Peter's Hell

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Horror  |  House: Booksie Classic
I died. I died in a selfless act, never thinking there'd be anything beyond. I was wrong.

Submitted: August 10, 2012

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Submitted: August 10, 2012

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Hi, my name is Peter. I'm seventeen, I'm relatively tall, I have a couple good friends, and came back from the dead; seriously. I'm not a zombie, or ghost, or any imaginary creature. See, life does exist beyond death, or sort of. It all happened about a month ago.

I was playing hockey with my best friends, Joe, Mack, and Daniel. My little brother, Harry, was being referee. I live in the city, so there's more space on the street; usually. We'll have whole days where not one car passes our house, where you can't even hear the sound of vehicles. So, of course, we were playing in the street.

We were in the third quarter, and Mack and I were up two. It's not easy with your little brother in the way, and he'd been knocked over a couple times, but Harry's a tough little guy. I don't know, maybe it was fate, or maybe bad luck, but today was different.

Joe called a time-out, and said he'd heard something. Soon as we stopped, I heard it too. Looking down the road, I saw what was making the noise. An eighteen-wheeler was coming down the road. We quickly cleared off the road, us and our equipment. Almost all of us cleared out, that is.

Harry went to the other side of the street, which was no big deal, but then he decided to cross the road. While the huge truck came down the road. He was in the middle of the right side of the road, with us yelling at him to turn around, when I realized it wasn't going to work.

I don't know what made me do it, but the next second I knew, I'd ran into the road, and pushed Harry out of the way. He may have been a tough guy, but nobody was thattough. Nobody includes me, but I didn't think of that.

People tell you that at the moment of an accident, time seems to slow down. It doesn't. It just seems that way later, because all your senses go hyper, hoping to save you.

I can still remember my last second clearly; me pushing Harry out of the way, only then realizing the danger I'd put myself in. There was pure noise, the horn, the squealing of brakes, my heart, and the ringing in my ears as a bolt of ice-cold heat shot to my head and heart. And then it was over. The guy stopped too late; way too late. By the time the truck finally came to a halt, he'd passed all the way over me. I have no idea how I know that. I just do.

People say, at the moment of dying, there's a white light you can choose to head towards. That's only partially right. There's a white light, all right. But you get no choice. You're floating in nothingness, and pulled towards it. There is no way to escape. Or maybe that only happens if you're absolutely dead. I don't know. What I do know is that I found myself somewhere else after the flash.

It wasn't the gates of heaven, or the fires of hell, or anything you'd normally expect. Not that you would expect your body to be transported anywhere else after you die. It's just not that kind of thing you think about. Anyways, as I said, I found myself somewhere else.

It was like a forest, only it looked dead. Not like the trees died, only it did. I can't explain exactly what it looked like. The rest of my journey was kind of like that. Nothing after death can be exactly explained. Even if I drew the forest I stood in front of, I still couldn't get the whole feel of it. It looked burnt, but almost as if it was growing like that.

Another strange thing about it was the feel. I want to say it felt evil, but it didn't. The look was the only thing that insinuated that. It felt… angry; angry and sad. I mean, the whole forest felt angry, but there was something else. Like individual sad memories permeated the anger. And, I felt the sadness all around me. It was like a huge invisible hand holding me.

I stood there for a while, taking everything in. I turned around, to see what was behind me, too. I don't know what I expected to see, the same white light that had transported me here? No, instead, it was the opposite. All around me, except for the forest was a huge area of pure blackness.

I tried walking into the blackness. I'm not sure why. I told myself at the time that it was just for the heck of it, but I suspect I was really afraid of the forest. I won't lie. It scared me. It wasn't just the look; the whole forest seemed to breathe the smell of fear.

The blackness seemed solid. I mean, I'd turn around, and I'd see the forest farther away; but it felt like I was walking into a wall. I took another few steps, and stopped cold. It felt wrong; almost like I was trespassing where I shouldn't be.

I decided to be gutsy, or maybe I just didn't want to go towards the forest that much. I decided to take a few more steps. That was a bad idea. Not even two steps away from where I'd been standing, my world turned upside-down. Not that there was a world to turn upside down, but you know what I mean.

It was as if someone stabbed me through the heart. I know, sounds cliché, but it did feel like that. Remember the feeling I described right before I got hit by the truck; the panic shock of ice-cold heat rushing to my head? Imagine that, but multiply the feeling by about ten. You don't need to be good at math for that. I ran. Ran back to the forest, and stood there shaking. Thinking back, I know what that feeling was; terror. Right at that moment, I'd felt pure, raw, terror. It was awful, but it also felt a little cool at the same time. Like when you get a high. There's the part of you that hurts, your head pounding, tingling pain all over. But it also has an attraction; the state right before the backlash; the flying-high, fuzzy feeling.

I don't know why, but I decided I wanted to try it again. This time, I went to the left. It happened again; but again when I went. This time I went right. Maybe I was still hoping there was a way out of here.

Part of me loved the high I got from the terror, but I shouldn't have done it. My heart was pounding out of my chest, I was shaking and shivering, my veins were standing out, and it felt like someone was sticking a million pins into me.

But despite the awful shape I was in, I decided to do it again. I did not want to walk through the forest. As soon as I went into the darkness too far, it felt like my head exploded. I started shivering, curling up, unable to move. I don't know how long I lay there, curled up on whatever ground there was, paralyzed by the pain and fear coursing through my body. It felt like years, but it was probably only minutes.

I finally found the strength to pull myself up. My whole body felt numb. I couldn't feel anything as I grasped the smoky ground to pull myself along. I couldn't stand; I couldn't crawl; I could barely drag myself along. I took a while for me to get far enough away for the throbbing in my head to slow. I managed to get to my knees, and crawl back to the entrance to the forest. Then, I just collapsed.

I lay there for probably the next few hours. Actually, I doubt there's time there. I don't know why, but I just felt like there wasn't. It felt like an in-between place; but in-between Earth and what? I didn't know, but I spent quite some time laying there thinking. Thinking about where I was; thinking about what was going to happen; thinking about what could have happened; thinking about what my family was going through their minds right now.

I found it hard to breathe thinking about my family, so I sat up. I wrapped my arms around my legs and sat there. It took a while for me to realize how much my head hurt; how much my heart hurt. I started crying. I'm not sure why, but I couldn't stop. Maybe it was the combination of everything, how much I hurt, how much I missed my family, how much I knew they were missing me. I'm not sure how I knew, but somehow I just knew that this was the end; that I'd never see anybody again. I'd never see my mom, my dad, Harry, my best friends, my teachers, everybody. I tried to remember everything I could about them; the way my dad would play football with me in the backyard; the homemade meals my mom loved to cook; Harry's annoying habits, the scribbled pictures he was so proud of; everything I could possibly remember.

My head hurt, by legs felt numb, my throat felt raw, my lungs felt like they were going to give out, and still I cried. I cried so hard, my muscles gave out and I fell back to the ground. God, but it hurt. Eventually, the tears stopped coming, but I still cried. I tried to stop, but my body seemed to be against me.

It was probably a few hours of crying, but it felt like longer. I finally stopped, but it didn't help. My head was still pounding, my body still just as numb. I tried to convince myself everything was going to be okay, but my throat hurt, so I just repeated that to myself in my head. It reminded me of the way my mom used to comfort me. A whole new wave of sadness washed over me. I don't know how long I lay there, repeating the cycle.

Eventually, I stood up. I was shaky, and my legs were still numb, so it took a while to stand, but there I was; right back where I'd been hours and hours before. Only now, I felt part of the sadness. Now there wasn't just sadness and anger emanating from the forest. Now there was also empathy. I took a step towards the forest, clumsily, as if my legs were asleep. Then I took another, and another. Before I knew it, I was walking the path that led deeper into darkness.

The trees loomed overhead, creating almost a canopy of twisted, burnt, broken fingers hanging high overhead. I felt as if someone was watching me, but I couldn't see anyone. The tunnel of wood seemed to go on forever, but as I walked, the tunnel shrank, becoming smaller and smaller, until it was just big enough for me to walk through.

I kept walking, and soon, what little light there was also disappeared. I was walking through pitch darkness. I could put out my hands to either side and feel the rough wall of the trees. Only, they didn't feel like trees anymore. The trees seemed to melt into each other, making a solid wall. Then, as I walked, the wooden wall turned into stone. I could feel the rough sandstone under my fingers as I walked.

Then, abruptly, the walls disappeared. So did the ground; and I found myself tumbling through air, grasping for anything at all to slow how fast I was falling. There was nothing to grab, so I just kept falling.

Then I stopped. It wasn't like I hit something, or even slowed. I didn't even notice I wasn't still falling. But I realized that I was now laying on something hard, like granite. If granite had little spikes, that is.

I realized my eyes were closed, and I opened them, almost groggily. Pitch blackness again, only this time, light was shining from far above me. Far, far, far, above me, that is. It wasn't strong enough to help me see anything; only strong enough to be a constant reminder.

I should have been scared. I should have been terrified, but I wasn't. It almost felt like I was watching a movie, as if my body was someone else's; that, and like I was on drugs. I couldn't think clearly. Like my brain was made of cotton; and the cotton made of lead.

Then everything exploded. There was extreme heat all around me, like I was in a volcano. Everything was dancing, but bright. I figured I was standing in fire. Or, at least, the thought registered in the back of my mind, but I don't know if I actually thought it.

Then I heard a pounding sound. Like something was coming towards me; something big. All I saw was flames for a while, while the pounding got louder. Then I saw horns. They were showing over the fire, and were very high up.

A huge figure seemed to materialize out of the fire. And I do mean huge. It was easily two stories tall, and covered in greenish-brownish-reddish scales and spikes. It raised its arm, and next thing I knew, I was flying through the air. Then I hit something hard. It felt like hitting something soft for a moment, but then the aching feeling bit into me.

I slowly got to my feet, just in time to be hit again. I slammed against another wall, even harder. My head was stinging, so I held my hand to my forehead for a moment. When I brought my hand down again, to try to pick myself up, I saw red. My hand was covered in blood, and the blood was mine.

I heard a grating sound, like a knife being dragged through metallic Styrofoam. I looked up, and saw the creature's mouth hanging open. It took me a moment to realize that it was laughing.

Blood surged to my head, and I got up and charged it. I know it was a bad move. I found that out as I slammed against another wall. The grating sound continued. I forced myself to get up. My right arm was limp, and hanging lower than it should have been. I guessed it was dislocated, but I didn't feel much pain there; maybe because I was feeling the pain everywhere else.

I took a feeble step away from the beast, but it was fast. I heard a crack, and then I was sitting on the floor, leaning against a burning wall, away from the monster. I tried to get up again, but pain shot through my whole body instead. It took me a moment to realize that my back was broken, which was why I couldn't feel my legs.

The creature advanced, and I felt a wave of hopelessness hit me. The grating sound was ringing in my ears, as I tried not to look at the beast.

You know how they say your life flashes in front of your eyes when you're about to die? Well, I know I was already dead, but that happened. I got the impression that in this place, you can die many times, and live to die some more.

Then, the light far above intensified, and something hit me. I decided there was a heaven and a hell. I was most definitely in hell. But, if I was in hell, what was the light? Heaven?

That gave me a thought. My brain almost didn't register the fist aimed at my head. I sent four words with my mind, an insistent plea: Help me God. Please.

For a moment, time seemed to freeze. Then my body jerked as I gasped. There was an ice-cold tingling along my arms and legs. And then, I was somewhere else.

A doctor stepped away from the table I was laying on, holding those things you see in hospital shows. The electric ones, used to jump-start the heart.

Sound burst into my ears a moment later. There was a humming sound, and a lot of talking. I decided the humming was an ambulance, and I was in it. My mom was sitting there, hands over her mouth. A nurse was holding her arm, as if she was stopping mom from grabbing me.

I glanced up at the ceiling, and saw my reflection in the patterned steel. I felt like crap, and looked worse. Then, I registered someone talking.

"-one very, very lucky teenager" the doctor was saying, "You're supposed to be dead. By all signs, you were" He took a deep breath before continuing, "You got one hell of a second chance"

I almost laughed. If I had, my throat probably would have disintegrated, the way I was fee ling, but I almost did anyways. That doctor had no idea how right he was.


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