More Than This

A boy drowns, desperate and alone in his final moments.

He dies.

Then he wakes, naked, bruised and thirsty, but alive.

How can this be? And what is this strange, deserted place?

As he struggles to understand what is happening, the boy dares to hope. Might this not be the end? Might there be more to this life, or perhaps this afterlife?

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3. Next-Life Jewel

Click. Click. Click. Sounds of his heavy footsteps echoed throughout the abandoned chamber hall. Drip. Drip. Drip. Sounds of his blood and sweat falling to the ground were faint, the final battle was over, and the Next-Life Jewel was his.

Where.. Where is it?

Looking around, his feet slid across the floor, his energy drained, his soul preparing to give up.

 

An empty room, no entrance, no exit. This was life or death. Next-life or no-life.

Where the hell is that goddamn Jewel!

The frustration on his face was showing, the fear of disappearing after all of his efforts. Reaching into his pocket, the last healing potion had a death grip around its base. Skin healed over his wounds, part of his energy returned. He slumped onto the floor. No more food, no more potions, nothing remained; he could not face any humans after Rita’s annihilation. The sword rested by his side, the sword that Rita gave him, her spare sword. She saved his life, yet there was nothing he could do to help her in return.

 

Eye lids closed, his mind relaxed, focused on what lied in front of him. Remembering the myth that rumoured around about the Next-Life Jewel:

Once the beast has been slain,

Its soul will surely break the chain.

The door that once was sealed,

Enter, with the weapons you wield.

Focus your mind with your soul,

Assuring you have full self-control.

Make a wish, it will come true,

The Next-Life Jewel belongs to you.

 

Self control… His focus was interrupted multiple times, with his memories from Rita.

 

“Hmm? You want to know what I had to cross to get to the Jewel?” Her blurred face saddened.

Seth had encouraged her to speak on, “My family… My family, they don’t even deserve to be called that. They weren’t my family, they were torturers.”

As the vision of her blurred, Seth heard his own voice echo in his tampered mind, “They killed you, so in return, you had to kill them?”

After a sustained pause, she replied, “I couldn’t do it, I’ve tried many times. Many times. They have this sorta.. This sort of spiritual hold over me” Her eyes glistened with non-existent tears, she wasn’t sad, not anymore.

 

The scene changed, a sunny day, an early day, in the village, resting on a park bench.

“So how did you die? Any memories of your final moments?” Her voice trailed off, yet her mind wanted to say more, her heart wanted to let it all out. “Before I had to face my death, I heard the screams of my so called ‘Mother’ and the cursing language of my so called ‘Father’, I think that was when we died, both of us. Together.”

“…” Seth had nothing to reply to that, he wanted to answer the question, Rita wanted to know, but after what she had just told him. It wasn’t right.

“Well? Any memories?”

Her encouragement made him speak, “Water. Waves. I remember the waves gushing over me, strong current waves. I can still fell the sensation of losing my last breath, the tightness of my chest.” He slowly rose his hands to the area where his lungs were, and made a tight fist, “Just a little bit. Don’t remember it exactly..”

 

Seth opened his eyes, the memories cleared, stopped. He could see the room, the empty room. No Next-Life Jewel. Only him, and his hallucinations of Rita.

“You’re better off now, Seth.”

Her smiling face was calming and sweet, and then finally – non-existent.

 

In replace of Rita’s body, was the Jewel. The shining Next-Life Jewel. Glowing blue, a deep blue, like the waves of the ocean. Such a tiny treasure, for something that promises so much.

 

“Make a wish, it will come true,” Seth chuckled, the way that Rita use to.

“This is what you wanted me to do, but I don’t know what I want. A so called ‘Next-Life’ as you would put it? Why would I want one of them without you?”

 

He heard her voice inside his mind. I’ll be with you wherever you are. Whenever you are. If that is what you wish.

 

This grabbed Seth’s attention, he stared deeply into this gem, this Jewel, that promises you anything you wish for. Wish?

 

A smile appeared on Seth’s face, a peaceful smile; with tears in his eyes he held his hand out to the Jewel.

 

“The Next-Life Jewel belongs to you,” he announced, pleased with his thoughts.

His body dematerialized, as well as the Jewel; all that remained, was the harmonious vibe that he left behind.

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