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The car slams into the side of the bridge, demolishing it in a single blow, the convertible and it’s driver fly out ward into thin, arctic air. Gradually they begin to fall, the wine dark water below becomes visible through the dusty windshield. With a huge splash the drivers world was reduced to darkness. The car quickly sinks into the lakes bed. Huge dirt plumes shoot up around the car as it impacts the floor. The car remains motionless, along with its driver. Instantaneously the car implodes from the intense pressure, and along with it’s driver, is reduced to ruble.

The man arouses in a long poorly lit hallway. With doors as far as his eyes let him see on the two blank walls of the hallway. He lies on the floor. The cold concrete floor stings his bare legs and arms. He sits up, before him the most magnificent mirror he had ever set his eyes on. It was as clear as could be, with gold plating with fierce dragons fighting what appeared to be men in-carved into gold surrounding the edges. He stands up and walks over to the mirror to feel the plating, but thinks better of it, he steps back and peers deep into the mirror, but to his astonishment did not see a set of eyes peering back. But instead a large emerald stone, floating in his place. He cautiously reached out his hand as if he could touch the stone, but as quickly as it appeared the stone vanished, and the mirror shone right threw him once more.

Something broke his concentration, something was approaching from behind. His chest tighten from the surprise. However, did not turn around, he was taken by fear. It quickened it’s paced, the footsteps echoed repeatedly, it sounded like someone was slapping the floor with the palm of there hand. He looked deep into the mirror to see the creature. Sweat trickled down his neck, whatever it was it was not like anything he had ever seen before. It had a very long neck, and a head stretched like a football, two narrow legs and very flat feet. It appeared to be slightly taller the himself, but he was not concerned by it’s size, but it’s extra terrestrial appearance.

He finally gained the courage to turn around. His head felt light, and weak, his clothes were torn, and had a deep gash on his left cheek, but no blood flowed from his wounds. Finally, the creature then came into plain view. It appeared to be smiling, and had the widest mouth he could have ever imagined. It’s teeth looked like daggers perfectly aligned to make a set of teeth, and it’s eyes like black marbles, sticking out of it’s head much like a fishes. As it got even closer he noticed three large gashes on each of its cheeks. They were very severe, for they went completely through his cheeks, exposing the blood red mouth behind. It’s skin was a pale white, and it appeared to Shadow that the creature was wearing flippers that matched his skin color. The creature stopped a few feet in front of Shadow, he was now trembling from fear.

Shadow looked at him from head to toe or at least where its toe’s would have been. He in fact was not wearing flippers, but those were his feet. Almost identical to those of a toads. It’s eyes so dark he couldn’t see the pupil. It stopped two feet away from him. Which was certainly to close for comfort as Shadow would put it. They both stood there, silent, for what seemed like an hour. But Shadow had lost his notion of time, much like in dreams. The creature finally spoke, “I am Grungle, son of Airenhorth. I have been sent to greet you in this realm, Shadow Slinder.” It spoke very poor English but it was enough to understand.

Shadow thought this was all a dream, it had to be how else would he have gotten here? “I don’t mean to be rude, um... Grungle, but what are you, and where the hell am I?” Grungle merely smiled wider and stared into the very depths of Shadows eyes. “Your questions will be answered, but not by me, no, that is for you to find out on your own. For it is always changing, always different.” He spoke very slowly and Shadow found it frustrating. For Shadow demanded answers, he was more confused than he had ever remembered. “I am a Worath.” Grungle said in a proud voice, interrupting Shadows thoughts. “What do all those doors lead to?” Shadow asked pointing behind Grungle. “Wherever you need to go to, wherever you destiny leads you, is that not where you always go when you pass threw a door?”

Shadow shrugged. “What is this mirror for?” He asked curiously, turning around and glaring at it. “Ah yes, the mirror of Minus Tirith, it shows the desires of whoever gazes into it. Wealth and Immortality are the two most common. But terrible things happen to those who take from it, they become possessed. And are consumed by greed.” Grungle’s grin became a look of sadness. Shadow smiled at the mystery of this place.“Has anyone taken from the mirror?” Asked Shadow. “Only one, a human, by the name of Charlie, but I don’t know what he is known by now.” Grungle started into the mirror. “I unfortunately was assigned to greet him.” Shadow did not hear him. He concentrating on the mirror, he was now beginning to see a slight fade of himself. Shadow waved into the mirror and watched his reflection.

“So…why did I come here, what happened to me?” Shadow asked now realizing that the ceiling had disappeared revealing billions of stars scattered about the sky. “You’ll find out in time what happened to your previous live, we-”

“Am I dead, is this like the afterlife!?” Shadow interrupted, his confusion now turning into rage.

“Yes, this is a afterlife but it is not the only one of course, you see your people of Earth always have endless conflicts about who’s religion is ‘right’ and who’s is ‘wrong’ but the truth about all afterlife's is that whatever you think will happen to you when you die does. This is the afterlife of what you call the ‘atheists’ or the nonbelievers. There is an after life with God of course, an afterlife in which you are reincarnated and one that you sleep in eternal darkness and of course there are many more but those are the ones I believe to be most common.” Shadow was shocked, he was an atheist, but he didn’t want to spend the rest of however long he had in here. In this dank hallway. All of this had been revealed to him, what had been heavily debated for thousands of years.

“So is this it? Is this the entirety of the ‘atheist afterlife?’ And why am I invisible? Shadow asked beginning to see a slight fade of some sort of blue ball in the sky.

“When you start off in any after life you are invisible, as you are mourned by loved ones you become more ‘real’ to your afterlife and the other people in it. Every tear that someone sheds for you, the more visible you become. And of course this is not the atheist afterlife this is the greeting hall, each of the Worats are assigned many families in fact hundreds each, and when someone dies in that family we greet them.” Grungle said who now appeared to Shadow that he was getting tired of answering the same questions for years.

“Let’s move on shall we, there is a lot to show you.” Grungle was now hovering a few inches above the ground, rising higher and higher. Until Shadow’s head was even with Grungle’s enormous feet. Shadow wasn’t very surprised by this, it seemed to be what he expected. “Come on let’s go” Grungle said his voice slowly fading as he rose higher and higher toward the big blue ball in the sky. Shadow took a deep breath and jumped as high as he could, but did not come down, he gradually rose higher and higher until he reached Grungle.

That’s probably why I felt so light. Shadow thought to himself looking down on his hairy arms. He continued rising with Grungle effortlessly, all the stars around him so close he felt like he could touch one. Suddenly a huge flash of light was caught in the corner of Shadow’s eye. He turned and watched as the imploded stars insides were strewn about the sky. “Why is there no-” A huge ear shattering explosion interrupted Shadows question, it continued for a few seconds until it finally stopped. “Umm… never-mind.” Shadow said in an astonished tone. He continued rising until he found himself surrounded by silky silver sparkly liquid, it wasn’t wet but nothing like anything Shadow had ever seen before.

“What is this?” Shadow asked as he played with it like a young child plays with sand. “It’s stardust of course.” Grungle answered. Shadow continued swipe his hand through it and watch it swirl around. Suddenly his hand felt very warm as if the stardust had burned him. Reflexively Shadow pulled out his hand out of the cloud of stardust and shook it to help relieve the pain. The stardust had began to form orange red clusters all around him. “That’s how your Earth was formed, after a great star died all of the bits of pieces were brought together by gravity as you would say, and formed your planet, can you imagine that? Your entire world, all started out from a little ball of goo.”

Shadow pondered this for a few moments, he tried touching the ball of goo again this time with his other hand which was now in the remainder of his pocket. It was warm. “So, where are we going again?” Shadow asked childishly. “I’m not sure where your going, our paths will cross again I’m sure.” Grungle answered mysteriously.

Shadow was having second thoughts about this “adventure.” Couldn’t I just go to heaven? Wouldn’t it just be easier? Thought Shadow. “I don’t want this…I don’t want any of this.” Shadow muttered allowed. Grungle’s face looked suddenly closed, unpleasant, speechless. Shadow pulled his hand up from the ball of stardust, and raised it toward his mouth.

“What do you expect me to say to that?” Grungle griped. Shadow looked down at his feet, not sure about the emotion he was experiencing. They both stood there, still floating slowly upward toward the planet.

“Well is there a way I can go back?” Asked Shadow, tearing at the flesh around his fingernails with his pale teeth. Grungle stared, in what seemed to Shadow as astonishment. As if anyone would want to be in this ‘fantasy.’ Stars illuminated the dark night around them. Shadow look back down at his arms, they were beginning to fade again. “What’s happening to my arms?” Shadow asked. Shadow looked up from his arms.

One of the many beaming stars began to show through Grungle’s stomach. “Grungle!” Shadow shouted. Shadow waved his hands back and forth to turn around. The stars were becoming more abundant, as if someone was poking holes in the fabric of space. When he spun around again, Grungle had completely faded. Blue and white filled the midnight sky.

“Help!” Shadow bellowed. He felt something, a force. He was being pulled downward, faster, and faster. The stars passing by became lines, he was stunned. He tried to swing his arms, but his mussels refused. Tightly, he closed his eyes. The flashing lights shown through his eyelids. In an instant the light vanished, and he opened his eyes to find complete darkness.

He remained there, floating. No sound, no stars, no nothing. Shadow did not think, did not move. He was beginning to get used to the feeling of weightless. The same feeling you may experience when you relax under water. Shadow once again lost all notion of time, slowly, his senses were lost. He felt very small, very hopeless, very alone. Gradually he began to sleep.

Shadow awoke surrounded by white. His eyes were blurry with unused tears. He was being dragged, two tall figures had him raised by his arms. His head rolling on his neck, he tried to keep it steady but his entire body was numb. They were clucking, it seemed like they were communicating.

They passed door after door after door. Suddenly they stopped, put continued holding him, his face was now facing the floor. Tears fell from his eyes, he could see more clearly now. The floor was a bleached white, with large symbols engraved into the tile. Blue dots flowed through the engravings. Before Shadow could make out the figure one of the creatures hauled his head up by his hair, and clucked something to the other.

Shadow was beginning to regain the feeling in his body, but intentionally appeared to remain frozen. A sharp pain ran through his head, and he let out a long moan. They had just dropped him, a dark blood dripped down from the back of his head, soaking his hair. Shadow then turned his head to his right, and saw the feet of these creatures. They were very human, they had the same shape as his own, wide at the front with five toes, and narrow at the back.

The only difference was the color, a very pale gray. He turned his head back upright, and stared into the ceiling. He carefully raised his hands, into a backwards push up position. He lifted his legs up into the air and swung them forward. Shifting his weight upward. He landed on his feet, and ran, from what he could see the hallway seemed endless, but he kept running. Blood dripped from his head, leaving a red trail behind him.

He tilted his head to his right, peering over his shoulder, but found nothing chasing him. He turned his head back around, still running. He passed door after door, looking at the symbols imprinted on them. Most were unrecognizable, but then immediately recognized one, imprinted with black on a white door, was rough drawing of a human.

Note. I plan to have the creatures be genetically testing on different things, and inside this door they are testing on humans. I also plan to have one with spiders. And have the creatures running extremely fast in the way a spiders crawl.

Sorry, I didn’t have an editing check-sheet, I had one for the first page I wrote and turned in, but forgot to grab one on the way out. I still edited as you can see.

:) -Joe