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What Comes After

Raven S.

By Raven SpoorPublished 7 years ago 6 min read

She tried hard to keep her eyes on the blank, white paper in front of her and her fingers on the home row of her typewriter. She could not tell you why she used a typewriter when she had a perfectly brand new Apple laptop sitting to her left. There was something about it that held her tight. Maybe it was because she felt connected to the great writers that came before her. Or maybe it was just that she was stubborn and stuck in her ways.

Tears welled up in her eyes, threatening to break down the wall she had worked so hard to build. The artist in her saw the mortar start to crack, felt the first chunks crashing down on her head, and smelt the dust settling. The wall was as real to her as the chair she was sitting in or the roof over her head that was protecting her from the pouring rain outside. As the dam broke and the tears slid down her face she felt her strength ebb until there wasn't enough for her to hold herself up. She looked up. There was nothing keeping her together anymore.

Scanning the room, she tried to find some source of comfort, some sign that he would burst through the door, sweep her up in his arms and whisk her away to the bedroom. But he had died over a month ago. All signs of him had been swept away by her family and friends, hoping it would help her to heal. It was as if he had never lived there at all.

Unable to take any more she stumbled to the bedroom, crawled into the now oversized bed, and cried herself to sleep.


She reached her arm out to touch the man that voice belonged to only to feel unused bedding. She opened her eyes and looked at the empty pillow beside her.

It must have been a dream. She would have to get used to the fact that her dreams would now be the only time she would see his face or hear his voice.

She turned over to look out the window only to discover that it was the middle of the night. The stars were shining and the moon was so full and bright that the room had been lit up the way it would be during the day.

James had once told her once that he thought when they died their spirits joined the stars. She tried to imagine him up there somewhere, a new star in the night sky, shining down over her. The idea did not bring as much comfort to her as she had hoped. For her, death was final. There was nothing to look forward to after this life. Afterlife was nothing but endless blackness. And there would be no consciousness to remember it so it did not matter in the slightest.

Kathy rolled out of bed and turned away from the window. There was no point in trying to find answers where none would be given. She was not particularly hungry but knew that if she did not eat she would regret it tomorrow. She popped her frozen dinner into the microwave and waited.

She glanced over at her typewriter. She knew that she should sit down and attempt to write something. But she also knew that no words would be forthcoming.

Beep. Beep. Beep.

The rest of the night consisted of her scarfing down her food and getting ready for bed. Just before falling asleep she rushed to the bathroom and promptly vomited up her dinner. She was not surprised. She had been unable to hold anything down since he had died. Just another sign of grief, she assumed.


Okay... so that was definitely not her imagination. She heard James' voice as clear as day, calling to her. But it was not possible. He was dead.

She sat up and looked around, secretly hoping it had been a dream and he was there trying to wake her up. It wasn't... he wasn't.

She got up and busied herself cleaning up the apartment. There was a thick layer of dust and cobwebs everywhere. There were dishes piled up in the sink. There were dozens of untouched casseroles sitting in her fridge.


She tried to ignore it. She was hearing things. That was it.


It sounded like it came from behind her. But she knew even before she turned around that there would be no one there.


Her frustration finally hit its boiling point and she threw her glass towards the empty space where the voice sounded. It bounced off something solid and shattered when it hit the ground.

Kathy took an involuntary step back until her rear end hit the counter behind her. She blinked her eyes, thinking she was seeing things. But the glass remained in pieces where it landed rather than on the area rug where it should have hit. There was nothing in front of her save the wall on the other side of the room. Her mind raced trying to find a logical explanation. When none was forthcoming, she inched towards the front door without taking her eyes off the empty space. She decided a nice long walk to clear her head would do her good.

She raced down the stairs, through the lobby, and out into the blinding sunlight. She blinked a few times allowing her eyes to adjust to the sudden change in lighting. Her feet turned, unbidden, north and she headed off. Normally when she took these kinds of walks her writer's brain was turned on. She would take in every detail and store it for later use. Even now, she knew that locked away somewhere in that mind of hers were intimate details of random people's lives, visions of scenes yet to play out and descriptions waiting to be written down for an unknown audience. A part of her wondered if she would ever be able to access this information again.

Today, instead of gathering new information for later use, she found her mind kept wondering back to the shards of glass still scattered about her kitchen. Although she had been startled, she was surprised to discover that the event did not shock her. She had ben hearing James' voice for two days. What was to stop her mind from playing tricks on her eyes too?

Before long the sun began to dip below the skyline. It was time to return home and face her crazy mind. She angled her feet towards her apartment and walked on.


She did not even bother opening her eyes this time. Her mind had been playing this trick on her for weeks now. There were no other incidents, though. And for that she was grateful. She wasn't sure she would make it through that again. She was already convinced she was headed to the psych ward at the local hospital.


She could have sworn that the tone had changed. The patience seemed to have disappeared from it and irritation seeped through. She turned over and curled under the blanket. She was tired of hearing her name. She no longer wished to hear his voice. Blissful silence. That was the only sound she wished to hear.


Well, so much for that wish.

Kathy! Open your eyes!

Okay... so that was more than her name. She squeezed her eyes tighter still. A breeze brushed her cheek.


Not a breeze. It was a hand. It was his hand. She would know it anywhere. It was one the only feeling in the world that could calm her nerves. Now, all it did was allow the panic to settle into her heart.


Her eyes shot open. There, on his side of the bed, was a shimmery figure. His head was resting on his hand and he was staring at her with a mixture of complete love and relief.

"James..." she breathed out as he reached his free hand out and entwined their fingers.


About the Creator

Raven Spoor

I am a young author . . . or wanna-be author. I have been told I'm fairly good I just haven't ever been published. I'm hoping this will help me turn that around.

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