Ken looked up to see the battle still happening but the noise had become muted. Ken looked over at the taller man and he was reloading his pistol while hiding behind the front desk. Once the pistol was ready the tall man stepped from behind the desk and began shooting. It was a suicidal death march. He stepped over Jean’s body but tripped. Jean had died while grasping her neck. The tall man’s large foot became caught underneath her arm. Instead of going out like a homicidal hero the tall man died like an idiot. The shots from the officers disappeared through Ken’s body and into the tall man’s chest and arms. If there was any doubt that Ken was not of that world the bullets confirmed that fact but soon it was over. The tall man fell over Jean’s body. Ken watched as a new pool of blood flowed from the man’s chest. He screamed as it inched closer to mix with Jean’s blood. He attempted to stop it but it flowed right through his foot and out the other side.

“Get your god-damn blood away from my wife’s blood!” He screamed passionately but this new world listened about as well as the old world. The blood mingled and eventually left a large mass of crimson death upon the hotel floor. Frustrated, Ken stepped away but then realized that Jean passed just before him. She is no longer part of that world. She should be a part of his new reality. She should be if that is the way this new world worked, the world between life and death.

Chapter 2: Through the veil

Where do you start looking for someone that passed on to this thin veil of a world? The hotel was full of people. Police and EMTs rushed throughout the rooms before him. Ken followed one officer into the bar passing through the door like Casper the Friendly ghost. The officer flipped a light switch upon the wall to reveal the horror before them. Seven bodies lie motionless within the bar. Most lay face-first upon the tables they sat. Others lay upon the floor. Ken was thankful he didn’t notice when he fought with the tall man. He may have second thought such a deed. The thought that followed was a question. Why would this man take on such a dark, suicidal task and where was his wife? Why didn’t she wait for him like he did for her? The answers would have to wait because someone grabbed him from behind and dragged him from the hotel. The hotel wall disappeared as he slid through it. Outside the noon sun highlighted the vibrate life that still continued. The warmth from the sun was missing though. Suddenly, Ken was thrown to the right. A large trash container and trash bags stood in his way but Ken lay within them. The tall man stood above him, his anger evident in his enclosed fists and heaving chest. The tall man grasps Ken by the front of the shirt and lifted him easily. Ken struggled but the tall man was twice as strong as him. The tall man pulled back a large ham-fisted arm and was ready to strike when Ken put up his hands and pushed forward an energy that was unfamiliar to him. Caught by surprise the tall man released him and fell backward. Ken fell downward the trash container surrounding him. He then pressed his hands forward again and pushed the tall man forward into a crowd of people that didn’t notice.

“God damn, American,” shouted the tall man who stood within the crowd. He then rushed forward but Ken stopped him with another push. The world then dissolved around them leaving only a black room, with a bright light at each end. Ken stopped pushing and they both paused to take in this new scene. The light only lit a column of darkness from which the two men stood. Outside this column was a think darkness.

“What the hell is this?” Ken asked loudly. “How the hell am I suppose to know,” shouted the tall man.

“I didn’t ask you,” snapped Ken. The tall man glared at him then stepped toward him again. Ken stepped back, arms outstretched.

“Pissed would not cover my anger right now, mate,” the tall man said as he approached. “Notice, we are dead! I’m pleasantly surprised that I can still grab you and toss you around but you seem to have an advantage you didn’t have in the real world. I can still tear your limbs off, I bet.”

Ken pushed his hands outward toward the tall man’s feet causing him to stumble but it did not stop him. The tall man leapt forward and grabbed Ken by the collar. Then tossed him to the left and laughed. “At least death isn’t going to be a waste.”

Ken slid upon the black floor disappearing from the light and into the darkness. Fear instantly struck him and he felt the pressure of someone grasping both his ankles. Barely able to move and struck with fear he managed to stand. He pushed his hands downward toward his ankles and leap toward the direction he came from. He stood within the column of light again. The tall man stood within the center of the column. Anger overwhelmed him and Ken pushed as hard as he could. The taller man fell backward and disappeared into the darkness. Ken waited for the tall man to reappear but after several long moments he did not.

Ken walked right into the light that was farthest from him.  The light at the end of the column got brighter as Ken walked toward it.  He squint his eyes till he could barely see.  He attempted to block the light with his hand but that was useless.  As he stepped into the light he again felt warmth.  The warmth began at his toes and radiated a comforting peace upward.  Several steps within the light and the warmth began to dissipate.  Ken continued forward until the darkness began to dilute the light.  Soon the light was almost gone, leaving only a small circular band radiating from mid-height.  Ken walked toward the circular band of light.  As he moved forward broken lines began to appear within the circle.   These lines were slowly filled in by a dark brown color.  “They looked like the roots of a tree,” Ken thought as he stared upward into the hole.  It was a small hole, barely big enough for Ken’s shoulders to fit through.  Above the brown roots he could see a blue sky blurred by the green leaves of a large tree.  The roots stretched from one end of the hole to the other.  Other then the darkness around him, the light above was the only way out.  Ken grasped the root and lifted himself upward.  With nothing to put his feet upon Ken struggled to lift his body high enough to balance himself upon the top of the root.  After several attempts Ken managed to push himself up and over the root.  He pulled up his left knee then his right.  He then climbed from the hole and into a whole new world.

Next up — Chapter 3: Upon the Forest of Eden

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