"Where am I?" The fragile voice of Agatha Parks muttered as she opened her eyes. She was surrounded by a gentle, soft light consisting of millions of bright white particles. She watched them intently as they flew about her wrinkled form.
"Oh, my dear, you're safe now," Said a glowing figure standing high above her. He reached a lengthy arm out to her. Her face was full of cautious curiosity as she accepted his firm grip. He gently hoisted her up onto her feet and smoothed out her grey hair with a careful hand. "Agatha Parks, how long has it been, darling?" His voice was as smooth and rich as honey, "About 78 years?"
"Wh-who are you?" Agatha began to slowly back away from the glowing man, but the farther she went, the clearer his features became.
"Agatha," He started, suddenly only inches from her, "Don't you recognize me?" She shook her head, alarm clear as day upon her face. "Take a look around, and tell me: what do you see?"
Agatha took in her surroundings, realizing for the first time that the ground beneath her feet was a solid marble flooring. The walls were made up of marble as well. Everything seemed to be filled with a luminous texture. Everything was covered in light. "I-I see light."
A soft finger traced the length of her cheek, catching the tiny tears as they trickled down her face. She wasn't even aware that she was crying until her salty tears began to pool in the glowing man's hand. "You said you've seen me before. That you know me." She had a bit of a perplexed look on her face.
"Ah yes, my dear. You and I met a long time ago. I hoped you of all people would remember me, but I can't always get what I want."
"I am 78 years old. How would I have remembered you, exactly?" The tears had ceased and the soft fingers had revoked their gentle touch from Agatha's face.
The glowing man sighed before extending his two arms out in front of him, palms facing up. He closed his grey eyes and focused his vision on the past. In a very quick manner, a moving image appeared, floating in the glowing man's soft hands. Agatha gazed into the image, watching a familiar face speaking to the glowing man in a room with the same white marble and the same glowing light.
Agatha watched the young girl in the moving image. The girl was crying into her hands, gulping large amounts of oxygen in between sobs, and the glowing man had his soft hand resting upon the girl's shoulder. Are you ready? the glowing man asked the crying girl. I-I believe so. she replied, finding the strength to stand up. She sniffled one last time, and then she fell silent. The young girl squeezed her eyes shut, preparing herself. The glowing man put both of his hands on her temples, pressing their dampened foreheads together, and that's when the gold began to flow. Like blood from an open wound, the golden light poured onto the girl from the glowing man. it covered her from head to toe, embracing her with its honey yellow color, and removing the frown from her face.
Suddenly, as quick as the image had appeared, the young girl was gone, leaving nothing behind but leftover bits of golden light.
The glowing man opened his grey eyes and allowed them to focus on Agatha's face. He took in her wrinkled childlike face. She had crinkles in the corner of her eyes, along with slight dimples on her rosy red cheeks, and her silvery hair was once a vibrant red that matched her cool blue eyes perfectly. Despite her age, her eyes contained all the same youth as a child's.
She stared back at him, her face like steel, but the glowing man knew how she was really feeling. "Please," Agatha started, her eyes pleading, "—just tell me what's going on."
"My child, I tried. Don't you see? You've been here before." The glowing man's grey eyes were filled with kindness and assurance filled his silky voice.
"But that's the thing. Where am I?" She felt a sob beginning to fill her throat again and she swallowed hard. Now was the time for listening, not decisions caused by clouded thoughts.
"Agatha, you're dead. On Earth, that is. You died. Again." The glowing man's soft hand was resting gently on her shoulder, a reassuring gesture that shocked memories back into her mind.
The crying young girl doused in golden light.
The familiar face behind the sobs.
It was Agatha.
A shiver ran down her spine, causing her feeble legs to cave under Agatha's sorrow-laden body. She fell to her knees and laid her face in her pale hands. "But—" She strained herself trying to find words. She seemed to have misplaced her tongue.
The glowing man pitied her. He had seen anguish in the faces of many people, but none was as strong as that of Agatha Parks. Without asking her consent, he placed his hands on her temples and pressed his head to hers. He waited for the bliss of golden light to replenish her weakened, aching soul, yet he found her still kneeling on the ground when he opened his eyes.
He shut his grey eyes again and focused on her mind. He reached around the crevices of her thoughts, ran around the corridors of her existence, and dug deep into the he nerves leading to her heart, and it was not until he reached that very spot that he found a face.
"Who's this?" The glowing man asked with a hint of curiosity in his velvety smooth voice. He pulled away from her and opened his palms facing the ceiling. He closed his eyes and briefly flashed the image of the face into his hands.
There was a bit of a gasp before Agatha spoke with anguish-dipped pride in her tone. "That is Nicole Pond."
"Nicole Pond?" The glowing man scratched his prominent chin with his soft fingertips. "Where have I heard that name before?" The question was asked more to himself than to Agatha. He pulled away from her and her eyes snapped open. Grey and faded blue eyes locked together in the liquid light.
The glowing man spun around on his heels, and waltzed over to a marble desk that seemed to have appeared out of thin air. Next to the marble desk were two large beige filing cabinets which also seemed to have appeared out of thin air. He closed his eyes and pressed his hands together, thinking. A moment later, his grey eyes reopened and he turned back towards Agatha. "I have no information about Nicole Pond. She's in her first state of life. " He scratched his chin. "Then how do I know that name? And, more importantly, why is she keeping you from changing? Nothing can stop my light." More chin scratching followed by an audible sigh. "I don't like not knowing."
By this time, Agatha had taken a seat on the floor, watching the glowing man as his mind reeled for information. "Would you mind telling me about her? About Nicole Pond?" The glowing man asked and she simply nodded, closing her eyes as she did so. She folded her knees into her chest and opened her mouth.