I’m dead. I’ll not bore you with the details, but suffice it to say that it wasn’t a good death, it wasn’t a natural death. There was nothing I did to provoke it, nor anything I could do to prevent it. Why am I telling you this? I want to get this all out of the way early so as not to detract from what I am about to tell you.
You, I’m sorry to say, are also dead and, like mine, it was neither good, nor natural. Don’t worry if you can’t remember anything now; the details will come to you in time, if you let them. But, unlike me, you have a choice. I can send you back. I can give you another chance. Sure, I have my reasons and, of course, my price, but let’s not dwell on that right now.
Why you? Well, my boy, you are somewhat unique in these parts. You have a…certain something, think of it as an opportunity. You possess an, as yet, unsevered link between this world and the world you just came from. There have been only a handful like you in all the centuries I’ve dwelt here and, fewer still, with a link as tangible as yours. All of them have returned, after all, it’s not every day that you get a second chance at life.
But, I digress. What do you think of my offer? I notice that some of your memories are returning now; I see the link growing fainter. Have you come to terms with your demise? Did you leave the world with all your business in order? Nothing left undone? I thought not. I see rage in your eyes, in the way you set your jaw. Don’t you wish for a chance to get even with those responsible? For the opportunity to take your revenge? I’m sure you would and I can make it happen…for only a small favour.
Alas, no. Like I said, you’ve been bestowed a unique gift. This place is not the hereafter. It helps to think of it more as a holding space between the living world and the paradise beyond the veil. Your girlfriend is beyond even my reach. She’d already accepted her fate and made peace with it. For her, there is no return. That’s not to say you’ll not see her again. Life (and death) has many ways of unfolding and who knows what the fates have in store for you both. But, if seeing her again is what you want, this is not the place to be. This is a place for brooders, the tormented, the lost. It is for those who lament their passing but haven’t the strength to change it. We are trapped here searching for a way to recover some of our dignity, something of what we once were. For me there is no escape, not without a guide.
That, my boy, is where you come in. I have the ability and the power to save you from the same fate. I can send you back to live your life as you wish, but I can’t allow you to go alone. I’ve suffered here too long to pass up an opportunity such as this. If you return, I am coming with you. While you claw your way out through the hole I make for you, I’ll dig my fingers deep into the fabric of your soul and I will not, ever, let go. We will be bound, you and I, until such a time as we return to the beyond and onward into paradise. Those are my terms and they are non-negotiable.
Think of your sweetheart. Her broken body there on that road. Don’t you want to make them pay for her pain? For yours? I can make it happen. I can give you the strength and the tools to make them suffer in ways you can only imagine. I’ll give you their lives, if you want them. A fair trade, don’t you think?
I’ll let you mull it over, but keep in mind that the clock is ticking. I wouldn’t want you to miss your chance.
Me? Just think of me as a passenger, a guide, you’ll be the one in the…ahem…driving seat.
Do you accept? You do? Excellent! I’m certain you won’t regret it.
Now, hold very still, this may hurt a little.