The great beyond.

Here is a prompt I wrote up this afternoon on the afterlife. Enjoy!

Prompt: The great beyond.

This morning, at nine thirty, on the thirteenth day of December, Juan Baptista succumbed to a week long battle against an infected leg he cut while playing bandidios in the ruins of Oso Oro Mill. Juan lay dried up in a wet bed, laden with sweat, shivering and fading in and out of consciousness. His family gathered all around him, watching his chest raise and lower in longer and longer intervals. Finally his chest went down and didn’t come up. His mother let out a long chilling moan, and it was this sound that followed Juan into the dark and rang in his mind as he opened his eyes to behold a familiar scene.

“Abuela’s house?” Juan said. “I’m not in California.” His voice came like a force out of his mouth, and distorted the room in ripples as it passed. The entire room – carpted floors, big screen television, ‘L’ shaped couch – was how Juan remembered it, except the colors were wrong. Everything was washed with a dark blue that made Juan shiver and cross his arms across his chest. “My leg,” he said, and pulled up his foot to inspect the calf. The skin was smooth and uncut. “The hell?”

“Absolutely not!” a voice said from below.

Juan flinched and looked at the stair case on his left. “Mom?”

“I don’t care! I don’t care, you can’t! Please, you can’t, I won’t let you. I won’t let you!”

“Mom!” Juan said and leaped three steps at a time down one flight of stairs, then another in the opposite direction. “Mom, what’s wrong? I’m coming.” Juan stopped at the foot of the stairs, faced with the darkness of the first floor. His mother yelled again. “Mom!” Juan groped at the wall to his left and flipped a switch. The room lit up and Juan saw the marbled entrance floor that led to the sitting room ahead and dining room to the left. The place was empty and silent. “This doesn’t make sense.”

The bong of a grandfather clock chimed out three times and Juan spotted it in the sitting room, but the time was obscured behind frosted glass.

Then a booming bass, like cannon fire rumbles the house and the tall white entrance doors to Juan’s left bulged inward and snapped back with a crack. “I died,” he said.

The two tall double doors fell still and Juan made his way past a display of porcelain figurines built into the wall. The fragile saints behind the glass watched as he passed. Juan reached the doors and grasped the blue-grey handle and tugged. The door didn’t budge. Juan pulled again. Then again. Then finally there came the sound of a click, the doors slid opened on their own, and Juan stepped through, into the dark.






Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *