“I am Makoto Ota. I’m in love with a beautiful woman. I’m married to a loving husband. I have a son.”
No one plans to die. Instinctively, we jump through hoops to avoid death but it’s eventual. You get what everyone gets – you get a lifetime. I read that somewhere once when looking for comics for my son.
I used to find it funny.
Now I know it’s the truth.
Maybe I shouldn’t have questioned it so much. I was a highly-respected botanist before I started looking at the world from a different angle. That’s where I found the key to the universe. As a scientist, I should find the concept of magic childish, an art of misdirection and illusion for the entertainment of the easily amused. But what I found was magick, the exertion of sheer will to shape and define the laws of nature.
It’s hard to explain if you don’t get it, but imagine a stream. The stream has bacteria, minerals, fish, and plants. As a scavenger, we drink from the stream, gather fish from its waters, and the stream’s bounty sustains or poisons if we aren’t careful.
But with the right knowledge – the proper tools – we can alter the flow of the stream, filter out the harmful elements, introduce more fish to the ecosystem, or stop the flow altogether.
Best you beware if you do stop the stream or take too much as a storm may come and the water will burst through the dam or your stream may end up barren. Everything we do, naturally, has consequences. Nothing we do is easy.
I didn’t plan to die. Yet, with my revelations, it was eventual. No one would know that my curiosity and discovery tempted fate to deliver that truck that sent us crashing off that road.
But it wasn’t the impact that killed me.
The image of my husband’s face haunted me as I fought to breathe life back into him. But I was too late.
Death is eventual. Eventually it came for me.
We have many theories of the afterlife: Heaven, Hell, Limbo, Purgatory, Valhalla, the Underworld, Yomi-no-kuni, the Summerlands. Any of these might exist but I didn’t see them as we traveled together in death. We were surrounded by thousands of others in a frosty ether that can only be described as wandering the Alaskan wilderness in your birthday suit only to find rusted signs written in Russian. Never did we encounter the same face twice, except for our own. I wouldn’t let go of his hand while the undulating mist overtook us. Weeks were seconds, months were minutes, a year an hour
But the milliseconds were a small eternity.
Then I woke up.
Magik, like gods and many other things, works in mysterious ways. A formula that doesn’t work for one, may do wonders for another. Some words I scribbled in a journal, a theory at best written days before the accident, called me back from the other side. I never planned to die. Never the less, I was prepared.
But I never meant to let go of his hand.
I couldn’t bring him with me. Instead, I let go – I killed him! A horrific end I do not wish upon anyone. His was a death so thorough and complete, there is no coming back. Such a final affair removes you from all but flecks of memory of the dearest of treasured loved ones. He met oblivion just so I could taste twenty-four hours more of life.
“I am Makoto Ota. I’m in love with a beautiful woman. I have a son.”
No one plans to die, but it’s eventual. My time was supposed to be limited in this world. A small taste to wrap up my affairs and reach my final destination. I saw my boy, my son! He was by my side when I came to, dressed in the green coat I made for him. I was stunned to see how he had grown, though it’s to be expected after ten years. We drowned in our tears as the sand slipped through our fingers. I knew it was never going to be enough.
Eventually, my twenty-four hours were up.
It was unexpected that I didn’t fade when the last grain fell. Somehow, we all knew I was stuck. My son and an old flame acted quickly to make sure I had somewhere to go. To think I had a second chance. I couldn’t be happier to witness my son and his new wife have a family of their own. I could see my grandchildren grow as I always dreamt.
Still, a hole in my heart ached. What could I be missing?
“I am Makoto Ota. I’m in love with a beautiful woman.”
I’ve been living with the love of my life for a few years now, still at a fair age of thirty-three. It seems time has forgotten me. Occasionally, a strange boy in a silly-looking coat visits my voluptuous partner and insists we talk from time to time. I make sure not to comment out loud but I can’t understand why anyone would wear that shade of green.
I suppose I shouldn’t complain. He’s sweet enough. My girlfriend seems fond of him.
I don’t plan to die. I don’t even know if it’s possible anymore. My reflection looks the same as it did since the accident, but I’m getting clumsy with age. Yesterday, I tripped while descending the stairs. Thankfully my darling was there to catch me, but then I knocked the hair dryer into my bath. It was serendipitous that I swapped the plug to charge my toothbrush before my evening routine.
When death can’t claim you, it will take and take until you beg.
Do you ever walk into the kitchen and forget what you were there for? Maybe it was for a glass of water, but you find that you aren’t very thirsty. I find myself with that feeling all too often. At times, I look around to question if I’ve ever seen this place before. That’s when my love guides me down the hall back to my room. Then she affectionately calls me Momo and insists I rest a while.
I love how she cares for me.
“I am Momo.”
I wish to die. So many come to visit me. They say they know me. They mean nothing to me. A gorgeous woman checks on me with her husband. I think she’s a nurse. He doesn’t look like a doctor.
I just want to sleep.
I just want to be alone.
I just want to die.