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16+ Violence

The Afterlife

by PhoenixEmberly

Warning: This work has been rated 16+ for violence.

Hello there, dearest reader. Before we get started, allow me to introduce myself. My Earthly name was Marcus Wade. I’m not entirely sure what the purpose of sharing my personal account with you is, but maybe I do it just because I can. You can make your own assumptions about me as you go. You can choose to believe what you want to. Still, I’d rather not go on a tangent for too long before the story. So, allow me to tell you about my experiences in the afterlife. I think they may interest you. Maybe things will change in the future, and if they do, I will continue to describe such experiences to you. For now, I present you with what I know and have seen.

I awoke, yet I did not remember falling asleep. Perhaps, that is death, if you can even call the process I experienced death. Can something which never was truly alive be deceased? I ask that as a man without a family or a legacy to call my own. There exists no language within the mortal world to describe where I found myself. It was in that instant, that I realized a piece of crucial information.

I realized that I only ever amounted to all that I had said, thought, and done. Furthermore, I understood that all I had said, thought, and done, revolved around my everlasting quest for knowledge. Yes, knowledge... it was knowledge that I wanted most of all. It was an object of desire people such as I would chase, so that we could achieve self-proclaimed superiority rather than become progressive members of society. Sound pretentious? That’s because that was who I was as a man. A pretentious fool. So there I sat, unmissed by anyone, and totally unfazed by the fact that I was in the afterlife.

Evidently, a state of clarity had washed over me once I found myself in this strange place. It was as if all my foolishness was exposed to me, and I was enlightened about the truth. Throughout my life, I was completely obsessed with learning as much as I could, so I could prove to those who doubted me that I was better than they had assumed I was.

Now that I was dead, I could only be surrounded by thoughts and memories. As my awareness expanded, I came to understand what I hadn't before. Fitting, wasn’t it? As a man whose sole purpose was discovery and intelligence, this newfound knowledge could only be described as a euphoric feeling to me. Heavenly, if you will. Yes, this was Heaven. It had to be, for what else could possibly be concluded based on the information at hand?

I found myself uncomfortable with the state of my being at first. The sensation of being sentient, yet disembodied was strange due to the amount of time I had previously spent as a living, breathing person, but I soon got used to my situation. I had all the time in the world to think, and so that is exactly what I did. I sat there for as long as I can remember, pondering over past events and actions. Some of them I took great pride in, whilst I kicked myself over my own stupidity when recalling others.

It felt like an eternity before I saw it. Some sort of bright light penetrated my vision, and I was finally able to see the world around me. A perfectly rectangular room, devoid of any furniture, was what I observed. I looked down and saw a hand. It was my own... I had seemingly regained my mortal body once more. The walls and floor of the room were in pristine condition, and everything appeared in a white coating of paint. In the center of the room sat a single white desk, where a large desktop computer sat mounted on top of it.

I slowly made my way over to the old-fashioned equipment and sat in the chair, pushing the power button. I heard the soft humming of the machinery as the screen faintly lit up, revealing a blue background screen and a single application in the center. I moved the mouse until the pointer hovered over the app, my curiosity at its peak. Then, I clicked twice and watched as a brand new page popped up in front of me, filling the screen entirely.

I watched as a plethora of dates and times appeared before my eyes, each accompanied by a video file. Unsure of what any of this meant, I clicked on the very first link. Upon doing so, a downloadable file appeared, which I opened. The file automatically started playing the video within it. I saw a woman in a hospital bed. The expression on her face was that of pain, and I heard her crying in agony as various doctors and nurses did their best to comfort her.

The woman was someone who I had recognized. She was... she was my own mother. After several minutes of her exasperated wailing, one of the doctors lifted up a small child, showing my mother as pride and joy filled her eyes. As soon as the video ended, the download file closed out and I was returned back to the original page. For a minute, I was left speechless. Upon looking at the file more closely, I recognized the date on it as my birthday. I glanced over the entire screen, my eyes scanning the various files it contained. Before me was every single important event in my life.

I took the time to watch a few of those videos, of course. Several birthdays of mine, my first girlfriend, my first few cars and homes. There were hundreds, if not thousands, of videos detailing some of the best times of my life. I sat in awe as I watched the early days of my childhood replaying right in front of me. It was truly one of the most fascinating moments I had ever experienced. This fascination, however, was short-lived. Soon, I felt a new, much less pleasant feeling. One of disappointment and regret. I am referring to the events which took place in my life after my childhood.

Now, I had been aware of the poor decisions I had made in life before I found the mysterious computer room. However, there is a large difference between recalling something and actually witnessing it again with your own eyes. For instance, when I had remembered my various arguments with my parents, as well the kids and teachers at school mocking me for my low intelligence and work ethic, the feelings associated with such events didn't shake me to my core as much as viewing my bullies and relatives berate me with insults, believing I would end up as a nobody.

Even more disheartening was that there were more download links involving the negative aspects of my life than there were positive ones. It is a sad fact of life that adulthood lasts far longer than childhood, and my adult years grew even more depressing as the slow, definite march of time continued. Still, there was nothing I could do within my afterlife except watch as my pathetic life devolved from the innocence of a child to the contempt of a grumpy man, so I continued.

When those closest to me had doubted my ability to progress at the rate of the other children, I personally took it upon myself to prove them wrong. As a young boy with very few friends or hobbies, such a task became my passion, and I spent nearly all my time with my nose stuck in any book I could get my hands on.

I completely ignored any other entertaining activity a boy my age would gladly partake in, even opting to study on my birthday. Thus, as my high school years started, I isolated myself from all distractions in order to prove myself capable of outsmarting anyone who dared doubt me. As you can imagine of someone like me, I considered people distractions as well, causing relationships with the few friends and family I had to shatter completely. These were the years that marked the beginning of my downfall.

After reviewing my teenage years, I decided to move on. I clicked on the scrollbar and dragged it downwards, waiting a bit before stopping once more and selecting a new date. I was an adult at that point in time, and my studying and hard work had paid off. Well, paid off as far as financial security was involved. Despite being socially inept and losing most of those I cared for, I carried on with my anti-social tendencies until I found myself in a good college and got into a well-paying job. I had moved up the ranks rather quickly in the workplace, soon becoming a top-ranking supervisor who enjoyed commanding my orderlies around like they were dogs.

I sat in my chair in disbelief as I watched the smug grin on my face while I barked out instructions to colleagues and interns alike. The nerve I had to treat others in such a way. Perhaps, it was the afterlife and the newfound clarity and sensibility I discovered upon entering it that allowed me to see the problems with my behavior. It also allowed me to see the scowls and rude remarks muttered under the breath of various employees who looked upon me in disgust. I had been blind to such things in my human state, but apparently, I wasn't anymore.

This behavior wasn't just common in the workplace, but outside of it as well. It wasn't long before the neighborhood came to realize my rather distasteful tendencies and steered clear of me altogether, to which I paid them no mind. It was my choice and mine alone to live a life of solitude, and for the longest time, I was known as the mean old man who lived at the end of the block.

I never smiled, nor did I ever laugh. The very few people who saw me outside of my house or outside of work only ever saw me with a scowl permanently sewn to my face. I didn't decorate for Christmas or Halloween. I didn't send or receive gifts or partake in the many activities within the community. If there was precious work to be done or information to be learned, I focused all of my attention on it.

Speaking of Halloween, I found a few video files around that holiday. I decided to watch some of them and found that even though I never had a single frightening prop out on my porch or yard, not one kid within the area would come near my residence. I actually found myself chuckling at this fact, figuring their parents must have warned them about the scary old fart who would surely throw a fit should he be disturbed, regardless of the circumstances.

My curiosity started withering away as I clicked on the scroll bar and continued downwards. It was at that moment that I realized I had almost reached the bottom of the page, and only a few downloads remained.

They were nothing special really. Just a few videos of me lashing out at some more people who dared commit the heinous crime of trying to socially interact with me. Yeah, I'm surprised I made it into Heaven again in the first place. Then again, it was never made apparent where I was. As far as I knew, it wasn't heaven, but some random phase of the afterlife I found myself in. Regardless, I don't make the rules, nor will I attempt to understand them in a vain attempt to know everything. After all, why make the same mistakes in the afterlife as I did in the mortal world? What do I have to prove anymore?

My fingers began to tremble as I neared the bottom of the page I swiftly wiped my forehead using the palm of my hand; Sweat coated my fingers. As you may have guessed, the final date was the date of my death. I didn't have a normal life, nor did I have a normal death. I have to share what happened to me with you all simply because I feel obligated to do so. Maybe it can serve as a warning, or perhaps I feel the need to share because some things are simply too insane not to spread. Regardless, I'm already this far, so I might as well continue.

It took me quite some time to muster up the courage to download the final video. Despite mentally preparing myself for what was to come numerous times, I was still hesitant. I found myself out of the chair and pacing the room at one point, taking deep breaths in an attempt to calm myself down. It seemed like hours before I was ready to witness the most important, and most upsetting, day of my life. The day which transferred me from the land of the living to that of the dead.

Summoning each ounce of bravery within me, I clicked the link and watched as the download opened and the video automatically played. I frantically chewed at my fingernails as I watched myself in my living room, sitting comfortably in my recliner chair. I saw the coffee mug in one hand and newspaper in the other as I did what I had always done best, absorbing all the information I could. The night was black as tar and the wind sung its soft tune. I could notice all these details and more as my eyes closely watched, and my ears closely listened.

It felt as if I were experiencing the event in real-time, except this time, unlike my human counterpart, I knew what the outcome would be. I knew that living, breathing person who had been me would live their last day. My life would abruptly end and I would bear witness to my own demise. I could feel my skin crawl whilst my entire body trembled. This video was longer than the previous ones. While the others had been just thirty seconds to a minute or two at most, this one was several minutes longer in comparison. I watched myself take a quick swig of my coffee and stand up, making my way to the kitchen.

I... I knew the noise was coming, but I didn't realize it would come so soon in the video. The sound of glass shattering filled the house as the "alive version of me" turned quickly and grabbed a knife from the kitchen counter, slowly making his way back into the living room. I practically screamed at the monitor in front of me, begging myself not to do what I was about to. These efforts were fruitless, of course. If I could change the past I wouldn't be in my current predicament, now would I?

I saw myself flick on the light and stare at the broken glass window in confusion. There was nobody in sight. My mortal counterpart inhaled deeply, turning his head as the sound of footsteps rushed towards him. A large man in a mask pounced from behind the wall, tackling me to the floor.

I covered my eyes, not wanting to see the massacre that was destined to unfold, but morbid curiosity forced tiny creases in-between my fingers. I had to see... I just had to. This computer allowed me a new perspective on what had happened in my life, and I just couldn't help but watch as the man wrapped his arms around my throat, seemingly unbothered by my futile attempts to defend myself.

I leaned back in my chair and felt my body tense up as the man forced his knee into my ribs, trying to cease my efforts at escaping, his grip around my throat tight as ever. Finally, after an uncomfortable amount of silence, the man released his hold on me and got up, watching over my limp body. My face was pale and my eyes were bloodshot, an expression of surprise on my face. It was the first time I had seen any emotion besides contempt within me.

I let out a long sigh of relief as the video finally came to an end and the download closed out. I placed my hand on my throat and rubbed gently. It was almost as if I felt choked just by vicariously reliving my final moments on Earth. I got up once more, pacing the perimeter of the white room. I felt sick to my stomach at the prospect of the viewing the contents of computer. I had access to any moment in my life at the click of a button, including my own murder. I took a seat in a criss-cross position at one of the four corners of the room.

It could have been anyone who killed me in all honesty. I had lots of enemies. People who I showed disdain for, and would happily return such feelings. People in the workplace, people in the neighborhood. Hell, even what was left of my family at the time had felt deep resentment towards me. Funny enough, despite the heavy torment I faced at their hands in childhood, even when I did all that I could to prove them wrong, they didn't seem satisfied.

When I went back to the computer and turned the monitor on, I was immediately met by something curious. There, right next to the first app, stood another. It was a notepad with a title named after me. I spun my head around in a swivel-like motion, looking for any other entities within the room. There was nobody there except me. Not only that, but there were no entry points into the room either. No doors, no windows, and upon further inspection I found no sign of hidden hatches either. There was absolutely no way another person could have gotten in, leading me to believe that the app had appeared all by itself.

Realizing once more that I truly had nothing better to do, I clicked on the notepad and watched as the document opened. Several paragraphs of text sat before me. After reading the document, I realized that unlike the video files, it didn't detail the events which took place while I was alive. Rather, it was an article describing what happened after I died. I felt my eyebrows rise while my eyes scanned the screen, taking in the information presented to me. While I can't remember the exact words I read, I can paraphrase what they said.

In summary, after I died there were several suspects the police rounded up and interrogated. I recognized each of the names listed by the article as people I had come into contact with in life. My experiences with all of them were, needless to say, negative. In all fairness, there were plenty of people who would have the motive to murder me, but not a single one was found guilty. According to the article, all who were questioned were eventually released due to "insufficient evidence", although I found that rather hard to believe. Despite not wanting to believe it, a part of me felt as if the case wasn't taken as seriously due to my reputation around the community. Still, none of it mattered now. Not anymore.

When I moved past that part of the article, I found that the topic had shifted from the strange circumstances surrounding my death to the impact on my community. My house had been put on the market, but nobody would buy it. Big shock that nobody would buy a house where someone had been murdered. What had once been a dead zone during the holidays became a neighborhood attraction for some of the younger kids, especially during Halloween. It was at that moment during the reading that I froze, my face completely blank. My house had been an annual attraction for pesky teenagers, had been years since I died. I placed my head in my hands and took several deep breaths.

I continued reading the article after calming down; I saw it expanding upon the previous point in the writing. Many teenagers would dare each other on the scariest day of the year, October 31st, to spend the night near my house or, in some cases, sneak in. Apparently, tales of my harsh attitude as well as my murder spread like wildfire upon my death, causing tons of ghost stories and rumors to be spread.

I found several more video files within the notepad, which I didn't even realize could be stored there, but then again, I had learned that I couldn't expect anything ordinary now. I downloaded the links and watched several videos of teens sneaking in and out of the house at Halloween. Some spent the night, while others got too scared to stay and ran home crying. I must admit, the house did look pretty creepy. It was unkempt and probably unsafe to stay in, with cobwebs covering the porch and the paint on the outside appearing to be peeled and chipped.

The inside of the house, from what I could tell, wasn't in much better condition. It was completely barren of furniture and the floor was coated in a thin layer of dust. There were very few places in the home where light could be found, mostly due to the windows being boarded up. I watched a video of a rather timid-looking kid make his way up the steps to the second story, the stairs creaking every couple of seconds.

He looked all around, taking in his surroundings. He allowed the flashlight in his right hand to illuminate the room. With that, he laid out a sleeping bag on the cold, hard floor. There were dozens of kids who had done the same. Eventually, the local authorities took notice and would often have a patrol car near my house during Halloween in order to make sure no kids were trespassing. Once again, I was taken back by the amount of time that had passed since my death. Perhaps, it had been longer than I thought.

Finally, the kids stopped showing up, and so did the police. I could feel my heart sink a little at that. Something about the fun the kids had, while juvenile, reminded me of the some of the fun I missed out on as a boy. I looked at the article and saw it come to an abrupt end, so I closed the notepad and returned my gaze to the monitor home screen. Rubbing my eyes in fatigue, I felt the incoming sensation of sleep. I found it odd how I could feel sleepy in the afterlife, but I suppose it's pretty tiring to see what I had. I felt myself drifting off, and without much thought, I allowed sleep to embrace me.

I woke up the day after... I think?. I had no concept of time within that white room, and I was disappointed upon waking up to find that nothing had changed. I was afraid that all the afterlife would provide me was contemplation in the form of this computer in front of me. Stretching my hand forward and gripping the mouse, I shook it a little to wake the monitor up. The background had changed from a purely blue screen to a black and white checkerboard style image.

Once again, I looked around the room for any place someone could enter and alter the computer, only to find nothing again.

Shifting my attention back to the screen, I noticed one more item that hadn't been there the previous day. It was a folder, and upon opening it I found a page titled "Instructions". It was in an application which I was unfamiliar with, but I proceeded in opening it anyways.

Inside was a single link. Figuring there was no harm in clicking one more, I hovered my mouse above it. However, I hesitated. Something about this link seemed odd to me. This wasn't like the others and I knew it, but I had no idea how. Still... there was only one way to find out where it led. Sighing, I tapped the mouse and opened the link. And once I did so, my vision went black.

For a single moment in time, I thought I had gone blind, and it terrified me. The white room surrounding me was gone and replaced with darkness, and for that split second I wanted to scream, yet couldn't. I would say my heart was pounding against my chest but I couldn't feel my heartbeat, nor was I sure if I had a chest or body at all for that matter.

I couldn't feel my own existence. It was like for a moment I stopped existing within reality, becoming an abstract being. I didn't exist, yet I did. That's as best as I could describe that odd, terrifying sensation. As soon as it started it stopped, and I was snapped back into reality. I stumbled a bit and fell to my knees, gasping for air as I felt beads of sweat running down my face. It was amazing how alive and human I felt even as a spirit. My blurred vision finally came into focus and fixated on the floor beneath me.

The first thing that I noticed was that the floor wasn't white, meaning I wasn't inside the room I had become so familiar with. Instead, the floor was wooden and cold, coated in a thin layer of dust. I stood to my knees and looked around, taking in various features around me. Recognizable features which allowed me to easily identify the place I was in. It was my home.

It looked the same as it had throughout the videos I saw while kids searched through it. I saw the same boarded windows, heard the same creaking floorboards... yes, it was mine alright. I was confused as to why I was there, and I felt my heart speed up as I noticed where I was standing. It was the exact same spot as where my murder had taken place.

Feeling uncomfortable with where I was, I moved to the front door and placed my hand on the cold doorknob. I tried turning it, but door wouldn't open. I looked down and saw that the door wasn't locked. I grasped the doorknob and frantically began turning, unable to exit the house. I rushed to the back door and tried to open it, but was met with the same result.

I attempted push open all the windows that weren't boarded up, but found that no matter how hard I tried, they wouldn't budge. I was trapped inside my own house, with no way to escape. I pounded my fists on the door and screamed at the top of my lungs, despite knowing damn well that not a soul in the world could hear me.

My body found itself slumped over in front of the back door. I was twiddling my thumbs and tapping my foot lightly. I took several deep breaths in an attempt to distract myself from my situation and tried thinking of some sort of solution. Why had what happened, happened? Why view my entire life in rewind and study my legacy after death just to be trapped in the very house I was killed in?

It was madness.

I slammed my fist against the floor in a fit of rage and got up once more, clutching my head and violently pulling at strands of my hair. After several minutes spent in frustration, I allowed myself to settle down and explore my now abandoned home. I figured that there was no point in getting too worked up over that which i had no control over.

I made my way up the stairs and down the hallway. Despite the second story being completely enveloped in darkness, I found it quite easy to see and navigate, as if I had my own set of built-in night vision. At the end of the corridor was a door to my room. There was something odd about it.. A fluorescent glow emitted from within the room, shining brightly through the cracks. I made my way towards this glow and, much to my approval, I found I was able to open the door.

Upon entering, I realized that the glow was coming from a computer screen within the room. It was my computer, inexplicably clean and in the same spot it had always been, despite the rest of the house being disorganized. I lifted the computer and realized that a fine layer of dust sat underneath where the computer was, which should have been impossible had a solid object truly been on top of it. I had realized that this wasn't my computer, but something provided to me as a familiar  tool. It was my very own resource and I found that it came equipped with apps and an internet connection.

I couldn't explain this at all... but something was allowing me to communicate to the outside world. What seemed like a blessing in disguise, however, would turn out to be my only way to share to this story and with you. It wouldn't turn out to be a convenient device as a gift, but a way to retell the painful experience that is to follow.

The other thing I noticed about the computer was the date and time.

It was October 31st.

It was the morning of Halloween, and it was then that I realized my presence within my house was no coincidence. I was meant to be here, on this very night. I remembered my thoughts in the past. If you recall, the kids within the neighborhood would gather around my house at Halloween, each daring each other to enter the old abandoned house where a murder took place years ago. I wondered, however, about the police, until I then recalled their absence recently as the trespassing teenagers died down. I then realized that because of the lack of law enforcement specifically in front of my house, there was a possibility that they would be back and enter once more. 

My face was plastered with a widened grin as the prospect of messing with any teens foolish enough to step foot into my home. The idea of such an entertaining experience excited, especially since I was too full of myself as a young lad to every truly have fun. I understood my purpose at that moment. I was to haunt the very house I was killed in. It was truly sick, but perhaps it could be considered poetic justice? Whatever the case may have been, I wanted to be prepared for the night that was to come.

I peered out into the brightly lit road and observed the houses in the distance. Many cheap Halloween decorations adorned the neighborhood houses, and I saw a few young kids board a bright yellow school bus.. I chuckled to myself. They had no idea what they were in for.

As the sun withdrew from the sky and fell below the horizon, I saw dozens of kids running out of their homes, candy bags gripped tightly within their hands. They skipped and galloped down the road with plastic masks portraying witches and ghouls and all sorts of creatures of darkness. To each house in view  they approached with glee, knocking on the doors. They laughed joyously as candy was emptied into their bags and they moved onto the next house. None of them stopped at mine, though.

The evening progressed, and the night grew darker. The moon stood high in the night sky and provided a comforting light in every direction. Many of the younger kids had gone home by that point, and only a few teenagers remained. My heart fell as a thought formed in the back of my mind. What if nobody tried staying the night? What if they were too afraid of police confrontation to take the risk?

I didn't want to believe it. This was my chance to make up for my failure in life and help those currently living. Yet, I wouldn't get that chance, would I? Figuring the night was a failure, I laid down on the floor and placed my arms under my head, resting my eyes. I allowed my body to relax and breathed out deeply.

Did you know spirits can dream? I didn't, but I know now. I found myself dreaming that night. Someone sat in my old recliner chair. I couldn't quite see who the person was because their face was hidden behind the newspaper they held. I approached them slowly, clearing my throat and tightening my fist. I placed my hand on the top of the paper and pulled it down, attempting to find out who the man was. Then, I jumped back, having been startled.

There, sitting in the recliner chair, sat a large man in a mask. He threw down the paper and leaped to his feet, approaching me with surprising speed. I fell backward and hit my head on the wall, and I watched in terror as his hand opened and wrapped around my throat, choking me.

I struggled for air as my face turned blue. My lungs felt as if they were on fire, and I scraped and clawed at the man's arms and face, attempting to sink my nails into his skin and draw blood. I was desperately trying to do anything I could to free myself of his grip.

Despite my efforts, I failed. I was too weak to stop my assailant, and I sensed myself slipping away. I felt the veins bulging from underneath my skin as my eyes became bloodshot. It felt as if they would pop out from the sockets. It felt so real... as if I would die once more. I was reliving my worst moment. Every second of it, I experienced as if it were real. It was all so familiar to me. The furniture around the room within my dream had been knocked over in the struggle, and here I was, death slowly approaching me.

Of that entire ordeal, the most horrifying moment to me was when my entire body went limp, yet...I could still see, breathe, and feel everything around me. I was conscious and aware, trapped inside of a dead body. I was completely and utterly out of control, as if I were experiencing a session of sleep paralysis. I watched as the man released me from his grip and stood over me, admiring his work. I witnessed him slip his fingers underneath his mask, pulling upwards. What I saw underneath that black, foreboding mask will forever be ingrained into my mind for eternity.

It was me... it was my face. I saw it clear as day. My skin was pale and slightly blue. My eyes were as bloodshot as they had been upon my death, and worms wriggled around through open holes and wounds caused by the process of decay. A mixture of mud and grass filled the thing's mouth, leaving little to no room for the being to speak. I struggled to comprehend what was happening as the figure grabbed a black shovel, seemingly out of nowhere.

The monstrosity moved out of sight and I heard the sounds of wooden floorboards being removed. As soon as the thing was done with that task, I heard the sound of dirt being dug up from the ground. Within minutes the creature was done with its job and lifted me with superhuman strength, tossing me into the hole it had just made.

My screams were muffled by my inability to open my mouth as the thing shoveled dirt on top of me. As the earth filled my makeshift tomb, my sight was lost. The last thing I heard was the faint laughter coming from the creature that had reenacted my murder. A creature that appeared to be me, but wasn't... It was jeering me. Deep down, I knew what this all meant. Although I could not be certain who had killed me, I knew that I had been the root cause of my death. That somewhere along the line, I had crossed the wrong person, and I endured the repercussions of that that action. As I felt the soil flood my nose, and as the wretched stench of my own perspiration filled my lungs, I knew that I had truly buried myself alive as a result of my wrongdoings in life.

I sat up abruptly, drenched in my own sweat and tears. I shifted into a fetal position, rocking back and forth while a million thoughts rushed through my mind. What the hell just happened? Did I really see what I thought I had? There was no way in hell it was real... any of it! I shivered and shook and I just couldn't sit still. Nothing made sense. That nightmare had shaken me to my core. I hadn't felt that type of fear since that fateful day. I thought there would be nothing to fear after death, but I was wrong. Maybe nothing can hurt or kill me anymore, but the memories and nightmares which plague me will remain forever.

Not only would my murder dominate my dreams completely, but I wondered, and feared, whether my regrets in life would as well. I wondered if the loneliness I experienced at my own hand would eventually get to me. I felt tears well up within my eyes as I struggled to find a reason behind any of this. I hadn't a clue why and I may never have a clue. The afterlife is supposed to be eternal bliss. The sweet release of death was supposed to help liberate us from the problems of life, but such problems seem to follow us into death.

Perhaps, it is a blessing, or perhaps it is a curse. If feelings of regret and dismay had not followed me into the afterlife, would feelings of joy and satisfaction not follow either? This truth will likely elude me forever, but it is something I feel the need to ponder. 

The computer provided me the means to write down notes such as these for further contemplation in the future, as well as reflect on ideas in the past. The Halloween night I described earlier happened about two years ago. After that night, I found myself trapped within my own house until the following Halloween. Luckily enough for me, time seemed to progress faster than it normally would ,until that Halloween. The house seemed to be pretty devoid of activity until that day though, so I had to find entertainment in other activities such as, well, writing.

I wrote about my experiences within the computer, this being one such story, and it keeps me sane. I suppose that's another reason why I was presented this hunk of junk replica of my past life laptop. It's a good way to be active and stay kept up-to-date while in the very confined world I live in.

The nightmares I had kept on coming. I'd say they occurred about once every week or two. Some of them were harsh, such as the one where I had to live through my murder again. Others weren't nearly as bad but still caused me to feel sick to my stomach, such as witnessing several life-changing moments in which I pushed family away. yelling at them to not interfere with my work.

I was convinced for some time that the nightmares I had were, in part, punishment for my actions in life as a cruel and negligent man. There are still many questions I have that I am unsure how to answer, so I may seem uncertain a lot of times. In truth, life after death doesn't truly answer our questions about the universe. I've no clue if this experience happening to me is similar to other spirits. Thus, with no comparison to offer, I cannot offer with certainty that events such as this will be similar to what you readers will experience.

When last year's Halloween arrived, I was filled with hope once more. It was a promising day, and I would pray that someone would dare enter my home. Again, I saw the kids in their plastic masks and neat costumes skip down the road for a night of trick-or-treating. Just like every year before, they would go up to a neighborhood house, knock on the door, and joyfully accept their delicious treats. The night went on, the kids got their candy, and they all avoided my house once again.

A frown formed on my face as I lost hope once more, realizing that it would be another boring Halloween for me. I hung my head low and made my way over to my spot on the floor, lazily sitting with my legs spread out haphazardly. I leaned my head against the wall and listened to the sounds of the children's fun dissipate. The moon had risen once more, and the children made their way back to their homes.

Exhaling slowly, I prepared to fall asleep once more. Until I heard a strange noise outside the house, that is. I opened my eyes and shifted my head toward the back door where the sound originated. I saw several shadows moving around outside the window, with soft murmurs accompanying the motion.

I sat up, my interest piqued. Could it be what I thought it was? Could it be what I had been hoping for, for all those years? I got my answer in the form of the window near the back door sliding open and a small boy stealthily making his way into the house. He couldn't have been more than 15 years old.

I smiled wide as I stood and made my way over to the boy. Finally, a daredevil! As expected, he couldn't see me. The boy clicked his flashlight on and methodically traversed the house, jumping at every small creak and groan the old house made. I could see his skin crawling; He was quite uneasy in the rickety old place.

Smirking mischievously to myself, I gently knocked on the wall next to the boy, causing him to jump in fright. He made his way out of the room and towards the bottom of the staircase, looking up into the darkness beyond. I made my way besides the boy and scratched the wooden walls.

"H... Hello? Is anybody in here?" he whispered softly under his breath, somewhat unsure.

I remained silent as a dead man, not wanting to chase the poor kid out of the house too quickly. This was my first haunting after all, and I didn't want to ruin it. The boy allowed his light to shine up the stairs as he ascended to the second story, each bump within the night causing him to noticeably wince. I followed him upwards, passing through his body at one point, causing him to shiver. Once he reached the top, he made his way down the long corridor and to my room. Before he could reach the handle, I opened the door ever so slightly, beckoning him to enter.

"Heh... it's just the wind. Don't be a wimp, man, you can do this," the boy spoke to himself.

As he shined the light around the room, I snuck behind him and stood silent, grinning ear to ear. When he turned around to face me, his face turned completely pale. This confused me, so I turned around to see if anything caught his eye. There was nothing. Looking back, I stared directly into his eyes. He stared right back into mine. He could see me. I didn't know how, but suddenly he could see me.

He backed away slowly, his lip quivering and his eyes as wide as humanly possible. Then, he abruptly released a blood-curdling scream and ran in the opposite direction. I followed quickly as the boy rushed down the corridor. Apparently, he didn't pay attention like he should have, because I heard a shrill cry before the sound of a body tumbling down the stairs echoed throughout the house, followed by a sickening crack.

I rushed down to the boy, my mouth agape in pure shock. There, at the bottom of the stairs, sat the body of the boy. His neck was turned in an unnatural position, clearly broken. His eyes were wide open and unmoving, and his chest was completely still. He wasn't breathing at all. He... was dead.

I had to sit there and watch as the paramedics and officers took the child's lifeless body away. The crushing weight of guilt caused tears to form within my eyes. I had never intended for something like that to happen, and I will never get over it. My perception of time seemed to drastically slow down after that event. I wrote down that event into my computer, my mind unsure of what to think.

This guilt has been weighing me down for some time now. Of all the awful experiences I have had, both in life and death, this tops them all. I am a murderer, and nothing will change that now. Whether this was an accident or not is inconsequential. The blood is on my hands, and I can't help but wonder about the boy's family and how they must feel. It tied a knot in my stomach just to think about it, and it always will.

A while after those events happened, I found a new application on my computer. It was nothing that I had ever downloaded, nor was it something anyone else could have placed there. Sure enough, upon opening it up I saw a list of download links to videos. The same videos that were on the white computer, in fact. There was, however, one video that I didn't recognize. One placed directly after my death date on the timeline.

My eyes widened as I read the date underneath the download link. It was Halloween... the same day I had caused the death of the poor boy who entered the house. I already knew what the contents of the video would be, and watching it only confirmed my suspicions and made me sick to my stomach.

That night is all that I can think of any more. There seems to be no more room for any sort of contemplation, aside from what I could have done differently. All I can ponder now is if there was something that could have been done to mitigate this entire mess... if a mess is even an appropriate term for this. Now, I wish that I could stop thinking altogether.

A child died within the house, and word spread quickly throughout town. The police will be sure to be on top of this place again, but the truth is that I'm stuck here forever, until further notice. If kids don't try sneaking in again soon, they will after the fuzz dies down. Someone will come in, and I'm deathly afraid that there will be another accident someday. I will feel that way until the end of time... or until whenever this damn house is demolished.

I'm not sure what I will do when that time comes, but this afterlife is slowly shaping into a hell far beyond what I had imagined. I type this to you now because in a life and death of eternal torment, nightmares, and guilt, it's all I can think to do.

There is nothing else for me, so perhaps this account of my life and afterlife will hold some value to you. Whatever the case may be, wish me the luck I so desperately need. Maybe in time I'll forgive myself and move on, but I can't be certain. I don't really know anything anymore. All I had wanted was to set aside my selfishness for a single night... and look where that got me. I just hope the kids stay away from this place. All it has to offer is bad news. Take care now, and be safe next Halloween.

Please don't do anything stupid.

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15 Reviews

Points: 30
Reviews: 15

Wed Oct 06, 2021 2:03 pm
CotardDelusionz wrote a review...

Great story your works are always good I look forward to them. One of the many parts I liked is where you described the actual feeling of being dead,
"I found myself uncomfortable with the state of my being at first. The sensation of being sentient, yet disembodied was strange due to the amount of time I had previously spent as a living, breathing person, but I soon got used to my situation."
Usually most stories have the character still in their physical body right from the start so this was unique to me. And I like how you mention it was uncomfortable, which is a good way to put it in order to describe physical feeling and being, of being dead, because it definitely shouldn't be a feeling we're familiar with.

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95 Reviews

Points: 23
Reviews: 95

Tue Oct 05, 2021 9:04 pm
vampricone6783 wrote a review...

Wow! I want to hear more about the adventures of this man and what he does with his afterlife.Is he forced to haunt his house or did he haunt it out of his own agony and guilt? What about the poor young boy? Does he also haunt the house? Is the boy himself a vengeful spirit? I really enjoyed this story and I would love to see it continued.Have a wonderful day/night.

I do all of the training for Walgreen’s cashiers.
— The Devil