Chapter 1:

Check on My Sister For Me!

I Ended Up in Purgatory, It Sucked, So I Got My Neighbor To Help Save My Sister From Ending up Here

‘You know, they really need life coaches or, something in this purgatory.’ Itsuko stared at the sky ahead of her, a soft spiral of purple and pink in all directions. A gentle breeze blew, moving the tree branches above Itsuko’s head , the dark leaves contrasting her platinum blonde hair, her grip on the wide branch she sat on automatically strengthening, she takes a deep breath.

‘It’s been 5 years. I’ve had the time to overcome the grief of my short life or whatever, and yet, I still haven’t passed on. There’s obviously some bigger character arc I need to clear before I pass on, but how do I figure that out if the only people who are here are here because they sucked at living life the right way too?’ Itsuko leaned back slightly as she took a sharp deep breath in and released it. A lady slowly approaches the tree, her body unsteady, one arm holding another. She slowly climbed the tree and sat next to Itsuko who turned and looked up towards the lady who was a head above Itsuko in height The lady leaned forward and .

“How are you feeling?” Itsuko asked. The lady pulled at a collar around her neck and took a shagged breath.

“If I approach an earth gate again, I’ll get tased.” she said. “If only it had opened at night when there was less security. I was so close to the portal . . .” Itsuko put a hand on Kurisu’s shoulder.

“It sucks, not knowing what happened to her. You did the best you could, OK Kurisu? I’m sure wherever she is, she remembers that.” Itsuko said putting a hand on Kurisu’s shoulder. Kurisu’s whole body tensed up and she gritted her teeth.

“I just want to know. I want to know if she survived that fucking fire. She was always so happy. She was kicking ass in spite of everything. I just want to know, to make sure she’s still on that path.” Itsuko nodded and looked away.

“What if she isn’t? It’s not like you can do anything about it.” Kurisu’s face scrunches up and she looked away.

“Geez, why do you have to be so blunt, but I guess, that’s what happens when you spent your life staring off into space instead of talking to people.” Itsuko jerked her head around.

“I did talk to people! I just, didn’t always have something to say. You were the one who only showed up to take Mayuri home.” Kurisu cocked an eye brow.

“Who said I didn’t have a social life at work?” Itsuko cocked an eyebrow in response.

“Did you?” Kurisu closed her eyes and looked away.

“No.” Itsuko looked up into the air

“I guess that’s not surprising. From all the stories Mayuri told about you, it seemed like you spent all of your free time hanging out with her.” Kurisu turned away, a tint of sadness took over her face.

“Of course I did.” she responded, “Everything else in my life sucked.”

Suddenly, the grass in front of the tree spiraled into itself, and eventually vanished, replaced by a pool of bright white light. Itsuko’s eyes widened slightly and pursed her lips.

“Ah, an earth gate’s opened, looks like a new person’s arrived.” she said. Kurisu nodded.

“I need you to do me a favor.” she said. Itsuko faced her.

“What?” Itsuko asked. Kurisu grabbed both of Itsuko’s sides and lifted her up as Itsuko started protesting. Kurisu dumps her down towards the portal as if Itsuko was a sack of sand.

“Go check on Mayuri for me!” Kurisu yelled.

“What the fuccckkkkkkkkk” Itsuko screamed before hitting the earth gate headfirst with the rest of her body flopping onto the portal’s solid layer. The portal began to crack starting in the center, quickly splintering out to the edges of the portal. Kurisu gasped.

‘The portal has a solid barrier?’’ she thought.

Just then a memory flashed in Kurisu’s mind. She was running into her house, currently ablaze, screaming Mayuri’s name. She felt as though she had been engulfed by an ocean of heat and was fighting off drowning into it. She continued to walk forward. Smoke began entering her lungs. As she attempted to pull her shirt over her nose, part of the roof fell on her head and everything went to black.

Back in the present, Kurisu opened and closed her mouth, her teeth chattering, her body shook. She stared at where Itsuko lied still. A few feet away in the portal’s circle, a woman began rising out of the portal. She wore a reef around her head and used elegant wings to continue to exit the portal. The wings gave off warmth with the bright light they radiated as they slowly flapped. In the woman’s arms was an old man in his 70s who appeared asleep.

On the ground, the solid layer broke beneath Itsuko and she fell through.

Joe Gold