She missed her footing and slipped off the cliff.

Recognising the hard truth of her impending death and of the approaching ground, she pleaded with the universe for rescue.

And now she was conscious, trying to open her eyes.


A wonderful certainty enveloped her – she was in heaven!!

That’s why she couldn’t feel any pain.

She walked contentedly through the lands she found herself in. Rolling fields studded with cottages, now loomed up all round her in her new world and she ran into the sunlit meadows, her arms spread with joy.

She had become a more confident and somehow ‘better’ person. But she wanted to speak to someone to be sure.

In the straw-scented barn, Clive, an old family friend, was feeding the chickens while wearing a Christmas jumper. She didn’t question it; it was all exactly as it should have been!

He enveloped her with his strong arms, and looking down tenderly at her he said, “the sherry is poured, and the chestnuts are roasting on the hearth. Come inside, and unwrap your Christmas present, darling”.

She knew it would be something special and precious. How exciting!

Christmas lights were strewn on the fir tree in the front garden of the cottage, twinkling with tiny spots of green, orange and red. As magical as it all was, she looked forward to going with Clive into warmth and comfort and out of the cold night air.

Unexpectedly, as he opened the open front door, something shattered her mood.

Inside the door was - total nothingness. It was hard to pin down the colour, perhaps a deep velvety black with an occasional shimmer of midnight blue.

“Take my hand and we’ll go through together,” she stammered, smiling uncertainly.

“What’s the matter now?” he demanded. She thought that Clive seemed angry.

“You have to go through yourself,” he said, “ it has to be voluntarily.”

“Else you will always be able to escape.”

She flinched as a horrific feeling of insanity swept through her whole being. She felt she was being turned inside out.

“Who are you?” She shouted at Clive. “Where are we, and why are there no other people?”

“There are no others.” He answered. There’s only us. Soon it will be only me.”

With an instantaneous change of m...

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Nonita Thomas
Jan 17 2021

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