A girl opened her eyes, a gasp escaping her lips.
Her heart was racing, and she breathed in shallow, rapid breaths. The hair on the back of her neck stood straight up. She felt the need to run. But what from?
She took in her surroundings to seek an answer to this question. However, there was nothing. Quite literally nothing. She was standing in what felt like an empty void of vast black emptiness without a single interruption to its lonely nature.
This girl felt utterly confused. Why had she felt the way she did in here? Speaking of, where exactly was she?
The girl desperately looked for answers explaining where and why she was there. However, nothing existed, no matter how far she ran in this void.
All of this puzzled her. More and more questions started springing up in her mind. Besides the basic ‘Why am I here?’ and ‘Where am I?’, scarier questions also began forming. Questions like ‘Who am I?’ and ‘Why am I alone?’ She didn’t remember being alone moments before entering this void. She felt that she was with someone… no, not someone. Something. That’s right; the girl was accompanied by something. However, she couldn’t precisely recall what that thing was.
Pushing these thoughts away, she began looking for a way out. Surely there must be one. How could she have entered if there wasn’t?
The girl began walking. And she continued walking. She walked for a long time before she came across anything besides unoccupied space.
Far in front of her, in the distance, was a man. The girl could barely make out the details from where she stood. She continued forward. This person must have some idea as to where they were.
Her feet carried her forth until she finally stood within speaking distance from the man. The girl waved to him and called, “Hello!”
The man, who she realized was seated in a metal folding chair, beckoned for her. The girl jogged towards the man until she stood before him. “Hey,” she greeted, out of breath from her long journey. “You have any idea where we are?”
He nodded simply, not making direct eye contact. Upon a closer look, this man had some odd characteristics; he was young yet possessed pure white hair. His eyes were a piercing silver, and his otherwise handsome face was ruined by a nasty scar traveling from his right cheek to his left eyebrow. He seemed to be in his early thirties.
Ignoring her curiosity about his features, the girl asked, “Well, where are we?”
The man looked up at her. He smiled softly before saying, “You’re in the Afterlife.”
The girl felt her stomach drop. So that’s what this place was. It made sense. This place couldn’t possibly exist in the real world.
Blinking, the girl calmly asked, “So, that means I’m dead?”
The silver-eyed man tilted his head. “You seem to be taking this rather well. But yes, sadly, you are dead.”
“Does that mean you are too?”
A pause. Then he responded, “I suppose in some way. However, not in the same way you are currently.”
So she was dead. That added up from how she felt when she awoke in this place to the aching feeling in her chest telling her that this was indeed true. She really had died. That much had to be fact. But how? What traumatic death caused her to feel such terror?
From his seat, the man held out his hand. “It’s a pleasure to meet you, Rinn Crawley. You may call me Sephtis. I’m the Grim Reaper.”
As soon as her name was said, not only did memories of her life come flooding back to her, but the void around her morphed into something entirely different. She was suddenly inside a house - her house.
Trying to ignore the sudden change of environment, the girl, Rinn, carefully reached out and accepted the handshake. “The Grim Reaper, huh?” she asked, her voice faint. She felt like she was about to pass out. This was a bit too much for her to handle. She just learned that she was dead, her identity was remembered, and apparently, grim reapers were real.
Sephtis shook his head. “No, not grim reapers. Just reapers.”
And now he had just read her mind. Yep. That was the nail in the coffin.
Turning away, Rinn attempted to remove herself from this stressful situation and hoped to find out it was all just a bad dream. However, she was met with the door to the front of her house missing.
Rinn wanted to cry. She wanted to escape from wherever she was.
Behind her, Sephtis gently said, “I understand how hard this all must be to take in. When I first found myself in the Afterlife, I reacted in a similar manner. However, this must be done to continue onto the next step.”
Rinn turned back around. “What more is there?”
“I have an offer for you. One that I don’t think you’ll refuse.”
“And that offer is…?”
“I’d like to bring you back to life.”
That simple sentence ignited something in Rinn. She had never desired anything so badly before. Feeling a burst of hope, Rinn sat on the wooden floor of her home, ready to turn her full attention to what the Grim Reaper had to say. “Tell me what I need to do. I’ll do anything.”
Sephtis leaned down towards her and, in a commanding tone, told Rinn, “Remember how you perished.”
With those words, Rinn felt a wave of drowsiness overcome her, and she felt herself fall into sleep. A deep, deep slumber that would reawaken the memories of that fateful night.