Your last quest on Earth

Okay. Det her er så min første movella. Noget jeg godt lige vil nævne før jeg starter på resuméet er at dette var en engelsk skole opgave, hvor det var grammatikken der udgjorde det væsenlige, så det er nok sådan noget "meget-lang-historie-klemt-sammen-på-for-lidt-plads" agtigt og det vil jeg gerne indrømme. Men jeg håber den stadig i hvert fald bare en smugle behager jeg også om jeg eventuelt skulle overveje at omskrive den :) Denne historie handler om Valerie McSmith, hvordan hun døde, hendes korte tur i Limbo og hvad der sker, da hun bliver sendt ned til jorden igen med en opgave hun ikke engang har kendskab til. __________________________________________________________________________________ Okay, this is my first movella. There is a little thing I need to clear with, whoever is reading this. This short story was a school project and it was all about the grammar. So it will most likely be a little like "a-very-long-story-squeezed-down-into-a-very-small-space" like and I'll admit that. I, though, still hope that it will entertain whose who read it and maybe tell me if I should consider to re-write it into a more fitting "space" :) This is the story of Valerie McSmith's death, her short trip to Limbo, what happens, when she is sent back to Earth with a quest upon her, which she has no knowledge of.

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1. Your last quest on Earth

Valerie McSmith was 16, when her sudden death occurred. She was murdered on a Monday night, in an alley. She should have been home by then, but someone made sure that she would never get there. Stabbed from behind she had fallen to the ground, bleeding. Her murderer had run from the scene, leaving her dead body behind.

Valerie eyes opened as she heard a sound nearby. Her heavy eyelids refused to open at first, but she managed to open them after a minute or two. With sleepy eyes she looked around in the… darkness. There was not any other way describe what surrounded her. It felt almost like it was clinging to her body.   Dazed she got to her feet, then she heard it again, a noise. It was, more precisely, a faint mumble. Valerie started to tumble towards the sound. After a couple steps she could make out a figure in the dark. The figure came closer every second, if Valerie’s heart wasn’t already stopped beating she would have sworn that her heart froze. Who or whatever it was had stopped walking only a few feet away from the place where Valerie had frozen. Now she could see that it was a woman. She was wearing a black dress and her hair was sat up in a bun, just like Valerie usually did with her long brown hair. The woman’s eyes were white and looking in to them made her feel cold, colder than before. Her own eyes had a warm color, hassle brown.

The woman moved closer, which caused her to move backwards.

  “Welcome to Limbo Valerie McSmith.” The woman put out her hand to her, like she wanted to shake hands with her.   ”What?” Valerie asked. She was confused, she knew that she was dead, but what was Limbo?   “Limbo,” the woman answered like she had heard her thoughts. “Is the land of those who still have a quest to do on Earth. The land of souls, which can’t go on to either Heaven or Hell.”   “And what am I doing here?” It didn’t make sense, not in her head, and she couldn’t see how it made sense in the woman’s head. Valerie’s head ached, if she tried to stop it or tried to get any sense of it, it didn’t work.

Valerie was walking in circles around herself, what the woman had just told her was racing around in her mind echoing.   “If this is a place for those who still have a quest to be done on Earth, what am I doing here then?” she had asked her and she had answered, what Valerie knew was then most logic answer, but it still hadn’t crossed her mind.   “You still have something to be done on Earth. Which you know you just hadn’t thought of it yet.” The woman added, removing dirt from under her fingernails like it didn’t really matter to her. Which it probably didn’t, since she told everybody the same thing, when they passed through her kingdom of emptiness. Another thing she had told Valerie was that she ruled this place, passing everybody through to the right places when they came, and telling those who weren’t ready for Heaven or Hell, like herself, what they were to do.

  “Now go,” the woman said “You’re busy, remember?”   “I know that, but can’t you at least give me a little clue about what I am to do? Please?”   “No. I have already told you that.” Her voice was calm, but Valerie felt that she was getting impatient, and although she only had spent a half hour with her, the woman had made it clear to her that she was to be respected.   “Fine I’ll go then, but how do I get down to the Earth again?”   “You have an awful lot of questions haven’t you?” Before Valerie could answer her question, or say anything at all the woman continued.   “Just go back from where you came. The light,” she added, when Valerie gave her a questioning gaze. She turned her head and looked in the opposite direction. Her feet felt light when she made her way back to the place where she first had put her eyes on the mysterious woman ruling this emptiness.

It was a coincidence that Valerie saw her parents on the street where she had landed. Her feet hit the ground so hard, that she had to lean against the wall behind her to make sure that she didn’t fall, that was when she saw her parents. Her mother and father walked slowly on the other side of the street. She tried to call for them, but remembered that she was dead and could not be heard by living people. She felt the tears well up in her eyes when she watched them walk away from her.   Valerie pull yourself together, she told herself, shaking her head while walking towards her parents. They made their way into a big white building; it took her a few seconds to realize where they were and what building they were walking into. Inside the church was crowded, there were people everywhere. Her mother and father shook hands with all the people there, probably thanking them for coming to support them in such a rough time.   Valerie’s body felt numb, while looking at all these people who had come to see her a last time before they put her into the ground. It was the sound of the organ that woke her up from her numbness; everyone had sat down on the benches and was now looking with blank eyes at the priest.

Half way through the sermon, Valerie sensed something in her surroundings; she turned her head and discovered a boy, sitting on the edge of a bench. She didn’t recognize him so she slowly walked up to him, her heart threatened to jump out of her chest when the boy fixed his eyes directly on her. He could see her.   “What are you doing here?” the boy asked. The question confused her in the beginning; she had pretty good reason to be here didn’t she? And she didn’t even know so why was he here?   “What are you doing here yourself?” it wasn’t because she didn’t want to answer the question, she just had to know why he was here.   “I’m here to tell you something, Valerie.” he answered. “I answered your question now it’s your turn.”   “How do you know my name? And I don’t really know, I’m trying to figure out what my last quest on Earth is, but I don’t have a clue.” that was actually not true. The only thing she wanted to do, other than seeing her parents a last time, was to find the person who had killed her. She didn’t know what she would do when she found him or her, yet.

  “I just know and another thing I know is what your last quest on Earth is,” Valerie’s head snapped up at the sound of those words, she had been standing with her head bowed while she had been thinking, now the only thing she was concentrated about, was the boy. Her voice trembled with desperation when she spoke;   “What? You do? What is it?!”   “I shouldn’t tell you, but the temptation is too great,” the boy took a deep breath before he continued;   “You shall find the man who killed you and kill him,” the boy’s expression didn’t change after he said that, he apparently didn’t see anything wrong with the fact, that he just told a 16 year old girl to go and kill a man, no matter what he had done.   “Okay…” she didn’t know what else to say, hurrah didn’t seem like the right thing to say at a moment like this.   “You should go now, before he’s gone.”   “What?” she felt like every single thing this guy said to her didn’t make any sense at all.   “Wait, what about telling me who you are and what you are going to do now? Since you already know a lot about me I think it would be on its place if you told me a little more   about yourself.” the boy sighed, seized her wrist and walked towards the exit of the church.   “Fine I’ll tell you all you want to know, but not in here.” As they reached the door and stepped outside, he started talking;

  “My name is Jonah, nice to meet you, I’m 17 years old and I died from drowning, no one have found my body, yet because, well, it was swallowed be a whale,” Valerie’s jaw dropped while Jonah kept on with his story. Just like her he had had a conversation with the lady of Limbo, whoever she was, and thereafter returned to Earth with the same mission, to find his last quest on Earth. 10 years was the time he had spent on wandering around, trying to figure out what he should do or, more precisely, what he had to do here. He had searched every little inch of his brain to find even the smallest clue of what he had to do, but nothing revealed itself for him. Now he was helping others to find out what they were to do, when he couldn’t find realize what he, himself, was to do.   “So do you know where this guy is or are you just taking me for a walk?” Valerie had started to get curious about where he was taking her.   “I’m taking you to the place where you died.”   “And you know where I died, because….”   “I saw it,” he looked at her with something that looked like pity in his eyes.   “Okay, well, why do you think that we can find him there?”   “Because he… Lives there.” Jonah had bowed his head in a way so she couldn’t see his face. He was ashamed of something, but what?

They entered the small alley, it was dark with a garbage can on both sides, behind the left one was a container. In the end of the ally was a fence, it had a hole in it, just big enough for a human go get through it. That was the reason she had been in this ally, that night. She was going to crawl through the hole and then quietly walk through the other gardens to get to her house.

Jonah made a noise behind her which made her turn around. He stood on the pavement just a foot or two from the opening of the ally.   “What’s wrong?” He jumped at the sound of her voice, clearly tearing him out of his own thoughts.   “Uhh, nothing, I was just well, uhmm…” his voice faded.   “You were just what?” she found it funny that he couldn’t finish his sentence, did that mean that she made him uncomfortable? Because if she did, then why?   He cleared his throat and started again, but just like the last time he couldn’t get the sentence done. He stood there fumbling with the words, when a door at his right burst open. A man stood in the doorway. He looked like one of those guys who don’t know where to put himself. He stood there not moving, until a woman came up behind him standing there with a rolling pin in her hands.   Jonah’s lower lip quivered. For a moment he looked like a confused little child, but then he regained his composure.   “That’s him” he said. “That’s the guy.”   “It is?” he didn’t really look like much, realizing this, she also realized something else. She had expected that she would get furious at the mere sight of him, but she felt nothing, nothing at all. Did that mean that she was cold enough to kill him without regretting it or get nightmares about it?   “Okay, so what do I do know?” she knew it was obvious, but she still, for some reason, wanted to hear it from his mouth, maybe so she knew that what she was about to do was right.   “What you came here for, kill him.” there were something about the way he said it. He sounded so cold.

Valerie swallowed once, then twice and then a third time. Did she really have the courage to do this? And how, how on Earth would she do it?   Slowly she walked up to him, standing a few feet away from him. Her eyes fell on the left side of his belt; he had a knife put down in it. She walked even closer, still not feeling anything she reached for the knife.   “Go away!” her head snapped up and she looked at the woman with the rolling pin. She backed a few steps away from her.   “Go away.” the woman said again, now she realized that the woman wasn’t talking to her, but the man in the doorway. He, still staring straight forward, walked out of the doorway. The woman closed the door behind him. 

Valerie exhaled, she had been holding her breath, and went for the knife. Her fingers closed around the knife, but something went wrong. Maybe it was a bit stuck in the belt she wasn’t sure of, but she dropped the knife in the process of pulling it out and it hit the ground just at the same time with the man. Luckily, maybe, it hit the ground just beside his hip. He groaned and tried to get up again.

  “Now, hurry.” it was Jonah, he stood there waving his hands like a crazy.   “Come on! This is your chance.” with a speed and courage, she didn’t know she had. Valerie seized the knife and stabbed the man in his stomach, he had been on all four and when he hit the ground, the knife cut even further into his stomach and stuck out of his back. It looked a little bit like he had tripped and fell right on top of the knife, somehow. Jonah, who had been watching the whole scene, walked over to the man lying, facedown, on the pavement. He bent down and seized something from the man’s pocket.   She couldn’t see what it was, but it shone like silver. He walked up to the door where the man had come from; he stood there for a moment looking at the thing in his hands. She saw that it was; a silver necklace with a cross in it. Then he closed his fist and went through the door.

After a couple minutes he came back and stood beside her.   “Why did you take that necklace? And why did you go in there? You know them or her?” she added nervously. He sighed and nodded.   “They were… Are, my parents,” he said.   “What!?” Now she felt furious. How could he make her kill his own father, no matter what he had done?   “Why?” she demanded.   “Why? What?”   “Why did you make me kill him?”   “Hey, I didn’t make you do anything! You chose to kill him.” he said getting a bit angry.   “Yes, but couldn’t you at least have told me he was your father?” she couldn’t get it to make sense in her head, why didn’t he morn his father’s death? Again another obvious answer.   “No.”   “Why not, then I would have reconsidered it,” she yelled   “Exactly! I didn’t want you to do that, because I don’t care about him!” he yelled back at her stepping closer to her so they were standing right in front of each other.   “But why?” she asked in a whisper.   “He was a horrible father, he hit me and my mother, yelled all the time, the list is long.” he added the last in a little faint voice. Then he looked away from her and stared at the sky.   “Valerie!” he exclaimed.   “What?!” she snapped.   “Look.” he pointed forwards. “Do you see what I see?” She dropped her jaw and so did he. A light had appeared in front of them. It looked like it shone brighter than the sun.   “What should we do?” he asked.   “Go through it.” and with that she walked into the light.

Valerie was, once again, in the darkness. But now there was a change, she had Jonah with her. She looked around and found him standing beside her or at least she thought it was him.   “Jonah?” she asked out in the darkness.   “Yes?”   “Phew, I’m glad it’s you.”   “Oh, why thank you.” he said jokingly   “Valerie McSmith and Jonah Hayes.”   “Yes?” they said at the same time.   “Follow me.” Now Valerie recognized the voice it was the woman.   “Where are we going now?” she asked.   “Now, when you have finished your last quests on Earth you’ll be taken to your rightful places.”   “And where is that?”   “You’ll see when one of the gates open for you.” the woman was teasing them. Before them two great gates appeared; a white on the left and a black on the right. The woman turned around and faced them.   “I hope that you’ve enjoyed your last time on Earth.” she said, smiling.

Valerie felt it just as the woman smiled at her, like something was calling for her, it called for her from inside the black gate. She started walking towards it, not able to hear anything else then the faint screams from behind the gate, calling for her. She stopped just when she reached the gate and turned around. Jonah was standing at the white gate looking behind him. Their eyes met and they both smiled as they turned, opened the gates and walked inside, closing the gates behind them.

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