I didn’t remember dying. The feeling of dying. In fact I wouldn’t have realised I was dead if the raven hadn’t pulled me up and told me so. That made me sit up and take notice. Ravens don’t talk. Not if you’re alive at least. I asked the raven what was going on.
“For starters, you are dead. Zilch. Second, I’m your tour guide to Morrigan’s abode, which is your final stop. Third you cannot ask any more questions. So stay shut and follow me now.”
I couldn’t believe what was going on. How could I be dead and still walking the face of earth. I stumbled behind the raven. Not caring where it was leading me.
I tried remembering. All I remembered were the flashlights of the car. And then it started coming back. The accident. How I landed up in the path of the speeding car. The driver tried braking to a stop. But to no avail.
I remembered what I had been running from. Carter. He was my boyfriend. Or was. Until I saw him making out with Serena. And the worst part was he wasn’t ashamed of himself for doing that.
“What do I do if girls can’t stop loving me. I wasn’t gonna send her away if she was willing to give me what I wanted.”
I had run away from there, blinded by the tears. I hadn’t seen the approaching car. Only heard the tires shrieking and then the flashlights.
I forced myself to come back to the present, if I could say so now. The raven had led me to the woods. To the ruins which lay in the middle of the forest, away from any external influence, untouched by civilisation. I
remembered having been there once. With Carter. But that was in better times.
It was supposed to be the temple of a goddess once. The goddess of death and misfortune. What was the name. I always forgot that! Morrigan! Yes that was it!
I tried asking the raven why we were here, but he just shrugged me off and kept flying towards the ruins.
I was wondering why would be going there, I was dead and not interested in sight-seeing, just in case he hadn’t noticed.
And that was when I was blinded by the flash which was more illuminating than ten suns put together. I didn’t feel anything, I was dead if someone had forgotten. But the light made me shut my eyes, albeit reflexively. I put my arms in front of my face, as if that would have helped save me from whatever was happening.
And slowly I dropped my hands. I opened one eye and peeked. I couldn’t help but gasp in shock. I was still there but not there. I mean, I knew I was still in the same place where the ruins were supposed to be, but the ruins themselves had ceased to exist. In its place stood the most magnificent palace made of black marble. The light was glinting off the marble and I could see my reflection. I looked pale as a ghost, but I couldn’t notice anything different when I looked down on myself. I guess that’s what death does, fiddle with your senses and wreck them useless.
But I couldn’t help but notice that though the palace seemed to exude an air of melancholy, it was beautiful.
We reached the huge entrance to the palace and then the raven guiding me flew away to the top-most towers. That’s when I noticed the other raven there. All of them were black and unmoving. If I hadn’t been concentrating, I wouldn’t have been able to differentiate them and considered them a part of the tower itself. And suddenly they broke into a cacophony of noises which were sad and evil and painful at the same time.
Their blood red eyes were concentrated on something right behind me. But I couldn’t make myself turn around. I was dead, but I guess I still feared the unknown.
That’s when I heard her voice. Her voice was silky and seductive. It was sweet and passionate. It was loving and painful. It was angry and enticing. I couldn’t fathom how all these feelings could exist together in her voice, but I was entranced. She was singing, in a language I did not understand, but I could feel what it was all about. Love. To be precise, it had to be about lost love. The pain was too evident to be ignored. I saw her stroking a raven, out of the corner of my eye. She was beautiful.
Not like the gorgeous pretty bimbos that I had seen all my life. She was an eternal beauty. I could see the wisdom in her eyes , but I didn’t miss the pain either, and I knew in that moment that she had spent eons with pain.
“Forgive my poor skills as a hostess. I think ages of practice cannot help you get rid of some bad habits.” She trilled. Her voice was musical even when she wasn’t singing. I had to actually shake myself to force a grunt in reply.
“I think I should try making you comfortable, isn’t that what I am supposed to Corvus. I’m Morrigan by the way, Lila . And I shall be your guide henceforth.”
Wait. Another guide? To where.
“Umm, I’m sorry but I didn’t get you. I thought this was supposed to be like my destination or something. So where are you going to guide me to?” I managed to ask her in one go.
“Oh my! I have grown worse at explanations, isn’t that so dear Corvus” I couldn’t ignore how she kept stroking that Raven, as if it mattered what the stupid bird thought of her.
“I think you know this by now, you are dead. And I, Morrigan, am your guide to the afterlife. I shall decide where you must go after this. So let’s get things started. I believe that’s what you kids say these days, right?”
Why was this not sounding good. But I didn’t have any choice. Apparently dead people do what they’re told to do, by talking ravens and dead goddesses of death who lived in ruons which actually weren’t ruins. Great I had gone crazy when I dead.
“Alright, what do you want to know” I managed to whisper.
“Let’s start at the beginning, shall we? And then how you died.”
“Okay” and then I started with my story. School. How everyone hated me. How my parents couldn’t care less whether I lived or died. How Carter had made me believe that he cared. How he had used and abused me, till I had become a hollow shell, a body without a soul, a human without life. This part caught me by surprise. This was true. But I was surprised at how I hadn’t realised that I had been dead even when I had been breathing. Looking at it in hindsight, I felt death wasn’t going to be too much of a surprise for me. I told her how I had been tired of living and how I had found that Carter had been cheating on me. I told her how now I felt that my death was a blessing in disguise.
She had started smiling by the time had reached this part. She continued stroking Corvus, and then gave a small laugh.
“Another one of those. Jilted lovers. Broken hearted, with a broken mind and a broken soul to go with it. I’m glad that Seb, the raven who brought you here, found you when he did. I always hate seeing those pretty young people being used and abused and then left to wallow in self-pity, driving themselves to self destruction, ensuring a slow but still painful death. Do you mind me asking one question? Do you believe you have been wronged?”
She continued without waiting for a response from me.
“Yes of course, you have been wronged. And because I think you have been wronged, I have already made my decision You shall be avenged. I hope you’ll be happy in the place where I’m going to send you right now.”
And then I was blinded again by the light. But this time closing my eyes didn’t work. I opened my eyes and looked at my hands. That’s when I realised that the light wasn’t coming from somewhere else. It was can from inside of me. I was shining with the light and then I felt it. I felt myself disintegrating into the light. And then I was gone.
“Oh Corvus, you know I hate it when poor little things like Lila, come to me with broken hearts, don’t you? But I promised her that I’ll avenge her, and who else knows it better than you my love, Cuchulainn. I love you too much to have let you go away just like that. And you should be happy, you and Seb and the others are going to get another brother, another raven for my unkindness. Now go and fetch him for me, my love. Go and fetch Carter.”
[A/N: A group of ravens is also called ‘An unkindness of ravens’, just wanted to make that clear! ^-^]