Twilight Air – by Joviex – narrated by Asclepius
Hello everyone, this is Asclepius, with a great story by Joviex entitled
Music by Smartsound.
You’re peaceful. You’re living what you barely dreamed of and it’s okay. It’s real. If you die here you’ll have this moment – your body wants this as much as your spirit does.
Stay here – it’s safe with the dead in the cool dark. You remain lying on the surface, their restless thrashing a lullaby that keeps you afloat. Death is a word used by people who haven’t been through it.
Time flows onwards, lost.
Two hands reach down, falling through the dark like heavy stones. Her voice doesn’t disturb you. It’s brisk and firm and her and you’re glad to hear it after the dead’s whispers.
The eerie light of a distant tower burns low, its soft, blue glow embracing her silhouette. You don’t have a proper name for it, the void between where you are and where she sits. You stare at her, and at the dead all around you: what have you done?
Before the dead began to speak to you, you had dreams of what your life might be like. Toiling under the warm sun, working the fields like your parents did, with a wife and a son – a strong boy skipping happily into the future like all children.
Your chest hurts. Your lungs grasp each breath from the arid air like rain beating upon the sun. Your aching hands, a mass of scrapes and scratches, sting from inactivity. The dead lay strewn about, unrepentant about what they’d done. The dead don’t much care for the stones that mark them; they only care about their legacies.
You feel hot with the rush of your heart, beating so hard it’s pounding your dreams into dust. This isn’t what was meant to be. Not this empty, starlit place where you’re going to die.
Framing your face with her hands, they smell of oil and dry earth. This is the verge. You either stop here forever or dive into the vastness beyond.
Her eyes glance towards the firmament, unblinking. You look up. It’s all beautiful. Minutes pass before you say what you’re thinking. “You’re not afraid?”
Her voice is soft. “I’m not afraid.”
It’s not death; you’ve felt its grip upon your soul all too often. That’s not the terror. The terror is unnamed, yet exhilarating – an undiscovered country beyond.
Most who are about to die are hypocrites. You watch them meet that new frontier with heavy sobs, mourning the loss of something that was never owned. You see them start that journey screaming and flailing and tearing at their clothes.
The dead don’t lie. They continue their solemn march toward that land. You are never forced to bid your farewells. You know it to be more insidious. Death’s touch grows warmer with each moment you dwell.
“There’s much left undone.” Your words are inadequate. Like a stone – colorless and cold, twisting, descending into the shadowy, airless abyss of a river.
The stars can’t hear you and won’t, but she does. Everyone struggles. You see her somber smile. You hear her heavy heart. You know the battle raging behind her eyes.
You know, you understand, you reassure, “We will be alright.”
She places some flowers on the fresh earth; the smell is warm and full of life.
You watch her take up your son. The dream is done.
You’re no longer peaceful, just at peace.