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Mar 29, 2009

The Other Side (Part 3)

Read the first part here.

(This is a work-in-progress. I decided to post the rest of the story in draft form. I temporarily disabled the comments and will enable it once I've typed "The End".)

Christan awoke to unfamiliar sensations. It mildly started as being pinched finely all over, to being grazed by coarse sand paper and then rubbed deeper, faster. He thought he heard steam blowing near his ears. An offensive odor added to his distress. It was reminiscent of a cat he sacrificed once. He groaned as he opened his eyes. This simple act felt like his eyelids were being torn apart after they were stuck by superglue. He felt something tear in his dry throat when he groaned. Nothing could have prepared him from what his senses told him. He was burning.

Overwhelmed, he gave out a loud yell. His lips had been seared together. Forcing his mouth to open suddenly caused the thin skin covering his lower lip to peel off together with the upper lip. Blood oozed, boiling from red to black. He passed out.

The burning sensation would not go unnoticed for so long. Christan found himself roused by the warm pain wrapping his body. He could see his fingers slowly burn to the bones. He curled but little bits of his flesh would fall off toasted whenever he tried to move. He tried to roll over like a dead tree to put out the fire but to no avail. He left tracks of burning flesh stuck to the ground.

Uuunghhhhh... Make this stop... Please... stop. Let me die... Let me... die already.

He found it hard to form thoughts properly. Tears would just sizzle to steam from his eyes. It was too excruciating to make a sound. He remained lying face down, almost motionless in a state of complete surrender. He lay enduring the wait for his end to arrive. Minutes passed. Maybe Hours. Who knows? Time was irrelevant to his immense pain.

He decided to take matters to his own hand. He searched his surrounding for a sharp object, a ravine, a gun or a blunt object—anything just to make things quicker. He saw nothing. He was surrounded by nothing. He contemplated of strangling himself or breaking his neck or pulling out his heart. He had to do something for the pain was no longer bearable. Death by any means would be the most wonderful gift. He knew he had no right to choose. When he was in his twenties, he had dreamed of dying young in the comfort of his bed probably during his sleep or at least in the arms of a loved one. Never in his dreams would he imagine such a gruesome fate as being burned alive.

Alive… why am I still alive? Shouldn’t I be dead by now?

Even if he survived, he knew things will never be the same as combustion is irreversible. He puked embers as he saw his disgusting arms. He saw how some parts of his hands which were not burned form blisters as blood boiled out of his skin. Then he recalled his hands were almost black and bones a while ago. He asked himself why he had skin again. He observed the other parts of his body. He saw how new skin unexplainably grew from the burned flesh, just to be burned again. It was then he realized, he was not going to die, at least not any time soon.

You can’t die. You’re already dead.

He heard a woman’s voice. A silhouette of a woman in a long black dress was approaching from a distance. A familiar feminine scent drifted in between the stench of his burning limbs. She moved towards him as if she was floating on air. She effortlessly drag a man by his collar. The unknown man had his hands tied and was wearing a white cassock. The captive suggested terror in his eyes.

Mother?

Oh Christan, dear. What have you gotten yourself into? But don’t worry, okay? We’ll fix everything. Just do exactly what I say. For starters, take this knife and stab this man right through his heart.

What?!

Didn’t you hear me? Take the knife and kill this man. Simple.

Are you mad? What’s happening? I must be dreaming. Must wake up...

Don’t try to be cute. Do you want a way out of the state you’re in or not?

You’re not my mother. My mother is already dead.

I wish I were, dear, but... Oh wait. I am dead. Hahaha...

What’s happening and why is this happening to me?

Why do you always want everything to be explained? Isn’t it enough that I’m offering you relief? Why don’t we just cut the explanation and go on with the suggestion? Life doesn’t go out of its way to explain itself to you.
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