Author's note: This is probably one of my most religious piece on the site and is also the least creepy. If you're offended then I'm sorry, but I warned you.
Anyway, all credit goes to the signature below"Then he realized he destroyed the world..." - Bearycool.
He awoke in the gloom of that day. In that time. In that place. In that world.
He didn’t know where he was, except that he had just escaped a void of nothing. Even his mind left him; all he could think of was one word.
He didn’t hold any view of why he wanted the time-- he just did. Perhaps he was late for some date, or maybe he just wanted the time. His head throbbed from the cold, but the rest of his body seemed to be calloused from it.
He staggered a few feet before his eyes began to dilate a little to the dim world. He saw that he was in a rye field; he at least knew that now. As his eyes adjusted more, he could see the sun in the horizon, though he could not tell if it was rising or falling yet.
“This would be a lovely place if my head wasn’t acting like it had been hit by a huge boulder.” Though what could he remember, he might of hit one for all he knew.
The man looked at his body to see that he was wearing formal white dressing attire. As he looked closer at it, he saw fine dust on the tie. He tried to brush it off, but it seemed to be stuck on it. He sighed; it didn’t matter in the slightest. The man looked around, this time looking at the opposite of the sun’s location, and saw a far shadow.
The wind whipped his clothes, and he felt some sense of remembering. The form of that shadow: it reminded him of his forgotten childhood. The place he was born: Denver. He remembered moving to Aurora, but not ever leaving there for what he remembered to be the rest of his childhood.
A small ray of light hit him, and he looked down to the source. It was a gleaming piece of grass, standing forlorn in the rye.
“Well, hey there,” He smiled. “Didn’t see you there!”
As he watched the grass, he felt the wind pick up again, and looked up once more. The light seemed to have gotten brighter, yet the shadow seemed to have gotten bigger.
“Well then, that’s an interesting site…” said the man.
The wind blew again, this time whispering more into his ears. The man then remembered that he went to a school… Dalton was the name. He remembered there were many kids there. However, he had an impression he knew only one of the people there truly.
The wind picked up once more, and the whispering in his ears began to form faint words.
“Come…” it stated.
The man felt peace, and dread. He didn’t know the dread part, but that voice… That voice gave him memories of a little boy, and the hazy shades of summer when it was hot…
The man began to walk, stepping on several blades of grass. The voice and the wind increased in pitch and intensity, yet the man did not fall; in fact, his pace seemed to quicken. Now he was starting to remember his name.
“Ja- Ja-” he tried to utter. “Jason?”
That struck a chord; it had to be it.
“Jason…” Jason whispered. “That sounds like a fine name to me!”
Jason walked through a small shrub, feeling its leaves tickling his ankles. The light continued to grow, yet the shadow never ceased to stop showing itself. It reminded Jason of the boy again.
Yes, that boy.
Jason remembered on the 2nd year of school, he met a boy. He was small, even for his age. His skin color was light brown, and his curly hair also. His voice was stuttered from braces, but everything else that Jason remembered from the boy was completely fine. The boy’s physique was amazing, and his complexion clear.
“Who is he? why do I know him?”
A small tree went past overhead, and the grass rustled by Jason’s feet. The rye was still there, but it was muffled by underbrush and grass. The wind picked up again, and Jason heard the voice once more.
“Come here, Come here!”
A tree grew in front of Jason, and he had to quickly move to the right so he wouldn’t hit it at his fast pace. For a second, Jason couldn’t see; all he saw were two boys running past two great oaks. However, the vision faded as quickly as it had come to him. Still it stayed etched inside his mind as if he had first seen it. It seemed to Jason that one of the boys, which he assumed was himself, had grown a little. But that boy... he seemed to have stayed the same…
Jason’s pace quickened even further, but he was never out of breath. More under bush grew, but it did not slow his pace.
“… Do you remember…”
That was all the voice said. It was not a question, either: more of a statement, a fact. And Jason did remember something. On what appear to be a graduation, Jason remembered coming up to the front and receiving many rewards for different things. Many clapped, but not as much as the boy from his other memories. Jason felt warm in his heart from seeing the boy, but something in his throat told him something else.
It wasn’t the boy… but….
As Jason made his way through ever-growing trees, he kept remembering different mundane things in life. He remembered the old biking trail that etched through Aurora all the way to Cherry Creek. He remembered there used to be an old field down below the apartment complex he lived in, but during his time in middle school had been filled with dilapidated condos. That memory had a deep impact on Jason, for he remembered playing with that boy there.
“Do you remember…” whispered the voice, “middle school.”
The memories were darker to him than the others, but he remembered. He saw many kids run pass his field of vision in those memories, but he couldn’t remember ever liking them. In fact, he held dissent in his mind, but something kept him from remembering why.
The sun was now in his eye, and seemed to go down faster than the sun in his memories. His pace had become so fast, he thought he would reach the end of this world: even with the new trees and foliage popping up everywhere. However, the shadow kept on getting bigger and bigger, and—out in the distance – was a figure of a man.
Evening began to surface with its colors, and the coolness of the grass was felt through Jason’s formal shoes. The memories kept flooding through his mind, but they were not calming and relaxing anymore. As the memories went past his mind’s eye, his head pounded even worse than when he first woke up.
What he saw were deaths of family members: first starting with his mother, than his father. He was in high school, and doing excessive amounts of drugs: things to his body he would not even want to think about. But they were there.
“That can’t be me…” said Jason.
“It is you, sadly,” whispered the wind, in a truly sentimental voice. “Now keep coming; you must remember!”
And remember he did. The foliage increased exceptionally, and so did his memories. He remembered fine details in his life: his mother, Carrie, dying from a break-in at precisely midnight, and his father, Peter, dying from a heart attack at 1 PM. He remembered being all alone for most of his days, hearing every mocking voice pass through his mind’s ear.
The only comfort? The boy.
Through the flood of horrible memories, that boy was always there and remained always the same. He never grew up, and he seemed to be right next to him through the bad and good. They didn’t play games like in the memories during the day, but the boy kept urging him to stop doing drugs and get his grade ups.
Jason wept, but did not stop his pace. That boy, that boy, that boy! Why didn’t he know his name still? He was in most, if not all of his memories. He seemed to be the only friend; the others that he remembered as friends at all had died during in a church trip to a Christian Camp in New Mexico; he was 17 when it happened.
Those friends… oh how Jason was remembering them! He remembered a girl named Jessica, who always cheered him up when he was down. Taylor, Austin, and Stan always played football with him; along with many of the youth group. Bobby, Timmy, Alex, Joseph, Amanda, Carly-- all of them he could remember by name.
Jason kept his head down, not stopping but not seeing whether he was getting close to the far off figure. Then, a conversation came to him. He remembered it… It was during his last day of school in Colorado State University; about five years after his friends had died. He was lying face down, in the dark, crying. The boy from his memories looked at him and began to talk.
“You need to get up and stop mourning,” said the boy. “If what you say is true, then they’re in the place that I talk to you so much about!”
“Place,” thought Jason. “What place? I don’t remember that in any of the flood of memories.”
“Screw you,” said Jason’s former self. “You know as well as I do that none a place exist!”
“But there is, and I know you still believe it! For if you didn’t, then I wouldn’t be here!”
“Then why don’t you go away then, hm,” asked Jason. “Who said you should stay?”
“I say I stay,” said the boy. “I hear your family, and your friends, and they don’t want you to be lost!”
“Are you going to convert me or something? We both know Christianity and all religious bullshit isn't God. That Place is not the heaven of the Bible, but something else entirely. So why can't you tell me what it is?!”
“You know I can’t do that; you choose what you choose…”
“Then I choose you to be gone! Go! You are just a reminder to the past and what was once there!”
Jason saw himself light a cigarette, inhale deeply, and blew the smoke at the boy’s face. His heart remorse. did he do that?
“Oh Jason… I will show the love of those you lost one day… There may not be a heaven, but there is a world far greater than this.”
The boy shook his head, and disappeared.
Jason stopped where he was, and wept. The evening had pass, and it was nighttime. Jason was not in a field of rye anymore, but instead he was in a jungle of deep green and night flowers. The dew of the ground soaked his trousers and he felt chilled.
“Now, calm yourself. These are the former things…”
Jason thought this was the wind, but when a hand was placed on his shoulders and he jumped back. He looked up to see a man, clothed in formal gray attire and with a face of many years. There appeared to be a faint glow around him, and even in the night the light of the stars and moon showed a long outstretched shadow before him.
“Am I dead,” Jason said thinking in his head how such a cliché that sounded, yet he wondered if he was being condemned for his past life.
“Not yet, though men eventually come to this unless an intervention happens from Him.”
“Your voice…” whispered Jason, for he was still crying. “Why does it remind me of so many things, good and bad?
“I’ve hidden that from you, so I can tell you personally…” said the man. “I was the one who saw you destroy your body, the one who saw you fall to the outer darkness.”
“Then you are…”
But the man continued. “I am the one who tried to council you, but you would not let me. You wept bitterly, never letting go. I am the one you played ball with in your youth. I am the one who protected you when your parents prayed dearly that I looked after you. They knew I couldn’t keep you from the world’s pleasure, but they knew I could stop you from going over the periphery. And so I did.”
“Are you God.”
The man laughed. “Man… I love you and all, but you can be dim sometimes. No, I’m not God… I’m just Ethan. I'm just another You.”
Jason’s heart stopped, the name… was it…?
“Yes, I am the boy from your memory,” said Ethan. “This place is just the field of your memory. Do you remember all the foliage as you drew closer to me?”
“How can I not? I kept almost running into trees because of it!”
Ethan laughed, a hearty old laugh that made Jason forget some of the memories that made his heart fall.
“Yes, good thing you didn’t though! Ah yes, the rye field from before represented your forgetfulness to the things you had done, even when they were fresh. For you see, you never remembered those memories because you tried to hide them inside your mind, for they were too painful. The new foliage represents you finally accepting what had happened, but knowing that they are the former things and life goes on.”
“So, why didn’t I know your name until now, and what happened after I told you to leave me?”
“Those two I wanted to tell you personally. The name I’ve already told you, unless you have short-term memory loss from seeing your old memories coming in all at once?”
“No… it’s Ethan, I don’t think I can ever forget that from now…”
“You just might,” said Ethan ominously. “But that’s to decide later, and to be talked about in a moment. The first thing is to talk about the latter subject. The memories afterwards are pretty grim, but they are also very hopeful. I will not describe your suffering, for it’s hard for even I to think about them let alone you knowing you did them. No, let me just tell you that you degraded yourself to almost inseparability to my eyes. But to Him, or from You I suppose, he said there was hope.
And hope there was, for you started to see your folly, and actually began to understand where your friends and family were. Though I told you about the place, you didn’t understand it. I kept calling it by name, but it was foreign to you. You even found out all to get there, but you held it back until it might’ve been too late.”
“What do you mean,” asked Jason.
“How do you think you got here, Jason? Just before you came here, you were walking the streets at night and were beaten to near death.”
“Nothing is new under heaven…” sighed Jason.
“Yes, but I pleaded with Him/You-- gah, that's still such a complicated thing even for me... Anyway, I pleaded so that you would not die just yet, so you could be given a choice. He actually told me he had already prepared for it, and that we would meet here! However, after this, you cannot see me until your time comes.”
Jason wept, but he felt comfort in his heart somehow.
“Fear not, for you will never be alone! I assure you; you will not tumble near the edge ever again. We have different names, yet are still always one. However, you still have a choice…”
“Well don’t leave me in ambiguity, what is my choice?”
“When you wake up, you will be in the hospital. On the side will be a big leather book. It is not a Bible, or any religious text: it is just a personal book only you and your love ones have found in this lifetime. Pick it up and read it. Your decision will be if you will believe the words in that book, or not. Your family and friends believed it, and they want you too also. There death was not in vain. I cannot tell you the plan on why; you will find out in the coming days.”
“Will this be the end of my seeing you?”
“Only if you want it to be. I will be gone from your world, but I will not be gone from the other. That place of deep cerulean glow and twilight... that wonderful other place the Others, like you, call 'home'."
“The others… like me?”
“Read the word; you’ll understand. Some will see your story and wish to know themselves what I keep talking to you about. And to them, you, I, and he will send them their own book and story. But that is another chapter..."
Ethan smiled, as if he knew something nice would happen. He gave out a hand, and Jason grabbed it. As he did, everything around him disappear and he was in the void once more.
As he escaped the void once more, he saw that he was in a sterile room that glowed with the daytime from the window.
He didn’t know where he was, except that he had just escaped a void of nothing. Even his mind left him; all he could think of was one word.
He didn’t know why he wanted to read, but he felt an urge to read the first book he saw. He felt completely stiff, and he saw he was plugged into an IV. He turned his neck to see an old leather book lying on its back. Jason smiled, not knowing why he did.
He picked up the book and began to read, and remembered everything that had happen.
He did not weep, only smiled. He knew the time of mourning had pass, and the night had finally ended. This was the new day, and he was going to believe and live it with Ethan, even if they were a world apart.