Life After Living...

What happens when you die? Well when Evangeline finds out, her world is tipped upside down quite literally...
Terra, Para, Infernum. The three dimensions within time that coincide to create the sacred bond known as existence...

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2. The Courts of Deos and Deas

 

It was the Garden of Eden. It was as if a cloud in my mind had been lifted. The human race started in the Garden of Eden so it was only a natural cycle if they ended there too.

“Sometimes people look for an answer that's meaningful and in doing so dismiss the obvious!” Raphael said knowingly, it was true but it didn't stop people from doing it or Terra people should I say.

The sun broke out onto the joyous meadow, the fullness of the sky like blue crushed velvet against the orchard landscape. It was everything Terra was missing and more. You didn't just hear the sounds of the chirping birds, or the flowing of the stream like whispers from the ancient garden but you felt it. Only now did I realize I was bare feet as I glided on fresh grass cushioning my feet with marshmallow softness. My fingers brushed against the roughness of the shrubs against the crumbling texture of the soil. The trees of the forestry danced in the wind to the ever flowing melody of the light breeze. People danced and played exotic instruments making a melody only describable as heavenly. In the middle of the garden sat a tree, it looked ancient and entrancing with its strange markings and huge trunk. And I knew in my heart what it was but Raphael just confirmed it.

“That is the tree of life!” He said. The whole tree glistened and it wasn't quite rooted to the ground like you would expect a tree to be. Without really moving it was levitating.

“It is neither living nor dead but it houses the most aged of the Deos and Deas, the seven sorcerers. Not many get to see inside that place at younger than a million years old!” Raphael explained.

“So how does it work here, ageing?” I asked, I was curious, it was near impossible for me to guess Raphael's age.

“Once you have died you don’t age because ageing is in the process of dying!” Raphael said. “I died at seventeen in 1915 but it’s coming near to my 100th birthday which is young in the scheme of things!” Wow, he was nearly a hundred years older than me but here it was like we were the same age. “And well time, it isn’t something that works here, you just do what you want with it and it takes you where you want to go!” I was lost right then, but I didn’t think I had the brain capacity to hold any more information on time.

“Well at least I don't have to worry about wrinkles anymore!” I laughed, it was weird how a boy that had died just a year older than me, could seem so wise and knowledgeable. But now he had revealed his real age to me, I could see the signs of a seventeen year old boy in his appearance. The dimples in his cheeks and the long, slender muscular physique, the way his dark brown hair flopped into his green eyes – I could even see him in Pandemonium boarding school uniform. I would miss that place.

“But you can always change your appearance, with the right ingredients you can make Merle which is a spell that can give you a fake persona, we use it when going to Terra on business so that relatives or friends don't recognize us!” Suddenly a pouch appeared in Raphael's hand, he sprinkled the contents all over himself and turned away from me when he turned back, he was a one legged pirate. I laughed, it was madness. “Anyway this place takes getting used to!”

We sat in the meadow for a moment gazing at the warmth of the sun beside the Tree of Life.

“Now I must show you what the seven sorcerers look like!” Raphael explained. We walked towards a waterfall, the iridescent Water slowly lapping into the rainbow stream. He pulled away the waterfall as effortlessly as if it were a curtain, to reveal what seemed to be a gallery. There lay golden statues of people I had yet to understand.

“This is a gallery of all the royal sorcerers in history and here are the most recent ones!” Raphael explained, pulling open a red curtain behind it were the seven sorcerers. I was alarmed when Raphael went and touched them but then I realised they were in fact dummies far better than Madame Tussaud's.

“There are seven rulers in all but four of them are the rulers of each element,” Raphael explained, “This is Rula Senta ruler of Aether or air magic!” He said pointing to a woman with the purest white hair I had ever seen. Her grey eyes personifying cloud and her blue lipstick the exact colour of the sky. She was robed in a cloth only describable as woven from the moonlight. “Then there is Olgan Crow ruler of terra or Earth magic!” Olgan's brown hair was like the twigs of a tree, his eyes multiple flecks of green; he had a caring face that drew him to me. “Then there is Nila Gafin ruler of aqua and Gwithian Malarkey ruler of Fire they are brother and sister but they could not be more different!” Nila was beautiful her wavy hair a wreath of shadow, her turquoise eyes contrasting with her dark skin. She looked fragile but beautiful.  Her robe flowed around her like a stream and she wore a ring which looked like it may be made entirely out of water. But her brother seemed a shady character, his impatient silver eyes looked infuriated and his dark skin stretched over his anger as if it might rip apart, his dark mane of hair flowed down his back with one streak of a colour only described as anger. Gwithian Malarkey, I could only imagine what would happen if anyone was to cross him in a bad mood.

“So who are the other three?” I asked staring at the two men and women who sat on the thrown the four other sorcerers like angels surrounding them.

“They are the great who control the three dimensions of existence, Muslio Sturdy the ruler of Para,” Raphael said. Muslio had a long white beard which could only have been grown through thousands of years but his upright posture showed no sign of weariness or frailty in spite of what his age must have been. He had wrinkles of happiness from years of smiling and laughing and his colour was clear a bright colour beyond white, beyond any amount of happiness. It was light. “Thoula Arafin  ruler of Terra and Haxter Vispilio ruler of Infernum!” Thoula truly was mother nature, her green hair went far below her waist spilling into the meadow, her huge blue eyes like the sea, sparkling as if she could see everything and anything, the whole world and more, as if she could see me right then.  And lastly Haxter Vispilio. His black beard curled onto his face in the shape of a lion’s claw, sharp and cunning. His blue eyes were so clear; it stung to look at them. He wore a blood red suit and a top hat to match. He looked powerful and as sharp as a knife, like an eagle's sharp eyes calculating their next kill. Haxter Vispilio was a predator and I felt sorry for anyone who happened to be his prey.

“He is rather petrifying but he has to be with the type of people that live on Infernum, there's no time for good cop bad cop...” There was bitterness in Raphael's voice but I thought better than to question it. As we returned from inside the waterfall (now that's something you don't say every day!)Darkness fell, a moonlit party had begun. Beautiful fast paced music begun to play, as people sang and danced. A woman from the crowd pulled me into the fiesta, with the click of her fingers, the shredded shorts and vest top I had died in were transformed into a beautiful yellow halter dress, I wore wedges and my dark hair was up in a messy bun. I didn't quite understand how I knew what I looked like without a mirror but I could quite easily see my reflection. She grabbed my hand and swirled me around and I looked at Raphael for reassurance but he just stood there laughing. I couldn't get away the fast paced music daring me to keep up as people jumped in delight. I laughed as the woman pulled Raphael into the crowd, he was transformed into a Raphael coloured shirt and some white slacks. Finally she let go of my hand only to replace it with Raphael's he spun me around shyly, he cheeks flushing red. I laughed and spun him around in turn, I was 5 foot 9 but I had to stand on my tiptoes to reach Raphael's height.

“What is this?” I laughed drunk with euphoria, I had never witnessed a party just break out so suddenly before. Back in terra these sort of things were planned but never came out as effortlessly fun as this.

“We are in the middle of an initiation party all these people have just entered the garden of Eden, it's like a graduation party for one million year olds, they're all now royals, this is the time of their lives where they can just have fun, this party could go on for days, weeks, months even because time isn't needed here!” Raphael shouted over the crowds. I went to pull a twig out of Raphael's hair but we sprang apart as we dodged a man that looked around seventy as he did a somersault over the bonfire. There were loud bangs as fireworks erupted into the sky bursting into something beautiful but as they fell to the ground they didn't just evaporate like they did on Terra but they turned into streamers which soared past us getting in our hair and on our clothes. Suddenly we were enveloped into a conga line and paraded through the garden. All I saw was a swirl of colour as dancers spun around us bright blurs of colours and spicy infusions. Raphael grabbed my hand and we danced our way out of the tangle of the party.

“So, where to now?” I asked.

“Well my home, I hope you don't mind but for the time being you will be staying with me and my family, just until they make your colour building!” Raphael explained and I nodded but I wouldn't have been so quick to nod if I had met the Leone's....

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