120 | NIGHT

Death was easy. There was no pain in darkness, no anguish. There was no regret, no suffering. But there was no joy either; no elation, no sense of wonder. The darkness was all consuming, but it was not fulfilling. There was something missing, something niggling at the very farthest point of my mind.

Then the darkness began to lift, and, though my bleary eyes stayed shut, a bright, golden light shone upon my face. I wondered if I would be opening my eyes into the afterlife, this first blurry vision of gold my eternal resting place. 

“Arienne?” Samyak murmured. “Arienne – please, open your eyes.” Then I heard him turn, shuffling despairingly to someone, anyone for help. “Why won’t it work?” He asked, his voice heartbroken, confused, like that of a child.

This didn’t seem like death. Death was a painless, eternal nothingness. Samyak was crying, and I could see him w

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