1732, 2nd day of the first month of the cold period. Location Unknown

A biting cold makes my eyes go wide as knife rushes across my neck. I try to scream. No sound comes out and the cold line starts to burn. I can’t die like this, not here.


Why is Trish, my best friend, doing this? Her iron clad grip holds me tight as I struggle to break free. My strength fails me, and my last thought is of mom and dad, who passed years before me.



All that comforts me, as I shoot up and gasp for air, is hugging my knees. The biting cold air induces a shiver as I notice my skin is covered in sweat. I’ve never had such a vivid nightmare, not like that.


My fingertips touch my throat. The soft skin is unbroken which elicits a sigh of relief. My nose sits in the crevice between my legs, and I take some time to collect myself. Trish wouldn’t do that. I’m sure of it.


Another cool draft and I tremble. My dorm room isn’t usually this cold. As I pull my head away from my legs I catch myself from going off balance on the ground. Everything around me is in a haze. After no more than a few feet in front of me, the black and white tiled floor washes away.


Shit! Was that a dream? My own hand is fuzzy as I wave it in front of my face. Goosebumps cover my arms and back from the cold. A dull ache enters my feet and rear, the tiled floor cuts into me more than the arctic air.


“Meow,” a cat calls behind me in the distance.


A water blue cat sits a good distance from me, eyes like suns cut past the haze and seem to pierce through me.


I stand and notice I’m stark naked. The pressure I feel on my body from its eyes makes me cover my bare essentials.


Once I am closer to the cat I notice its body is solid but its hair is wispy. It flows into the air as a flame would.


“Hi there… kitty,” I say with a trembling voice.


The feline turns and walks away from me. The mysterious haze parts in its wake.


Fear of loneliness worms its way into my mind, and I know I must follow it.


For what seems like days we walk without a break. Pangs of hunger, exhaustion and normal body movements never find me. What I experienced before was not a dream. I am most certainly dead.


Trish killed me and I keep wondering why. Nothing makes sense about it. We were best friends and she was there for me when my parents died. She was a blast when we went to mixers, concerts and would talk about cute boys in class.


The cat waits for me as I stop for a few minutes and have a good cry about it. This sucks.


I dry my eyes and we continue onward. The events of before I died run rampant through my mind, but nothing stands out. Trish and I didn’t have a huge fight. We had our arguments sure, but nothing unusual. My death would gain her nothing.


“Meow,” breaks my inward moping. We are now standing before a boundless purple wall. A moment passes and I close my mouth from awe. It looks to be transparent so I can see that it’s about a yard thick. The mist has cleared a good area around it. I can’t see how tall or wide it is.


Words cannot describe the scope of this simple purple wall. How could I not notice that which appears larger than a planet or sun? The hairs on my arm stand on end as a humming noise increases in volume the closer I get to the wall.




The feline stares at me intently and flicks its tail toward the wall. It turns its head in that direction.


“You want me to touch it?” I ask. What harm can that have? Damn it! The wall zaps my finger and a shock travels throughout me. Purple smoke rises from my fingertip. As I suck on the sore spot I realize it does nothing for me. I give the cat a glare, why did it ask me to do that?


An exhalation I can only describe as disappointment comes from the small form. Its eyes meet mine, and a brief twinge of pain shoots through my forehead.


“You need to walk through it,” booms through my mind.


As I gently rub my temple and brow, I look back at the wall. Did the cat just talk into my head? The briefest of touches hurt so much. While it doesn’t hurt now, when I imagine that much pain all over my body it gives me pause.


“No way, that would hurt too much,” I say as I stare at my hand. “Is there another way?” I wonder with a look toward the cat. It’s not there so I look around for it. Great, it’s gone.

Dark thoughts find me as I ponder for some time. Having your life stolen from you, is awful. The more I revisit the thoughts the clearer my stance becomes: that bitch, how dare she.


The purple wall looms before me and I pick myself up. It’s time to get this over with. I’m afraid of what it means to go through it; not so much the pain, which does concern me, but I fear that I will stop being me, Anessa Rovenal.


On Earth, there are religious texts that cover the notion of crossing over. There’s no information on a place like this though. Is this a form of purgatory?


I speak to no one, “Dwelling on it won’t change the truth.” After I blink away the tears in my eyes I put some distance between me and the wall.


The mists appear more chaotic without the cat around, and I’m almost certain I see faces from time to time. Without the feline’s presence, I don’t dare wander into them for fear that I will never return.


All in one go, that’s the only way I’ll have the nerve to do it. My head clears after I close my eyes for a few moments and I exhale sharply. I bolt forward. Before I reach the wall, I leap to prevent myself from stopping part way.


Pain beyond compare erupts from every fiber of my being as I push through the wall. No number can describe it. I don’t know if I hit the ground or not but I curl into a fetal position and try to scream.


Before I black out I hope the pain doesn’t last long.

A note from Allen Clark Copeland, Jr.

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About the author

Allen Clark Copeland, Jr.


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