THE PROTECTOR

Death 1: Part 1

I never actually knew I was dead, until Epicure revived me in the middle of the opposite world. She was sitting to my left, just watching while I vomited up what was left of my lager onto my blood stained shirt. She was blurred due to my ruptured eyeballs, but when she leaned over, god knows what she did, my vision cleared and I saw her lean back and resume her normal position.

I sat there, gathering what the hell happened, trying to remember why I was lying down on the ground in the first place. I attempted to sit up, but I couldn't.

"What the hell…" I heard myself mutter.

"No, what the parallel."

"Huh?"

"Don't try to get up. Your spine has ruptured and is actually sticking out of your skin. Your skull has fractured in seven places and half your brain has leaked out of your ears. Your left eye fell out somewhere along the line and your other one is just covered in blood. Your left rib cage has collapsed and punctured your lung and both your legs are broken. Your stomach has exploded but is pretty much well restored. Apart from that, you are in perfect health. I just suggest that you lie there for a couple more minutes and after that you'll be fine. I guess someone will be coming for you later, just don't go too far."

"Huh?" her voice sounded nice and I think that's all I noticed, sort low and rusty.

"Catch you round."

And before I could say anything else, I knew that I was alone.

I must have passed out for awhile, for I awoke to the feeling of water running down my face. Too scared to open my eyes, I tried to sit up. I could. Feeling good at his stage, I opened one eye, and then the next. I could see. And it was raining.

"Good sleep?"

The voice was not something I was expecting and I jolted right around in a sort of ballet move on my arse. I felt something crack and pain run through my leg.

"Shit!" I grabbed my leg and screwed my face up in pain.

"Yeah, nasty that one. Don't worry; you'll be fine in a minute."

I looked up with disgust and a male, not much older than me was lying on his back and sticking his tongue into the rain. He had messy dark hair with blue eyes and didn't seem at all concerned with my leg. Opened my mouth to express my feelings, but he cut me off.

"Dude, don't worry, alright. You were in a car accident, but it's all good now. Someone got here before me and must of fixed you up, so you are gonna be fine."

"Fine? My leg has just broken."

He gave a casual shrug. "It'll heal up."

"What?"

"It'll heal up." He looked at me and saw my face. "Damn boy, you aren't very quick are you?"

"I guess not."

He rolled onto his belly, pulled at the grass in front of him and put a blade of grass in his mouth. "Ever wondered what happens to you after you die?"

I shrugged, confused.

He smiled. "Dude, you died."

"What?"

"I did tell you earlier, but I guess it takes awhile for the brain cells to connect after your brain has leaked out your ears." He rolled around till he got comfortable and began again. "You were in a car accident. Damn god way to go if you ask me, I think you were passed out before the car rolled, and you had a chick half naked lying across you, but anyway. The car rolled, you went out the windscreen, landed about ten metres away from the accident, literally snapped yourself in half and died. You with me so far?" I was just staring at him so he went on. "Now, when some people die, they just rot in the ground, unfortunately it's generally the Catholics who do but you know, that's not the point. Now most people are re-born practically straight away, for every time someone dies, a new life is born, or your spirit finds another body, generally in a pregnant woman's womb and you come back into the world."

"So what about this." I nodded my head around

"What do you think?"

"Fucked if I know man."

He gave a smile and half laughed. "You haven't had a good look around have you? Get up you lazy bitch and take in the view properly."

So I did. And I was stunned. It was nearing evening and I was standing underneath a huge tree and surrounded by many more. The view, well I haven't been the emotional, thoughtful teenage boy, but I couldn't breath. It was brilliant.

"Now turn around."

So I did, and behind me was a decrepit house, several stories high, like an abandoned castle. Except it wasn't abandoned, for standing at the doorway, was a clump of people, watching me, the evening breeze playing with their hair.

"What the hell. Where am I?"

The boy was now standing next to me and smiling in the direction of the people. He gave a short wave and started to walk towards them.

"You coming?" he turned around. 'This is your new home?"

There wasn't much I could do, so I joined his side.

"See your legs better.' He murmured and gave a small laugh as I looked down at my leg, realising for the first time that I was actually walking on it. And by the time we had reached the front door, we were almost running.

The group of people parted slightly as we reached them and almost immediately the boy kneeled and placed his and crossed his arms upwards, so his left hand was on his right shoulder and his right hand was on his left shoulder. Too busy watching him; I didn't see the person step right in front of me.

"Welcome Ted of London."

I looked up at the sound of my name and a tall, slim, brunette was standing in front of me, dressed in blue silk. The rest of the people had gone down on their knees, like the boy next to me, and she and I were the only ones left standing. I felt awkward and turned around desperately on the spot.

But the people, mixed in gender, appearance, race and dress were silent, with their heads bowed. The wind picked up and teased the woman's hair. She just continued to smile and waved her hand gracefully around at the view.

"Beautiful isn't it?" she half asked, half stated.

I looked around, following the wide sweep of her hand and yet again, my breathe wouldn't come. It was beautiful.

"You better come inside. We don't want you to get sick."

I thought she was patronising me, but when I turned back at her, she had a laugh beginning to come on the edge of her lips. With a simple turn, she walked abck inside the building, the others rising and following, till only me and the boy were standing side by side, facing inwards at the cave like opening of the wooden double door.

"Come on dude." and he patted me on the shoulder, waiting for me to move.

I looked back at the forest and back inside.

"Come on."

And even though I didn't know what the hell to do, where I was, why I was actually there, I walked inside.