• The dark walls danced with pirouetting shadows, twirling across the room. Scattered furniture lay abandoned when the family that lived here rushed out, in fear of something. All except for me, still dressed in a plaid dress, and fallen to the ground. A toppled candle sat, on its side, with the flickering flame still lit, causing creeping red flames across the hard wood floor. Dusty and grimy, one small window allowed small specks of light to leak in, landing on one small sprout growing through the wooden planks.
    This can't be happening...
    Outside, yellowing grass drooped from the heat of the blistering sun, all red and yellow. Trees withered at the sight of the never ending blue sky, the never ending heat and drought. I lay quietly, hair scraggled and dress rumpled, face cherry scarlet from the sun. I struggled to lift my stiff and limp body up, struggled to escape like my family did. Yet, my body would not listen, and continued its silent sweating.
    I've got to get out...
    Then, a small bird landed on a dried tree, a sign of life in this barren wasteland, scorched by that star that was supposed to give life and radiance. I hoped that it would stay, keep my company, yet it hopped away, lifting its wings to the light. I watched as it flew away into the blue, blue sky. I watched as that little bird flew out of sight.
    I wish I had wings...
    Suddenly, a new fear pierced me. I managed to feel my hot head. It was burning like the sun, almost like my skin would peel off like stripped bark. Fever. No, I couldn't survive like this if it went on. I had to get to shade. The fever burst through my tired body, striking dangerously at my body, killing me from the inside.
    A lone tree, still green, stood a few yards nearby. My only hope stood there, within the darkness I could recover, and perhaps, get to safety. My hands groped ahead, my feet scrunching in hopes of the slightest movement. I slowly crawled over to the tree, and collasped there, exhausted.
    I did it...
    My sweaty hair stuck like glue to my face, messy and uncombed. The tree's shade towered over me, but didn't help. The fever still ripped through me, tearing me apart like a rag doll. If only I had wings. Wings to save me and carry me away in the breeze.
    Why did my family leave me?
    It felt like yesterday as I watched my family hurry out, not calling me from my bedside. The air was still cool but unknowingly heated up quicker than you could imagine. Dust filled the air and my lungs, causing my collaspe. I coughed twice and my nose began to run. I took off my shoes and dress, leaving me in my petticoat and socks. That didn't help.
    I've got to survive...for my only one's sake...
    Pain joined with the fever to create something new, sadness. If only Sean was here. I could still remember his cool touch, his lips to mine, clasping me in a loving embrace. But he had gone on, two years ago, but the sadness never left me. My body toppled over, onto the grass, already dead. My eyes drooped over. Blackness faded across my eyes sealing me away in its caress.
    Am I dead?
    I was falling, falling, down a dark abyss, dress flying. My eyes were still tightly closed as I fell. Was this the end? Was I doomed to keep falling for eternity. But then, a bright ray of sunshine hit me, spreading life across the blackness. Green plants grew from the ground, flowers bloomed, and trees flourished. I basked under this new light, this new hope. I welcomed it. My eyes snapped open. No longer did the sun's rays sting my skin, or tear at my face. It was warming. Energy filled me, unlike before.
    Is this death?
    I rose to my feet gently. Then I saw him. My love, the only one I cared for. Sean. He was floating smoothly over, dressed in pure white cloths. He smiled, and touched my cheek. I savored his touch then realized the truth. Dressed in the same white cloths, my skin was unmarked and smooth, with no sign of the struggle that beheld me earlier. I was wearing no shoes, and my once scraggly hair wa flying back, free and glossy.
    What is this?
    "Are you ready? For the greatest adventure of all?" Sean said quietly, still caressing me in his hold. My mind stopped for a minute. Ready? Adventure? Isn't death supposed to be a flaming pit of skeletons and doom? Yet, I instinctively nodded, then stopped.
    "There's still something I must do," I said, voice clear as a bell, ringing. I floated over to the spot where I had died. It was now green, life flowing everywhere. But I could still spy that dusty old house in the midst of it, decaying away. And next to it, that tree, now old and wrinkled. I saw a cross beneath it, my cross. My family had returned after all. I felt relieved, joyous and headed back to Sean.
    "I'm ready," I finally said. He said no words, but offered a hand, unscarred and warm. I took it and entered the gates, pure white and carved delicately out of the finest silver and gold. We disappeared from the world, adventuring together, forever, but every day I could hear these words ringing out of those gates.

    "You have struggled and vanished. Now Death awaits you, weighing you, testing you. Life is only but a small part of you, pulsing like your immmortal heart. Choices you have never took before are now splayed before you. What will you do? That is not the concern now. What is the concern, is the present. Do whatever you must to make your dreams come true, for you only have a lifetime to do it. Welcome to Death, eternal and immortal.