Everyone knows that our world is dying. Everyone knows that there is only one person who can save it. Everyone knows, but nobody cares.
Nobody cares because we’re all dead already. Nobody cares because the person who will save us is alive. Nobody cares, but the believers.
The name says it all, they believe. They believe in the rebirth. They believe that the savior of the earth will save us too. They believe that it’s possible for us to breath again, for blood to pump through our veins. I don’t even remember what that feels like, let alone if it ever happened to me. But I believe.
That’s why I’m here. That’s why I finally made the decision to come. Because I believe.
The gaping hole reminds me of a mouth as I stare down into it; the jagged rocks like sharp, pointy teeth. It looks like it’s starving, like it’s ready for a feast. It will get one, when the savior comes.
I can’t look away for that very image burns in my mind. Where I look, the stones are not simply brown but a tar-like red, the color I imagine blood to be. The abyss is not empty; a body rests at the bottom. Its limbs are twisted in an array that I have seen on many spirits but it looks horrible on the solid, fleshy figure.
I back away because I can’t stand to look at it anymore. I know it’s not real, but it could be, will be. I knew this would happen; I knew I would see something horrible. Looking over my shoulder at Noah, the uncertainty shows on my face. He smiles, but I can see the impatience in his eyes. It has taken him a long time to persuade me to come here.
I take a deep breath and look again. This will strengthen my belief, I tell myself. I am the only believer who has not seen this place. I repeat this, over and over, until I don’t see the vision anymore.
This small victory makes me smile and again I turn to Noah, “I’m ready to go down.”
This time the smile lights up his whole face, making his eyes crinkle. I love that smile; it displays the true Noah, the one I know. “I knew you could do it.”
Putting my hand in his, I nod toward the steps, “Lead the way.”
He does happily. As we walk down, I evaluate our movements to distract myself. Heights are another issue I have, even if I am dead. We move at the same pace even though Noah is taller than me. Really, he just looks taller than me because he floats and I don’t. He assures me I’ll get the hang of it eventually but I don’t really know if I want to. Walking on the ground makes me feel normal, like I’m still affected by gravity.
This place makes me shiver, even though Noah’s with me. I’m not cold, I don’t get cold anymore. I think I’m scared, really scared. I haven’t felt like this for a long time, maybe not since I died. I don’t understand why I’m affected like this; I’m the only one.
Noah squeezes my hand. He’s excited and doesn’t sense my terror. This is usual. His own feelings are so strong, he rarely notices mine. I don’t know if this should bother me, but it doesn’t either way.
My foot hits the ground before I even realize we’ve reached the bottom. I look around; it’s unusually bright for such a closed in place. It reminds me of the long hallways in the sanctuary but they don’t make me feel so tiny.
After I’ve made my general observation, I look at Noah. He’s watching me closely, judging my reaction. He does this a lot. Half the time he doesn’t give me any attention, the other half he’s paying too much. Dropping my hand, he suddenly appears motionless, “Feel free to explore.”
I nod and instantly drift away. My fear aside, I am curious. What makes this place special? Why was is chosen for the rebirth? Why does it make me feel this way; why only me? They are questions I’ve always thought but never voiced. People would think I was doubting the cause, that I didn’t believe.
I decide that I want to feel this place, to know its shape. I approach the opposite wall and suddenly the world seems to slow down. My feet are moving, but my mind isn’t. I see my hand reaching out, my fingers bending forward, but I don’t feel them doing so.
The world catches up fast though when the tips of my fingers brush the wall. My brain explodes once my palm is laid flat against the rock. My nails dig into the clay as the sensation runs through me.
I open my eyes when it’s over, never realizing that I shut them. I feel like all my questions have been answered, the doubts swept out like cobwebs. I feel almost hyperactive.
I’m by Noah now; I moved faster than I ever had. His eyes sweep me up and down, “How do you feel?” He speaks slowly, like I won’t understand.
My eyes flicker left and right, “Fine. Wonderful. Energetic. Alive.” I saver the taste of the word in my mouth.
His smile again, “Then that means it worked.”
I laugh and jump and clap, all at the same time. The sound echoes around us, louder than it should be. Everything is so clear now, so lively. I grab Noah’s hand, rushing back up the stairs, eager to look again with my new perspective. More echoes come back at us in the form of our footsteps.
I rush to look over the edge once we reach the top. My happy expression melts off my face; I can feel it sliding. The energy leaves my limbs. The vision is back. This time it’s much more horrific. The blood shines in the sun and the body faces upwards; I can feel its dead eyes staring.
Leaning farther than is safe, I can feel my heart pumping as I squint to make out the face. A gasp escapes my lungs as I recognize it; it’s me.
I’m turning to tell Noah when it clicks. My heart? A gasp? That’s not right, I’m dead. I’m dead, right?
Now, I’m falling and my heart is beating faster and faster, roaring in my ears. Noah is getting smaller and smaller and I’m screaming louder and louder, “I’m alive!”
This is my second one in present tense. I don't know if it's smart to write them in present tense right now because soon I'm gong to have to rewrite all the pieces of Thinking of You that are in present tense. However, I am still satisfied with this story. Here's to hoping it doesn't come back to bite me in the butt.