Whispers of the Hereafter: Part One of The Hereafter Novel.
Updated: Feb 21, 2022
A young man comes face to face with an unimaginable being from a not too distant future.
In a dreary world, filled with vibrant flashes of light, malevolent and malformed creatures, as well as freakish flora, a young man treads like an incurable moose through muddy waters, being lured by some unforeseeable force. With each step, the purplish-pink translucent ground beneath his bare feet glows like a flickering candle, then changes to blood-red. The air flowing about him is thick and burdensome like a noxious fume and smells of sulfur. Blue and green lightning strikes skip along the surface of the hurricane clouds circling above. And in its center, is a black gaping hole leading to a place very few travelers wish to go.
Just before the young man is but two miles away from the center of the cosmic cyclone, he maneuvers past an arrangement of jagged, obsidian rocks, appearing like the bottom row of a shark’s set of teeth. Atop the cryptic crags, a group of tiny beings resembling the mix between a goblin and fury congregate, cheer, and chant. Although the language is well beyond the young man’s familiarity, he can make out one word that’s repeated on several occasions, “Ka-Throm… Ka-Throm... Ka-Throm…” As the crowd of curious creatures continue their cheering and chanting, the young man treads forward with what feels like eels in the pit of his stomach.
Eventually, the cheering and chanting grows silent as they are soon overpowered by a throng of blue, translucent trees of some sort, singing a chilling hymn. A hymn, taking the form of a chorus of screeching sopranos. Through the trees’ crystal bark, the young man can see what lies ahead. And before long, he emerges from the unimaginable forest and stands before it.
Miles beneath the eye of the unnerving hurricane is another gaping hole, a hole much wider than the one above. As soon as the young man arrives at the edge of the abyss, the now distant translucent trees simultaneously cease their song as if being hushed by the composer and from the abyss rises the most disturbing beast the young man has ever seen.
Rising before the young man is a massive creature bearing a red, fleshy, bony body. Its lower half resembles a serpent. It’s upper is muscular and open, exposing torn muscle, a cracked rib cage, and at its center, a black beating heart. It’s six arms are also muscular with portions of the skin peeled back. Over the course of its entire body, the creature is speckled with puss-squirting blisters. Its head looks similar to a basilisk's with Medusa hair. And from its back, emerges a set of eight spindly crustacean legs. The young man takes one look, then shields his eyes with his hands.
“Vrak-na-kar, Ka-Throm. Voon-na-tar, Erdronta!” The Being roars in a demonic, hissing voice. But the young man still doesn’t turn.
As a result of the young man’s behavior, The Being shouts at him, expelling a gust of air from its mouth almost toppling him. It repeats itself once more. This time, the foreign language becomes familiar.
“Vrak-na-kar, Ka-Throm. Voon-na-tar, erdronta! My name is, Ka-Throm. And this, is the Hereafter!”
Once the young man is able to determine the arcane articulation, he unshields his eyes and stares up, into The Beings’ peculiar pair. Although its body is beyond comprehension, its eyes are human, but glassy like a doll’s eyes. Suddenly, The Being lifts its arms toward the thunderous sky, causing the purplish-pink and red earth to shake beneath the young man’s feet. Then, it opens its mouth like a squid, releasing a harmonious hum and a swarm of winged things gather above.
While watching the outlandish phenomenon take place, the young man feels something like a raindrop hit his exposed right shoulder blade. He picks up the red droplet on his shoulder with his left pointer finger and presses it to his tongue. The droplet instantly tastes warm and like iron. Just as the young man realizes what’s about to happen, a shower of blood rains down from the sky. As the young man attempts to flee from The Unidentifiable Being and the abyss before him, his white tank top is tie-dyed and his black pajamas become soaked and worst of all, The Being perceives his efforts.
With another lift of its hands, the earth surrounding the young man begins to quake, erode, and crumble. The man’s heart is jolting as fast as humanly possible and feels as if someone or something is stabbing it with a knife. But the young man’s efforts to flee are futile as the earth opens up beneath him and he falls for what seems like an eternity.
That is, until he lands on his bed, wriggling atop his sweat-stained sheets. The young man rampantly wakes from his nightmare and is never the same again.