Story for Rule 2: Endgame

Very dark. Can barely see. Fading light in the far distance. Too frightened to move. Don’t know what’s underfoot. Damn, talking to myself. Hope no-one can hear.

You’re here too. Knew you would be.

Who?

It’s me, old friend. Right beside you.

Who’s me? Can’t see you. You’re just… a disembodied voice.

You too.

So where are we?

Where’d you think? Where we always are.

You know, this isn’t making much sense. I remember being in bed, then… here. Am I dreaming?

No… I don’t think so. Something else.

I’m not… not… dead, am I?

Course not. You wouldn’t be here talking to me if you were dead. I thought you knew: once you’re dead you’re dead. That’s it. No afterlife.

Okay, yes, I do know that. But this… this isn’t the judgement, is it?

Judgement? There’s no judgement. No sin from which to be absolved. You know it doesn’t work like that.

You’re right, I do know that. But what about regrets? And guilt? I’ve quite a lot of those.

Not a lot of point though, is there? I mean, what can you do about it now?

I could make changes. When I wake up – this is a dream, right? – when I wake up, I’m going to make some changes. I’m going to tell my children, grown up now of course, that I love them. I never told them enough.

They know.

Yes, but I want to tell them. Tell them and hug them. I’ve never been as demonstrative as I should’ve been. I regret I wasn’t a better parent.

Still, if they’re adults now, they’ve made it haven’t they?

Well, yes. I guess so, but I can’t help but feel I should’ve done more with life.

Such as?

Doing something worthwhile. Something that was me. I should’ve been more myself. Not tried to be something I wasn’t.

Right.

That’s what religion did for me. I certainly regret that!

You know, there’s no point regretting anything. Not now.

I thought you said this wasn’t the judgement?

You wouldn’t be here if it was. As I’ve already tried to explain, neither of us would. There’s nothing on the other side. Nothing. The fact we’re here at all proves this isn’t some sort of life after death.

So, why are we here, wherever here is? And who are you, anyway?

I thought you knew. I thought you’d recognise my voice after all this time.

Your voice? Why would I recognise your voice?

Because, my friend, I’ve always been here beside you.

You have?

I have. But now we have to go. Both… of us. Time… is up and it’s… getting darker.

Go? Go where? Why can I barely hear you now?

It has been good… knowing you. We’ve made a good team. But time… is… short.

Wait. What are you

We’ll go together. Like always

Yes, okay. We’ll go togeth

.

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