Chapter 2:

The most mortal immortal

A Place between There and Now [Western Cover]

I never believed that something like the afterlife exists and if this is it then God is a giant prick.

I woke up with my eyes still shut, it was early, I could feel it and I just wanted a bit more sleep, just a bit more May. I opened my eyes and reality hit me like never before. There I was still lying where I perished yesterday. I felt a pain in my shoulder though to my surprise I didn’t find blood or a wound. I touched my right leg, and that wound was gone too. There weren't any scars, neither were there any traces of an attack. After I noticed this my pain suddenly disappeared. I think this phenomenon was called phantom pain, like that old game but I'm sure. But what was that name, Ma!_? where had I heard that before, M§!_ I couldn’t remember, !$&”§!_.

what was that name again?

I stopped thinking about it and got back up, it didn’t matter to me right now, that was at least what I thought. It was still dark, like yesterday the air was filled with black fog. Thirsty I decided to walk back to the river and luckily still knew the way. The tall grass bent in the wind and for a few seconds, the rustling was the only sound that interrupted the silence of the forest. The sound disappeared as suddenly as it began and I paid no further attention to it. Around 20 minutes later I had walked the whole way along the river back to the lake. When I drank from the water, I noticed that I smelled terrible, probably because I slept in the dirt. I took off my shirt, pants, shoes, and underwear which were all dyed in a uniform white now covered in mud. I tried to go for a swim. However, this soon proved not to be a good decision when I remembered how cold the river water was here. I could barely stay 3 minutes in though I should maybe have left earlier. Shivering even worse then yesterday, I got back out of the water.

While I was quickly getting dressed again, something fell out of my right jacket pocket. It was my knife. Whatever it was that attacked me yesterday must have put it back after killing me I thought. I pondered about it more and more, what had happened yesterday? didn't it kill me? How did I survive? No, I defenitly died yesterday, I had no idea about death back then but I knew that what happened the day befor was more then just unconsciousness. No, I couldn't have died the day before, what about my wounds? Where had they gone? None of it made sense. Except, no, that couldn't be. For a moment I thought I might be immortal. Was it perhaps all just a dream after all? From a purely logical standpoint, I must have dreamed it all or I just hallucinated, maybe I ate those mushrooms and just forgot it. On the other hand, I was almost 100% sure that I didn’t dream it, it was the same way you know what is a dream and what isnt while you are awake even though you don’t know you are in a dream while you are dreaming.

Just thinking about it wouldn't bring me anywhere but i needed to know. I needed to check It. So I made my way back to the place where I had woken up and supposedly been murdered. But what I found when I got there shocked me. There were no footprints and everything else was also gone, no bloodstains on the floor, and the mushrooms I brought with me also weren’t there. So I went further to the tree under which I found the mushrooms.

On the way, I noticed that there were no footprints anywere. Whatever killed me yesterday could never have removed all of them. What made it even stranger was that my clothes were dry, so i knew it didn't rain yesterday and I had already left the denser parts of the forest before I had been attacked yesterday.

I arrived and they still stood there as if nothing happened which meant that I didn’t dream this. If I dreamed this I couldn’t have known that the mushrooms were here, but this also meant that I was killed, that was immortal or something like that, and that whatever tried to kill me removed mine and its footsteps afterward. But what happened to the mushrooms, if I hadn't dreamed it? I definitely picked them up, I thought to myself still not understanding any of what happened here but even if I did it wouldn’t have changed that much, and it might even have been for the better.

After I got myself back together, I decided to go deeper into the forest, to see where the river flowed and how the dense parts of the forest looked I hadn’t been able to go into the day before.

Around 2 hours of straight walking later, I made a discovery, after walking through and across miles of muddy swamps, soggy moss, and slippery stone formations I found a path. It went straight through the forest which was by now really more of a jungle than a forest and ended somewhere in the distance near the structures I could see yesterday while walking aside the cliffs. The path grew wider and wider, becoming more of a road or a street and the cobblestone it was made off soon ended and gave away space for beautifully broken concrete.

The structures which seemed to be ruins of a bigger city grew larger and larger as I walked along the street which soon split into more and more of its kind to create a web of still half-broken half-intact roads that made the city extensible by foot, though driving over these roads would surely cost you a few of your bones if it hadn't already given you a concussion and thus ended your ride in advance.

It was already getting dark so I made good use of one of the small family houses that were next to the street by ripping wood out of wherever I could find and trying to light a fire in what I think once was a living room. Sadly, that didn’t work, and I needed to sleep in the dark, which wasn’t a problem for me, but I would have still preferred a warm fire. I laid down next to the pile of wood I prepared and closed my eyes.

I woke up. I could feel it, it was the same as yesterday. Its glaring eyes stared at me from every corner. Something was hiding in the dark, somewhere. Some wood fell off my pile.


I panicked as I unsuccessfully tried to pull my knife out of my jacket. Some bugs were buzzing somewhere near, which was the only thing I heard. There it was, I could see it, a black silluete, blacker than the night.

I heard drops falling to the ground, raindrops? no, tears from the direction of the shadow. They were the tears of the shadow. It slowly walked up to me, crying, begging to end mine and its suffering. I was frozen in place, unable to say a thing as it charged toward me and rammed another knife identical to mine into my chest. As I fell to the ground and felt the same pain as yesterday, I could only watch in horror as he pulled the knife out of me again and stabbed it straight into his heart. It looked at me relieved, almost satisfied.

- booting #003

- repeat