It was my last memory… Well, depending on how you look at it you could say it was my first memory. The last memory of my old life, the first memory of my new life… It’s really all a matter of perspective.
Most people who’ve had a near death experiences’ll say that it was all bright lights and passed loved ones… choirs of angels meeting you at the Pearly Gates.
I say they’re full of horse shit.
I experienced two things. The first being the cold as the life drained from me, the second being the sheer absence of everything. The blackness that had taken over.
‘Sides. Those folks were dead… How long? Fifteen, twenty minutes tops? I was on ice in the morgue for four days before he showed up.
I was slated for cremation, but I guess he figured he had other plans. Prometheus… Well, what he did I can only assume… But knowing him, my assumption really isn’t too much of a stretch of the imagination.
Now, the nearest I can figure is that he busted into the morgue and stole my body. Crazy, I know. But really… it’s him. And it’s not a stretch.
Well… Whatever he did? The result was the same.
I woke up in a mad scientist’s wet dream. I was suspended in a tank of iridescent fluid with enough tubes coming in and out of me that I could plumb a house.
I struggled, straining with my eyes to see outside the fish tank I’d been trapped in. Dark figures and shapes were all I could make out. Though… One particular blur moved towards me and gained enough clarity that I could see.
It was a man. Tall… That’s about all I could see. Things were still quite blurry.
He tapped on the glass. And pushed a few buttons. “Good morning, Nicholas.” He addressed me with the name only my mother would use. “Welcome back. Now, if you can understand me… Just nod.”
The fluid around me began to drain from the tank; I nodded, still trying to make out this man in front of me.
“Good. Your vision is probably off right now, but it will clear up in a few minutes. Now, I’m sure you have a lot of questions, first and foremost being who I am.” He took the oxygen mask off my face, and the tube out from my lungs. I sputtered and coughed, getting used to breathing for myself again.
“You can call me Prometheus.”
“Like the Greek God?” I rasped, feeling hoarse from just having a tube taken out of my lungs.
“Prometheus was a Titan, not a God.” Prometheus corrected. “The origins of my moniker a bit more intricate than that… But without delving into complexities… Yes.”
“Listen… Prometheus, I have to go home. My wife and kid are waiting for me.” My vision had cleared. And I looked over my caretaker.
He was tall, with dark black locks tied back with a ponytail. His eyes were what caught me the most at first, gold hued, but hardly soft. The kind of eyes that held too many secrets, but you’d be too afraid to ask.
“Home is somewhere you can not go now, Nicholas. Your old life is over.”
I went to sit up, only to find myself still firmly strapped in place. “What? No. That’s crazy. I can’t stay. They’re waiting for me.” I struggled against the restraints, trying my damnedest to get free.
“Nicholas.” He placed his hand on my chest. The feeling of paralysis stopped my protests. “You are dead, Nicholas. Hannah and James have buried you with that oak sapling just like you wanted. They’ve mourned you, but they’ve survived.”
I felt rage set in, though the rest of my body couldn’t move I was still able to talk. “Who… Just WHO the hell are you? And how in the FUCK do you know so god damned much about me?! If you hurt them… So help me God I will fucking KILL you.”
“Rest assured Hannah and James were been taken care of. James has started walking. Hannah is going back to work soon. Her mother will be taking care of James. But you can’t go back, Nicholas. That life is past.”
“You’re insane.” My words were venom.
His voice turned remorseful, “I wish that were true. It would make it easier on both of us.”
The sudden change of tone struck me by surprise. “Wait. What do you mean?”
“The process… It changes most people, Nicholas. They become stronger, smarter… faster, they can fly… they can control the elements… But they… They were living. You, Nicholas…? You were dead… The process regenerated you… It brought you back to life.” He pulled a mirror out and revealed the truth to me.
I stared upon a face I didn’t recognize. And it wasn’t in the stupid metaphorical sense. The features… They weren’t mine… And as I looked, they continued to change.
Prometheus took the mirror and set it down. His next words came slow, but with more gravity than anything I’ve ever heard in my life.
“It’s changed you, Nicholas. It’s changed you unlike anything I’ve ever seen. You can’t go home because you’ll be a stranger to them. They won’t know you, Nicholas. There is no home to go back to.”
“There is no home to go back to.”