Title: Yes, INDEED!
Genre: Short Story
Rating: R for possibly graphic scenes.
Notes: If anyone else get's the blatent reference in the title of this, other than plum_delicious, I'll buy you a cookie.
His unconscious body feel and hit the ground with a loud thud. Laying there, atop the cobbled stone, an over hung lantern partially illuminated his seemingly lifeless body. There were no physical injuries, which to untrained eye would seem odd considering the distance he fell. After a few moments, consciousness came back to him. He lifted his head, his vision blurred by the jostling his head took. After attempting to shake off the distortion, he sat up. His vision still partially blurred, he looked around him in an attempt to gain his bearings from his surroundings.
Where he sat, was at the foot of a large black, iron lamp post. What surrounded him was something that seemed like a fog, but was actually more like a black cloud. On the edge of what the light illuminated, the darkness seemed to swirl, as though a wind was blowing. But the air hung still and stagnant. An odor hung in the air, a familiar odor, but one he just couldn't quite put his finger on. He attempted to look up, past the top of the lamp post, but saw only more of the same black swirling fog. His vision returned to normal, and he decided to try to stand up. Using the lamp post as leverage, he pulled himself up. Much to his surprise, he was quite fine.
After he stood, he turned to look behind him. There, on the edge of what the lamp illuminated, stood an odd looking man. He wore a long black cloak, which looked quite a bit worse for wear. There were holes in it, but the odd part was, the holes revealed nothing but darkness. The man stood, slightly hunched, with his hands and arms crossed behind him. A hood concealed all of his face with the exception of his mouth. The skin on his chin was pale, as white as paper. Jacob stepped back in shock at the sight of the man. But the man just stood there, unmoved by Jacob's gesture of surprise.
"Where is this place?" Jacob struggled to speak the words, his breath seemed shallow as if the air was too heavy for his lungs to move.
"This place," the man answered in a raspy, low voice, "is the edge of existence. It is where everything began and where it all ends." The skin around his mouth moved in much the same way as wet plastic moves when stretched over a surface and manipulated. "I am curious how you came to this place." the man inquired.
Jacob, even more uneasy, stepped back once more. He now stood next to the post. "I'm not quite sure myself. I remember... uh... actually... my memory is a bit lacking at the moment. I can't remember anything before I woke up here."
"That is... a shame." the man said in a very oddly stern voice. "Although, not surprising. I don't get very many visitors, but the ones that do 'drop by' seem to never remember where they came from." The odd part about this man, is that if you watched him as he spoke, he never seemed to move as if he was breathing. As a matter of fact, the only thing that ever moved on the man the entire time Jacob was watching him, was his mouth. Everything else stayed perfectly still.
"I hate to be so blunt, sir, but do you know of a way out of this place? Back to where I came from?" Jacob inquired. His voice was now quivering. He seemed to fear this man, but he had no idea why. The man did nothing to provoke fear, and perhaps, it was this fact that frightened Jacob the most.
"How do you suppose you get back to a place that even you, yourself, cannot remember?"
"Well, I suppose you have a point," Jacob retorted.
"Perhaps, a few moments is all you need to regain your thoughts. Sit, there at the foot of the lamp post, and reflect for a moment or two."
Jacob did what the man said, he had no reason not to. He sat at the foot of the lamp post, with his legs crossed. He lowered his head, and closed his eyes. His breathing slowed, and he felt himself begin to slip into a meditative state. As he did, a wind picked up, blowing from the left of him. Almost involuntarily, his head fell backwards and turned into the wind. His eyes opened slowly to an image in the swirling black. He saw an image of himself, sitting on his bed with candles lit all around him. He was sitting in much the same manner as he was now, meditating. All of a sudden, in the image that he was seeing, his body fell backward. His physical self seemed to "disintegrate" and disappear from the image, leaving only his clothing behind. A wind, in the image, blew out all the candles and with that, the image faded away. The swirling black returned and as it did, Jacob came back to full consciousness and stood up.
"I remember where I was" he exclaimed in the direction of the cloaked man. But the man was not there. Jacob looked to his left, then right, but the man was no where to be found. At that moment, he felt a slight breeze on the back of his neck. He whipped around to find himself inches from the cloaked mans face. "JESUS!" he shouted.
"So now you know where you came from." The man cackled.
"Yes, but I still do not know how to get back." Jacob retorted.
"Existence, as humans know it, is created out of the ending of something else. Life on earth was created from the deaths of many, many others. An entire race of beings somewhere else in the universe is dying out, because the humans keep reproducing. Life is created from death. Death, creates life. You coming here, is an anomaly of existence. You have created stand still. Time has stopped because you have violated a rule. No one knows this but you and I because they are all frozen. The fact that you are here, means nothing to the rest of the universe. You could stay here as long as you like and not cause any harm."
"But why would I stay?"
"Here, you could see whatever you wish. Any questions you have could be answered. All you would need to do is focus your thoughts on them, and they will be presented to you, much in the same form as when you found out where you came from."
"But the only question I have, is how do I return? Especially if I am 'disrupting' existence."
With that, the man backed away. "Ask the question and you will see the answer..." He backed up and faded into the swirling black. Jacob, now seemingly alone, stood there for a moment as if in thought. Realizing what he should do, he sat down again and began to meditate. The wind blew this time from in front of him. He felt his head lift, and his eyes slowly open. Again he saw an image, but this time it was of him sitting there, just as he was, only the image was as if he were viewing himself from the left side. For a few seconds, nothing happened in the image. Then, Jacob saw his mouth move in the image, as if he were saying something. He couldn't hear what it was though. As soon as his mouth stopped moving, he saw an image of the cloaked man, come flying in directly in front of him. In this vision, the cloaked man had a long, glimmering sword. He flew in and beheaded Jacob, blood jetted from his neck as his lifeless head fell to the ground. In the image, his head was facing him. His body fell over and blood poured out on to the cobbled stone. The man, still wielding the sword, stood over Jacob's body facing his severed head. Then, with a second movement of his blade, sliced Jacob's severed head in half, releasing his brain and sending the two halves of his head flying in either direction.
Immediately, Jacob awoke and looked up. "Life comes from death, Jacob." The man's voice boomed in his head. "To return from where you came, you must die here."
Jacob looked straight ahead of himself. "I understand."
"Do you want to return from whence you came, Jacob?" the man's voice seemed louder than before, and more stern.
"Yes, I would like to go back."
"Very well..." And with that, Jacob saw the man appear in front of him. He was now flying toward him quickly. Jacob did not move, he didn't even flinch. As the man approached, time seemed to slow. As if in slow motion, the cloaked man's sword flew around and toward the right side of Jacob's neck. As the cold steel contacted the skin on the right side of his neck, Jacob felt it. As it cut into his flesh and began to sever his veins and bone, Jacob felt it all. As the steel passed slowly though, piercing his throat, Jacob could taste the blood as it entered his mouth. He could feel himself choke on his own blood as the blade continued to pass through his neck. As the blade exited, he felt his head leave his body and tilt slightly to the left as it did.
At that moment, there was a flash, and Jacob awoke sitting on his bed. Still feeling the residual sensations from his supernatural beheading, he clenched his neck.
"Oh man... " he said, still in shock of the events that just transpired.
"I'm not doing that again...."