Fantasy Speculative Thriller

"Stop that! It feels weird." 

A thousand icy fingers are trying to pilfer through my brain. My eyes squint at the discomfort. My forehead furrows. Now, it looks like a crinkle-cut French fry.

I raise my hand in protest, hoping they stop this intrusion immediately. One of the 7 ft. tall light beings doubles over as if I just punched him in the solar plexus.

“Owwwww, your kickback is powerful. Were you a sensitive in your former life?”

“I don't know...whatever… Just stop the rummaging!" I reply. "My brain isn’t some garage sale for you to go looking through for valuables. ”

I wonder what happened to all that existential knowledge I was supposed to have recieved after I died? Somebody must have lied to me about that. I sure haven’t gotten even basic information to help me with my predicament much less any amazing revelations.


The others stand there now looking puzzled. Their golden orbs hold my gaze with what seems like warmth and concern. I’m being embraced, but no one is touching me.

The one in the center addresses the being on his right,

“Why is she here now? She wasn’t due until September 25.”

“I don’t know, but she’s a handful,” the one to his left replies.

“Well, what do you all think about all this, Ashur?” The one to his right asks. The one in the center shrugs and looks like someone asked him to recite the Pythagorean theorem without a cheat sheet. Leftie looks unbothered, having let the matter go in the few seconds it took for the being beside him to shrug off the matter.

The silence becomes deafening for a while. Leftie looks back at me directly, his countenance changing to an expression of concern so quickly I think he’s practiced the look a million times.

My lips form a pout. More sarcasm spews out.

“You guys seem like just one big know-nothing clan.”

The one on the right frowns. He flails a hand away from his body as if he's given up on our conversation. His voice thickens.

“Then take a break from us. Imagine any place you desire to be. You can visit there just by thought alone. You don’t have to be with us if you don’t want to.”

He must not realize that I've tried that several times already. I guess I’ll try again. Nothing but time here anyway.

The beings disappear. I am left to my own devices.


Nightfall is approaching. I’m still wondering what my being stuck here could mean. I can’t recall anything from my former existence on Earth yet, nor my demise, but I’m finally starting to manifest physical objects by imagination.

The desk ahead of where I’m standing fronts a wall plaque that says Akashic Records. My thoughts intensify.

I need to finish whatever it was I was doing before this little “mistake” happened. I know it was something very important.

So, just where are the “It’s not your time,” folks when you need them?

“On lunch break "

A little laughter in the background startles me, and I jump. It’s leftie. He's popped in out of nowhere uninvited. I'm hearing his thoughts.

“Figured I’d check on you.”

I give him an eye roll.

“Returning is a personal choice, but I don’t recommend that until you first remember how you got here.”

I nod, but I know I’m not going to pay much attention to anyone’s advice.

“Going back there will only result in more confusion. If you do go, you’ll make the same mistakes as you did the first time or worse.”

My memories are taking too long to resurface. An hour here is like 150 years of Earth time.

“Don’t worry, child. Liam will let us know what’s going on when he gets back from the Receiving Hub. Don't fret. He’ll get it all sorted out.”

I’m no child, and I’m thirty-eight last I checked, but rather than waste time defending my adulthood, I get to the point.

“Am I not supposed to be dead? You’ve been trying to avoid saying it, but you don’t have to handle me gently. Just tell it like it is.”

The being blinks quickly and wrings his hands, obviously uncomfortable, even though I’m sure he’s seen millions of “me’s” in his time here.

“Do pardon me, Adeline,” he begins, “while I get accustomed to the use of my tongue for, what is it you call it on Earth?”

“Speech,” I answer, "And please call me Adlee, not Adeline. Geez. I hate that name."

“Sorry.. Adlee it is. Yes, speech. As you can tell, we don’t need to do a lot of that here, but we can."

“It’s been a few days. Now I can read your thoughts too, so it doesn’t feel as weird anymore. There’s no need to condescend to the lowly human here."

“Yes, but I think this might make you more comfortable under the circumstances."

"Yeah, I do still prefer speech, but I'm getting used to things."

A sheepish grin crosses the being’s countenance. He moves on to answer my question.

“An anomaly is the only viable explanation for you arriving sooner than the 25th. You’d be surprised how many people we’ve had to escort back right through the entrance portal as soon as they waltzed in here unannounced. Hence, the need for those It’s not your time people you mentioned earlier."

He turns away. As he does, there’s a strange shift in his energy. The light fades into a deep onyx for only a few seconds before returning to its original translucence.

I don’t think much about it until later, for desperate words are starting to tumble out from my bitter tongue.

“All I know is you guys in charge got something wrong, and you need to fix it right away!!”

“Yes, Adlee, we understand your frustration,” he speaks.

“This will all become clearer. You’ll get to ask questions soon. Until then, be patient, and the most bountiful Hesed I extend you.”

I don’t get a chance to reply because he fades into pure air.


“I’m Liam,” the newcomer announces. The name has a deeper meaning to the others, but one I’m obviously not familiar with.

That icy tickle starts up again. This one is more powerful than the others and he doesn't seem to care to ask if I'm OK with the thought exchange.

“By the way, “Thoughts easily manifest here, Adlee, especially for someone with your abilities.”

What does he mean by abilities? 

“I did some research. You aren’t as average as you think. In fact, you're quite powerful."

“Not studying that now." I answer. "I gotta focus on getting back. I was doing something important. I just don’t remember what.”

“You certainly have a one-track mind.”

A playful grin teases the corner of Liam's mouth.

“Well, I'd really like to get out of here.”

“But that’s not advisable, as you've heard before.”

“My death on the 25th would have only been a few days later anyway. I’d still be back here as soon as I fulfilled what I was meant to do.”

“Oh, but my child, that would make too much difference.”

There’s that word child again I hate so much.

“Well, there’s one way to speed things up," Liam adds.

The air opens up like a movie screen as he offers a split vision of two outcomes. On the right is an image of a man who looks familiar. He’s just been shot through the heart, lying on the ground bleeding, immobile. On the left, the man is still alive. No injuries.

“The image on the right is what would have happened on the 25th if you’d been there.”

“Well, the man you're showing me is dead. When I look at him, I feel enraged. Why is that?”

“Sorry, I wish I could help, but you have to figure the rest out on your own.”

He shakes his head sadly, swipes the images away. Maybe he wishes he hadn’t shown me them.

“Spend some time in reflection for a few days. I’ll check in with you afterward," he says.

I leave and look for a place to eat a juicy burger, though I don’t feel hunger the way I used to in my body. Hopefully, I'll meet a few other human beings who’ve been here longer than me, talk with them, see what they know. Talking to the light beings is obviously getting me nowhere. 


Before last night I didn’t have these beautiful accommodations. Now thanks to wishful thinking I have a bedroom with a king-size bed, a gorgeous dresser, a chest of drawers, nice wallpaper, a huge oak desk , and a Mac for my writing.

Day breaks through the window next to my bed. I awoke earlier from sleep noticing the coffee smell wafting from the kitchen, but everything pales compared with my plan for getting out of here. My new friend, Petrum, has enlightened me. He’s been stuck here for eons but knows every nook and cranny of the dimensions here. I asked him to leave with me, but he doesn’t have the courage, just the knowledge. He claims the guards are predictable, and he knows their schedule. If I can leave in a half hour, I’ll be at the station at the right time for “Sleepy Dwarf” guard not to notice me. And that’s what I’m going to do.

These light beings, they can’t be as innocent as they seem. The sooner I’m gone, the better, I'm thinking to myself.

When I enter the kitchen, I find Liam waiting for me, a coffee cup in hand. He points to the coffeemaker.

"Have a cup," he says.

I grab a cup from the cupboard and pour myself one.

“So do you have it all figured out?”

“Yes, and it only took 4 sunrises and sunsets, a lot of tea leaf reading, tarot cards, meditation, hypnosis, coffee, and several hours of wracking my brain,” I reply.

My mind goes back to what could have been.

“Ya know, I could have killed the man who murdered my 10-year-old daughter last year if you’d just let me stay in my body until the 25th.  I was planning on doing it execution-style with a shotgun. You guys ruined that.”

“The time elapsed since your death in World XXIIMC has been far too many years for you to return, so don’t waste time dwelling on the past,” Liam replies.

My thoughts are permeated with a thickening sludge of skepticism. I remind myself no one seemed to know the details of my death, yet they knew of my plan to kill Brendan Stark. It seems off somehow.

“I gotta dash. Have all the coffee you want, Liam " I say, hoping Liam will take the hint.

He does.

“Well, have fun, but don’t do anything I wouldn’t do,” he says.


The tunnel I was speeding through before I got to this place of light beings and nonsense was black as night, but soon it disintegrated, giving way to a view from afar of a brilliant city as translucent as the beings themselves. Too bad i didnt get to it. Every fiber of my soul wanted to. I couldn’t get beyond an obstacle that kept me from entering the gate.

It’s been tempting to attempt getting to the portal back home Petrum claimed is in that city, but he says odds are I’d get caught and there’d be nothing left of me but charred flesh. He said that happened to his brother a couple of years ago.

The other option is quicker and less treacherous, but I need two special stones to make it through that gate. So, I “borrowed” those from the light beings unawares, one of hematite and the other of moldavite. One will boost my energy and the other will detect the portal.

I can do this...

My hands shake, but it will all be worth it when I take that child-killing jerk out of the world forever.


I am making my way down the corridor to the other side, past the Hall of Lumens. The guard is asleep, as predicted. I step near the portal, which is near the elevator within a secret panel, the guard a little. I pause.

I tiptoe to a place in the shadows where no one can see me, back up against the wall, take a few deep breaths.

The guard starts snoring again, his face on top of his hands against the desk.

I slip over to the secret panel, use the crystal, but no luck. What could be the problem I wonder.

Wait. I bet I can use this new wishful thinking skill to get in.

I envision the portal responding to my thoughts, see it opening up a doorway that I step through on the 25th. I see Brendan waiting for me on the other side.

Snap, I am in…

Almost as soon, I am back in the hall where I started.

As I come out of the portal, there are burns and lacerations here and there all over my body, and within I feel as if the core of my being was hit with a lightning rod. I just barely avoided the original demise these Karma Lords had waiting for me the first time.

Liam is standing before the portal. His eyes burn into mine. I can tell he’s a little ticked off but trying not to show it.

“We couldn’t let you kill him. He’s important for our own purposes. We have everyone’s best interest at heart.”

His words confirm my suspicions. These aren’t good beings at all. They are the enslavers of mankind, the ones who force divine beings to be reborn again and again, to repeat life and death, to suffer for all eternity against their will. I realize that Brendan, and other murders like him, fit perfectly into their plan, causing rage, despair, sorrow, and entrapment in negative thinking, the kind of thoughts that keep us all enmeshed with human reality, resonating only with death and rebirth, unaware of the cycle we are stuck in.

“Yeah, you decided he was one more murderer you needed to keep alive just to keep humans bitter and chained to karma,” I answer bitterly, “I see what you’re all about. You're manipulating us all so we will go back again and again so you retain your sovereignty.”

Though he knows now I’m onto him, Liam still is careful to keep up the facade of caring and lovingkindness.

“Don’t worry. In a few minutes, We’ll get you back to the healers. They’ll fix your injuries, but you won’t be able to get back into a body for over a thousand years now.”

“Guess you think this serves me right for being stubborn,” I answer him.

“What do you mean? We didn’t hurt you on purpose. We only stopped you shooting Brenden.”

“Yeah right...Guess what? I still succeeded. I set a trap for Brendan you didn’t see coming. I found him before the hour he would be in the park to snatch my daughter, and I shot him from my car with a 38 before he could even do anything. You guys trying to stop me was for nothing. Now there's one less cold-blooded child killer in the world. “

Liam doesn’t look like he believes me. His underestimating me is the very best thing I could hope for.

 “Sorry it had to be this way,” Liam replies.

I smile, though, knowing I accomplished my mission, though it was costly to me.

I fall asleep now, knowing I won’t awaken for at least a thousand years. But when I do, the Lords of Karma better be ready. I'll be giving them something to worry about.

September 03, 2022 01:00

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Graham Kinross
12:21 Sep 15, 2022

I like the concepts in this, more abstract and out there than I usually read here, very cool.


Cynthia Prokarym
21:05 Sep 15, 2022

Thanks so much for the like and the compliment 😊 I appreciate it very much. I'm glad you enjoyed the story.


Graham Kinross
21:06 Sep 15, 2022

No problem, Cynthia.


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Aeris Walker
12:37 Sep 07, 2022

Stories that take place in some kind of “in-between” are always interesting to me. I liked that your main character maintained their snarky personality, even after death, and that you answered the questions for the reader at the same pace you revealed answers for the character. This was my favorite line: “My thoughts are permeated with a thickening sludge of skepticism.” Super interesting ideas and concepts, well done :)


Cynthia Prokarym
14:27 Sep 07, 2022

I'm glad you enjoyed the story 😊 Huge thanks for your comments and encouragement. Looking forward to more of your stories. I loved the one I recently read. It was great!


Aeris Walker
20:40 Sep 07, 2022



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Corey Melin
03:02 Sep 07, 2022

Bravo on the imagination. Like the twist at the end where he wins out against the controllers. “He must not real I've tried that already.”- not sure what exactly this sentence should be saying “but at least I’m finally starting to manifesting physical objects by imagination.”-manifest instead of manifesting I like to read the imagination put into a story that will tell me if it’s a good story or not and you did a fantastic job


Cynthia Prokarym
14:29 Sep 07, 2022

Thank you for your comments, and especially for noticing the typos. I have corrected them now. I'm really glad you enjoyed my story, and I look forward to reading more of yours. 🙂


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