureless room about 10 feet square. The walls, ceiling and floor were pure white and emanating a soft glow allowing him to see clearly but not blinding him.
He made an attempt to stand but quickly flopped down. His muscles just didn’t want to respond. Content to simply sit there and recuperate for a bit, he busied himself with checking for injuries – cuts, bruises, broken bones. As the ringing in his ears faded, he could make out some kind of noise. Over the minutes, he could make out voices, like being in a crowded bar, all jumbled together, talking, laughing, singing, but all a mumble.
“Who is that?” he said, startled and looking around. “Where are you? Where am I?”
You died. Welcome to the first day of the rest of your life.
Tears rolled down her cheeks as her lower lip quivered. “But you promised,” she said.
“I’m so sorry, honey,” he whispered. He had built up his daughter’s hopes for weeks and now he had just dashed them to pieces. Children didn’t understand the complexities of adult life, they only understood a promise given, a promise fulfilled and a promise broken.
The Victorian porcelain doll he got for her when she was 3 slid from her grasp, the head shattering as it hit the floor. A promise broken, a dream crushed, an heirloom destroyed and two broken hearts – it was more than he could bear. He didn’t try to stop the tears as he slowly turned around and started to walk away.
This was originally written several years ago at ficly.com.
With each passing mile, the fog grew steadily thicker. He was used to this, that’s why he opted for the fog lights on his sporty, 2-seater BMW Z4 when he drove it off the lot two years ago. After another ten minutes of driving, however, the fog was almost too thick even for the extra illumination. He dropped his speed a bit from Bat Out of Hell to plain old Maniac and, adjusting his seat, geared himself up for what could turn out to be a very hard rest-of-the-trip.
Continue reading “A Cleansing Fog”