NIO. Beware morbidity.

If this is heaven, perhaps she wanted to stay a ghost forever

If this is heaven, perhaps she wanted to stay a ghost forever. It sure isn't joyful- no angels, singing choirs, golden gate.

No light.

Well, perhaps that was an exaggeration, but not much of one. Lae feels as if she's stuffed into an old-school interrogation room, except she can't see the lightbulb above her head. The light is the dimmest she'd come across in life, the air stale and brisk, and it smells like…like degradation.

Then it hits her. She can sense. She can feel. Perhaps this is heaven. Or, perhaps, she considers, it's just Earth.


It's not a voice, not a being. A knowledge, perhaps. An intrinsic truth that simply resonates throughout the place.

And she understands. Lae. She understands everything.

She's trapped in herself. She is herself, and has been- beyond her death, and beyond her life.

Her last thought is the wonder to what brings the light in, before she screams- feeling the blood race down her chest, curl around her legs, to splash on the floor. She feels like she was hit by a bus speeding into another car, both smashing against her body.

she was hit by a bus, Meredith. she was hit by a car, John.
there was blood everywhere.

It doesn't stop. She sees the edges of what had seem like an endless room fill with her blood, as it swirls and waves higher and higher.

Why isn't she dead yet? A human body can't hold this much blood. It had filled to her hips.

"Have you forgotten so quickly, Lae? You're not human. You're never going to be again." Kellen. She creens her head as best as she can, attempting a glare, only to finish with a gasp of pain.

"It doesn't matter in dreams, does it?"

He snorts, chuckles, even starts to laugh as he answers, "You know as well as I do that this isn't a dream." And she does. And she screams again.

"Help," she croaks, not sure what he can do. He begins to preen his bloodying nails. "Please, Kellen," she begs. "The dead aren't supposed to be in this much pain." He looks up, staring at her. "Darling," he begins, "when humans feel this much pain, they die."

"Help," she pleads, one last time. But he's already gone. And her blood has started to rush back into her throat and choke her. It's beginning to block out the light, until she can barely see red anymore, just taste it.


Perhaps the dead can't die, but Liese soon finds that they can in fact pass out. Even while choking on their own existence.

Kellen watches as Clay leans his head against the wall behind his bed. It doesn't take a genius to know what the boy was thinking about- or who. There was only one person who made Clay cry. Even if it was just that one tear. It was one tear more than he'd probably even consider shedding for anyone else.

"Liese." The whisper simply oozes of desperation. Kellen can't stand it.

"She's dead, Clay. Get over it. She's fucking dead." Kellen knew Clay could never, would never hear him. He is dead too, after all. Yet he hopes that maybe the small bit of spirituality that dwelt in the boy will get through.

He is somewhat surprised to find that it does.

"She's dead, Clay. Get over it. Liese is fucking dead."

"Wow, the only difference is the use of her name." Kellen can feel the other's gaze as she continues, "You always have a problem saying the chick's name, don't you?"


"Yes, darling?"

Kellen turns from the boy, who's pulled himself together and seems to be considering typing away furiously on his keyboard.

"Why the hell are you here? Don't you have a charge to look after?" She raises a brow at him, knowing full well that he knows the answer to that. He gives her a deep sign in response.

"Well, then, why aren't you getting drunk with the rest of them?"

"They're not. We're all coping in our own ways." She gives him a meaningful stare, "Including you, Kel." Kellen turns to look at his own charge, before joining the other guide with his back against the wall. "I saw her," he states simply. "She was screaming."

Sal jumps. Stares. Paces. Stops. Right in front of his face. "Kellen. You know damn well that we're not supposed to interfere in the de-humanization. How dare-"

"I know Sal!" He spits out. "I didn't do a damn thing! I didn't…I didn't even fucking realize that was what was going on until I showed up and was immediately covered in blood." She relaxes, and returns to her spot. "I guess," she begins, "I guess that god really does have a plan for the chick." She sighs deeply, running her fingers through her hair, eyes saddening just a touch. "I was actually somewhat fond of the girl, too. That doesn't happen much."

"Yeah." It's his only reply. The clenching inside of him was a little too tight for him to say anything else. He focuses on Clay again- her latest love. What if he was her greatest, too?

Sal looks up at the other spirit, understanding as she sees his disappointing eyes boring into the boy. "Oh, my. I suppose I should have realized. You love her." His head snaps around to face her, eyes wide and confused. "You know damn well that I don't love her, Sal. We can't love. It's irrational." She shrugs.

"Unless you've loved her since…well since you were alive." She stares at him, as if daring the spirit to argue, as she sees all his walls crumble behind his face.

He turns. Leans. Drops. Knees pulled in, he thinks for a moment before resting his head against the wall and looking up at her. "We were supposed to love each other for ever, Sal. What happened?"

She titters. She hadn't realized the seriousness of the situation. "You've never been de-humed, have you dear?" He shakes his head in the negative. "Oh my." A pause. Silence, as they both consider how to broach what needs to be said. "How many," the elder begins, "how many times have you seen it happen to her?"

Pain. She always screamed.

"Including this time? Six. Three hundred forty nine years." An exhale. It's unclear from which, and it's possibly from both.

"god above. Always young."

"Almost always spontaneous."

"I wonder what her use is."

"Follow-Up is always short, too." He groans. "It's my fault. I-I've never gotten pass this fucking limbo."

He stands. He moves toward the only other person he ever believed his dear Lae of truly loving.

Sal can't help but pity both of the men in the room, when Ariel calls. She leaves without saying anything, and without being noticed.

She's awake. She doesn't know when that happened, but it did. It's dark. The metallic taste is finally washing away with her saliva. She's huddled in a corner, with a gaping hole in her middle. She can only be grateful that what was supposed to be a bloodless body finally dripped its last drop. At least she's finally gotten used to not having intestines. For a while it was beyond pain, but when you choke on gallons of your own blood, your concept of pain changes.

When humans feel this much pain, they die.

She wasn't human. That's why she's huddled in this corner, still feeling every inch of her mutilated body.


It was the same place. The same essence. She was rotting away inside of her own being.

There's a light. It flickers sometimes, and it's as dim as a twenty-one year old high school student, but it's there.


She huddles away from the light. It doesn't belong here, not within her. It's an external being, and one that she refuses to trust. The last time she stepped into the light, it ripped her apart, inside out.


She understands now. She is Darkness. She understands.


And suddenly the light is moving. It's next to her.


She moves to run. It can't touch her again.


Pain. Everywhere.


It's on her.

It's so bright.

And she can't help but see everything.