I never once believed it to be possible that life after death could be more boring than living. Forced to travel alongside Nikka for eternity. I’m a transcendent white lady spirit, yet confinded by the rules of the living. All as a part of the pact I entered with Nikka. So lame, if it wasn’t for our bond Nikka and I could never coexist. Doesn’t help that Nikka is too gleeful. Constantly upbeat, full of sporadic energy. Before I died, I lived in a place which seemed to suck the very life out of you, no matter who you were. A real bleak place named Unpleasantville. See? It even has an uninspiring name. I believed I’d soon end up in an early grave due to boredom, not heartbreak.
Unfortunately, I find myself in Unpleasantville. Nikka begged to see the place I grew up in, hoping it would grant my soul closure. It is all for naught. I will not be laid to rest. I will never find peace. The only bright side here is that I float. I do not have to deal with the dampened ground from that lake that once flooded. Nikka’s once white shoes are now a nauseating green from the lake goo.
Flooding season normally is over by now. I remember as a kid the adults would say never to go into the lake. They said a whirlpool would appear, sucking in all who disobey. The thought of disappearing and never being heard from again scared me to the core. What a foolish idea now.
There goes the creaky wooden sign, hanging crooked by one rusted chain. It reads:
Unpleasantville: Population 666,000
A place not even the devil himself would dare live!
Believe it or not that is the real town motto. Apparently, the founders thought it had a godly feel. God himself was watching over us. Warding away evil. Nothing bad could happen right? Wrong. The hazy fog from the lake has taken over the town. There are rows of abandoned buildings for miles.
We pass by The Poisonwood Pub, aka the only noteworthy place this town had. A place where you could go get alcohol poisoning, then stumble across the road to the hospital. Truly egregious. but in this town, there weren’t many options. Either drink yourself into coping, work yourself into a grave, or do the smart thing and move away. Something I was too immature to realize.
“At the top of the hill, is that what I think it is?” Nikka points to the east.
“Oh no you don’t! No need to go to the cemetery. You are still alive. Take a break from the supernatural stuff you freak.” I snap at her.
“Ouch, harsh! You do realize we are specialists, right? It's kinda what we have to do.” Nikka takes off towards the hill. Great, now I have no option but to follow.
At the top of the hill, the gates are swung open. The padlock had long since broken off. The gravestones have been overrun by nature. Crows flutter up to the sky, leaving behind black feathers. Nikka is squatting down near a grave.
“Um Maevis...why does this tombstone have your last name?” she asks.
This is exactly why I did not want to come here.
“Taken but not forgotten, Aloicius Alturain. The date of birth and death are unreadable.” Nikka stands, dusting off her leggings. “This was him, right?” She continues.
My heart starts to ache as it did on that faithful day.
“The only man I truly loved. Even in death I still keep his name.”
“I know you died of a broken heart. What did he do that was so horrible?”
Maybe it is time for closure. As long as I exist this will plague my heart. Unless I face it. I point to the crumbling church nearby.
“That place has the answer. Follow me.” I tell her.
Inside the old church is bone chilling, even to the undead. At the podium there rests a large tome. Nikka picks it up.
“Demonology? Given this town I am not surprised, but still. He cursed you?” Nikka flips through pages.
“No, the poor man cursed himself. When I first met him, he was everything to me. But he grew increasingly paranoid. Paranoid of life itself.”
Nikka closes the book. “Thats horrible! Wait, did he receive any help?”
“That was my thought. In this town religion ruled above all else. There was no such thing as therapy or psychiatric help. Only prayer and sermons. But even that has its limits.”
The floor creaks as Nikka walks closer. “Let me guess. His mind kept on deteriorating. The supernatural beckoned him and he gave into their calls. Sound about, right?”
“You really are a specialist. He found the tome and began practicing demonology behind the backs of everyone. Aloicius was successful in calling forth a demon. He feared death. He feared life without me. Initially he believed the demon would grant him immortality. Instead, the demon ended it.”
The memories of that day are forever a part of me. Encountering his body in a pool of blood. It was too much for me to handle. My heart gave out, and I died next to him. The wooden floor is still stained with my lover's blood. Everyone was forced to evacuate to escape the demon. Unpleasantville, the town which god was supposedly watching over. Don’t make me laugh. I feel as though I have laid this to rest, I can move on now. I have a second chance at life. Even in death.
Nikka has a smile on her face. “I can tell this worked out! You already seem less stoic! Now what should we do?”
“We leave this dreadful place.”
“Are you sure? Want to contact Alocious’s spirit? See how he’s doing?” Nikka asks.
“Silly, silly Nikka! He’s dead and gone. Now let’s leave here before you turn into a spirit yourself.”
Jordan Storey is an African American aspiring writer from Texas who writes short stories from the heart to entertain. Currently he is writing his first book titled "Rhyghts". A story which follows a group of young individuals with the power of gods. The inspiration he has comes from anime and mythology. He wishes to spread his writing across the world one day, and for many to to find enjoyment. For them to connect with his characters and build a relationship with them. Dynamic plots straight from his imagination as well as action that gets the adrenaline pumping. In general, he wishes to entertain readers, and give them a place where they can escape reality into.