The International Writers Magazine: What is Life After Death?
Where is it?
Chapter One? It's here
Great Beyond - Chapter 5
'Reality is yours to shape to your liking. Keep in mind though that
others will have an influence on it.'
He waited patiently
while I took it all in. I could see where the future led out of sight
in all directions. I could also see deeply into the past, and it also
appeared to circle inward just as infinitely.
"Its beautiful isnt it?"
"I could never have imagined. How do you navigate through it all
without getting lost?"
"Simplicity itself. All your movement is a direct result of your
volition. But as you can see, every point at every time touches in a
way that allows you to move through it all without moving at all. Instantaneous
teleportation if you will, but on a multidimensional scale. You just
have to think yourself there, and there you are. There is a knack to
it, of course, and it will take a while to master it but I dont
foresee any problems for you. Youve taken this all with great
"Its a facade, I assure you. Its growing on me, but
if I werent drunk Id be howling at the moon and drooling
all over myself. I might anyway."
"False modesty is so useless. Especially without a mortal coil.
Your essence is all thats left; the superfluous has been stripped
away. You cant hide much from anyone on this side of the sky,
but once you develop some of your defenses you can hold your cards a
little closer to your chest. Many people who live full lives mature
enough to handle this pretty well. Some better than others, but you
moved on too early; a good while before your time. Thats where
I come in. Im here to look after you and to teach you. Youre
in good hands. Ive been doing this for millennia."
I wasnt being modest. The vastness and complexity of it all had
me reeling. There were places along the continuum that drew my attention
by sheer pungent atrocity. I stood witness to the finest, and most gruesome
chapters in human history, unable to turn away. It all unfurled and
I could see it from every angle. It was like a long vivid history lesson;
comprehensive and uncensored and incapable of bias. I reflexively drew
the numbing effects of the drink around me like a protective barrier.
I found that by concentrating, I could intensify the effects, and therefore,
had also stumbled onto the means to relieve myself of it. But I didnt
dare. I was watching with revulsion the devastation of the Bubonic Plague,
and had yet to work my way up to World War Two. I wasnt looking
forward to it.
After I had seen everything up to around the time of my birth, Urimaru
came to my side, and I felt him guiding me. We circled inward, growing
smaller and smaller. It happened gradually, almost lazily; floating
me downward to a more familiar seeming perspective. We were back to
where we started from and he was sitting comfortably as if in a chair,
but suspended in the blackness with no visible means of support.
"All right. I took you half way, now as I said you have to get
back on your own." He lit a thick cigar and stared at me passionlessly.
I was feeling more centered; coming down from the ordeal of a close
up of long term human development and beginning to cope with it. I took
some time to get a grip and adjust a little, while I thought about how
to move myself back into the study. I felt fairly certain that I couldnt
get back the way I came. I dont know how we did it in the first
place. The only clue I had was the sword still hanging in the void.
It was the clue, the link I needed. I knew what to do.
First I shrugged off the buzz. It was replaced with an empty cut-off
feeling that I ignored as I traced over the new places along my consciousness,
feeling the areas I used to create the saber. I began to shape the room
in my mind, starting with the walls then added ceiling, floor and furnishings.
When I had everything pictured firmly in my mind, I concentrated on
the new areas and slowly pushed at them. It was awkward, like flexing
a new muscle that wasnt atrophied, just unfamiliar. Blurry at
first, then pulling sharply into focus the room appeared around me as
before. I was standing next to the table. "Hows that?"
"Thats one way to do it. Its your universe chief, and
youre at the center of it. You control the vertical and the horizontal.
Its the same for all of us. Reality is yours to shape to your
liking. Keep in mind though that others will have an influence on it.
Principally the author of our story. Also others who are more experienced
or disciplined than you are will have an advantage. Will power plays
a part as well, and I can tell you have plenty of that." He pulled
the legal pad from his Kimono, and began to scribble on it. The paper
he had written on earlier lay folded in half on the table.
"Im really a figment of someones imagination?"
"Yes. We all are."
"If I looked up and told him screw you do you think
hed hear me?"
"Certainly. Hes making you do it."
I did so. Vehemently. Colorfully. It didnt make me feel much better
"Mazel tov!" He said. "Today you become a man. Soon youll
start growing hair in funny places and your voice will start to squeak.
Have a seat, theres something I need to discuss with you."
As I sat across from him, I noticed the sword still suspended in mid
air just where Id left it. I formed a scabbard for it, sheathed
it and hung it on a peg on the wall without touching it. Urimarus
demeanor had turned serious, and he sat quietly for several moments
"I have something to confess to you. Ive done some things
with you out of sequence from the way I would normally train a new recruit.
I usually dont expose someone to the full extent of things, or
to the first hand history lesson I gave you until much later in their
training. I rushed you a bit, because yours is a special case. I felt
that a somewhat novel approach would be more appropriate to focus you
toward a path that will allow you to use your full potential and lead
you to true greatness."
"Arent you getting ahead of yourself? What do I need with
true greatness? What if Id rather settle for beautiful topless
women and lots of beer?"
"I was hoping you would know the answer to those questions by the
time you came here. You were still so young when you died; you may not
have had time to decide what is truly worth fighting for. Its
a question men have struggled with since there have been men, and there
are as many reasons as there are men willing to fight. Well come
back to that in a bit. I sense that you have another question, and I
think I know what it will be. Ask away."
"Very well, why me? Whats so special about me that you would
take the time to bring me here and show me all this?"
He nodded, and motioned to a closet which burst open and ejected a large
scroll. It flew to the side of the table and unrolled itself. There
was an intricately labeled chart on it with a central line that branched
off into scores of tangents and split apart in countless places. "This
is a linear timeline centered around your current life cycle in your
particular spatial dimension. Youll notice that its been
over simplified; two dimensions boiled down from what you saw out there.
As you can see, the primary split is at the point where you died. On
some of these paths, you lived to old age and died of natural causes,
and on the majority, you died in the sword debacle in the museum. Each
of these leads off in its own direction, but each is unique in
that no matter how far I trace any of them into the future, I cant
get the faintest glimpse of your existence, or of any effect you necessarily
would have had on any of the corresponding time/space lines after your
death. You are shrouded in mystery not only from me, but also from my
colleagues who are better at this kind of thing than I am."
© Brodie Parker June16th 2004
Chapters One & Two of our serialised novel - it begins here
Chapter Three here
Chapter Four here
Chapter five here
More Fiction in Dreamscapes
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