I can still remember the feeling of total alienation, of foreignness, of discord and confusion the morning after I first died.
The feeling of the hazy sun, emerging from its melancholy depth and delivering its first light is one of my favorite memories. The first light of both that very day and my second life. It felt inexplicably warm and comfortable, out in the open, a cool breeze reminded me I wasn't dead.
It had been cold where I had died. It had always been cold where I lived.
In moments of bliss we can forget pain, but never for very long. A sharp incessant thumping started at the base of my neck, splintered upwards to my scalp and crashed at the back of my head. For several minutes that's all I could remember, it felt like death.
It was only after the pain subsided that I managed to open my eyes and survey the area. I was in an uncomfortable position, draped awkwardly over a fountain's stone lip. Several lengths of my hair were floating listlessly in the icy cold water. I felt as though I was unceremoniously dumped from the sky and had a hole drilled into the back of my head.
The surrounding architecture reminded me of Grecian designs. Everything was white-stone, solid and mighty. The sculpture in the middle of the fountain was an ambiguous thing. It appeared as though a man, with stone-white curls and stone-white ligaments was raising a stone-white muscled arm into the air. It was a strange salute, or a gesture of victory, perhaps a greeting or even a depiction of anger.
I grasped the banister beside the fountain that I had been sprawled upon and struggled to stand. As I struggled towards my full height, a hunk of deformed metal fell to the ground, seemingly originless. I looked towards the sky and the bloodrush threatened to bring me to my knees. I began to hallucinate and images hollered as wild and vivid as any unwarranted nightmare.
It started with the globe, spinning calmly above the male figure's outstretched hand. Specklets of light orbed onto the globe, not unlike a 3D GPS of hundreds of people. Most of the small watts seemed to be centred upon Europe, but many roamed free outside European boundaries. A bright red light flashed upon the globe, somewhere among the Italian regions, just flashing and teasing.
Then came the names. 1. Amelda Rhinecourt, 2. Pierce Kant and on and on. Every name had a corresponding number. Every number had a corresponding name, I noticed that sometimes the name changed but the numbers never budged. It was a ranking, but for what? I had thought.
I scratched my head absent-mindedly and gasped with horror as I felt the matted mess that was my hair. My hand came away red with dried blood and reeking of salt and rust. I stared at the hunk of deformed metal that had fallen, seemingly originless but now from destination. It was a bullet. A bullet that had fallen from me, or rather my head.
I had been shot in the back of my head. I was dead, but not quite. I started to remember the shock. The bang and resonance of the bullet leaving the barrel, spearing into my head. That splitting feeling of my skull cracking open all came back. I registered I had died. And now, I wasn't.
I laughed, the harsh croaking surprised me. This was an absurd but unfailingly real situation. My death defying headache kept everything explicitly real. I started to walk, walk it off I had told myself.
Walking didn't help, I had almost made a full circle round the fountain when reality cemented itself into my brain. There it was, the last rank.
1000. Leah (Ri-a) Ran
That was three months ago.