Epilogue 3

There are others here, but I've yet to meet somebody. There it is again, wrong word. How strange what assumptions language makes. I still think in English but am curiously encumbered by what are now inappropriate metaphors.

I don't know what form interaction would take in this world, whether communication is possible at all. There is no sound, an even the images are not that. I sense yet have no senses.

"Hello."

A voice in my head ... er mind, turning my attention. It's a woman, a young woman it would seem, though I'm not sure how I know.

"You're new here, aren't you?"

I want to nod, to speak, but can't.

"That's OK," she said, somehow smiling. "Just think it."

"Hello," I said in my mind.

She smiled.

"How come I can see you without my body?" I asked.

She shrugged, "I don't know. Is it important?"

I wasn't sure how to answer. Aaron down there would have insisted that it was, but now rational materialism, apart from being irrelevant, was also incorrect.

She laughed and I felt it like frizzy bubbles in my mind, the tinkling of silver bells in a spring breeze.

"I love your laugh," I said.

She bowed coyly, completely unperturbed by my unexpected directness, unlike me. I stood stunned at what I'd just said.

"Come," she giggled. "Let me show you around."

She held out her hand and somehow I took it.

Epilogue 2

Elsbeth unlocked the door to her flat, and noticed for the first time how quiet it was. She'd lived there for many years, ever since her husband died, and it had become her home: small, comfortable, "doily infested" as Aaron used to say. She missed him terribly and felt another wave of grief overwhelm her, overflowing in drenching tears.

She was alone again. Surely, she prayed, once was enough?

There was no answer.

Epilogue 1

I didn't think death would be like this. Actually I didn't have any expectations whatsoever, apart from oblivion - if nothingness can be called an expectation. But here I am. Me, just not me in the old familiar sense - more like a detached me, disembodied ... literally.

Dying wasn't particularly painful - I suppose I have the morphine to thank for that. I remember saying something to Elsbeth, and watching her fade from view as my eyesight went; then a flurry of jumbled memories as my brain shut down, followed by darkness, total and utter, not frightening but somehow warm and comforting, perhaps like the womb might have been. Then this, a detached, pseudo coexistence with the world I knew.

I could see Elsbeth weeping below, though 'below' is not the right word for what must be a transdimensional direction, but it will suffice. I reached out to touch her but my hand passed straight through her, so I watched, unable to comfort her in her sorrow. Two nurses came in and tended to me, or what was me, my body, my old material self, now lying like an empty husk under cold white bed sheets. Then Jojo and Liesel entered, tears flowing from their eyes, holding each other for comfort. Elsbeth stood up, looking a little awkward, but they went to her, bless them, and the trio stood together arm in arm, mourning for old Aaron who was no more.

Except that I still am here, I shouted, but nobody heard, not even me.