3 min
Image of Spring 2019
Image of Short Story
After having already died once, I had hoped that I would be less upset about the prospect of doing it again, but that has turned out not to be case. As I lay in this rather uncomfortable bed listening to the steady beeping of the machines monitoring my life, I can't help but feel an even greater sense of dread about my inevitable end than I did before it happened the first time. If only that one had taken. Then this would all be over and I wouldn't have to sit here waiting for it to happen again.

It had probably been about 24 hours now since they'd revived me. At first I had felt a great deal of pain, but now I mostly just felt weak. Probably from having lost so much blood. There was still a dull throbbing from the stumps that had previously lead to my legs, though I would describe that more as being uncomfortable. What really bothers me now is what I saw in those brief moments when I had ceased living. Or rather what I hadn't seen.

As so many had claimed before me, I too saw the white light in the distance. Over what felt like several hours but actually wound up being only a few minutes, the light grew closer, gradually filling up my entire field of view. But I didn't find it comforting, for I sensed that there was nothing else to it. It didn't feel like it was a gateway to Heaven, or even Hell, but instead it was just an encroaching nothingness. The idea that after an all too brief 29 years on Earth I would simply be erased from existence was not a comforting one, and now it is virtually all I can think about.

I know that logically that is the ending I should have expected. I've never really been especially religious, and the more I learned about science's explanations for how the universe works and where it all came from, the more I could feel what little faith I had being eroded away. I certainly want to believe in God and the afterlife, but as the evidence against such things mounts it becomes increasingly difficult to do so. Science's answers are still just theories however. As such they could yet be disproven. Maybe there is a God. I don't know that it's the God of the Bible, or of any other religious texts, but maybe there is one nonetheless. Just because the light seemed like it didn't lead anywhere doesn't mean it actually doesn't. It very well could have been the path to Heaven, or whatever awaits us after we die. Or perhaps it's something unrelated, just the brain's representation of a life being extinguished, not some sort of clue to what comes next. It could be that one doesn't see any part of where one's spirit winds up until after the light has enveloped you entirely. There may even be some elapsed time as the soul makes its way wherever it's headed. Then again, maybe that is all wishful thinking, and once everything goes white there is no more.

The door to my room has opened and the small group of men begins shuffling back in. Their hospital scrubs are still stained red with blood from when they removed my legs and one of them is carrying an electric drill. As I watch him plug it in near my bed I can't help but again find myself wishing they had let me die. The prospect of non-existence wasn't exactly comforting, but it seemed better than being repeatedly tortured by whoever it was that had abducted me and brought me here. Being brutally killed and revived over and over was not an ideal existence, even if what came after death showed very little promise.

The men have taken places around my bed and are now all watching me intently. Some look visibly deranged while others seem completely calm. I can't tell which is more upsetting. The man with the power drill is standing off to the right of me. He leans over my face and places the bit against my forehead. A few seconds pass by before he pulls the trigger and I feel relief. At least this should kill me.

Finally I am no longer worried about what awaits me on the other side, or if there even is one. As blood begins gushing out of my head I think I can feel myself starting to smile. I shut my eyes and once again I see the white light in the distance, approaching much faster this time. The pain is excruciating but I know it will soon be over as the white gets closer and closer and closer until it is nearly all I can see. Then

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GITA · ago
Original and uncomfortable. to say the least. Good touch with horror. I give you a vote. I hope you'll read mine, too.