A Surface Life

All Rights Reserved ©

Summary

He walks toward the sunset, once a normal man with a normal life and now something else: a leader to the dead, a companion who sees them to the other side. And sometimes, the dead shock even him.

Genre:
Horror
Author:
Amanda Turner Crum
Status:
Complete
Chapters:
1
Rating:
n/a
Age Rating:
13+

A Surface Life

He walked down the Western Road, the sun a constant companion which could only listen and never speak. If asked, he would have said that the worst part of traveling is not the loneliness; it is the getting used to it.


He had never been a solitary man in his old life. He’d had children, a wife with a sunny disposition and full, white breasts that welcomed him after a long day of work. The constant noise of life had kept his mind from delving too deeply into any one matter; his was an existence of surfaces, with no fathoms to keep him from a good night’s sleep.

He was tired of walking. Being a leader was exhausting.


He looked up now to the sun as it made a slow descent, like a woman lowering herself into the bath. The sky looked like a giant bruise, all reds and purples in shades that hurt his eyes. It was the sort of sky that brought on stomachaches and too much whiskey, but it wouldn’t last long. Night was drawing near on swift cat’s feet.


“The river is always watching,” said the dead man on the side of the road.


“What else is there for a river to do?” he asked, irritated as he always was when one of them followed him. The only thing worse than getting used to being lonely is the companionship of a dead man. They can only look back.


"Do you think it ever tires of constantly moving? Does it ever want to go in a different direction, do you suppose?" the dead man asked.


He sighed heavily and kept up his pace. He could hear the dead man shuffling behind him. That was another thing about the deceased: they always dragged their feet.


"I don't have a care one way or the other about the river," he said. "My only care is about this darkening road, and if you had any sense it would be yours, as well."


The sun began to slip out of sight, leaving a hushed violet gloom in the air around them. It smelled like rusted metal, a scent he associated with blood. He turned and looked at the dead man fully, drinking him in. The eyes were cloudy white, blinded by the traumas of the In Between. His nostrils flared like those of a bloodhound; he was trying to make sense of the world around him the way a living man would. But the dead man would find no solace in his remaining senses, he thought. The Western Road would see to that.


“You can’t follow me any farther,” he said gently. It was the softest he’d been with any of the dead, and he didn’t quite know why, unless it was that he knew what this one had been thinking of as he shuffled off the mortal coil: his girl, no more than five, pale hair flying behind her as she ran through a field. It had reached him in a way that no special pleading had done thus far. The humanity left in him was both a blessing and a curse.


“I can smell the river,” the dead man said. “I hate that smell. Just let me go with you.”


“Why do you want to go back?” he asked, genuinely curious. “What do you think awaits you there? Some love that didn’t exist before? The forgiveness of that little tow-headed girl?”


The clouds were rolling across the moon. A nimbus tide.


The dead man tilted his head up, as though surveying the sky. A single tear slid down his ruined face and stopped at the corner of his mouth. “I thought I had more time.”


A soft wind began to wake the trees with a hush and it was like a lullabye for the damned. An admonition to the wicked. He stood in the midst of the carnage and scrubbed a hand over his face, suddenly incredibly weary. There was still so much more road to go.


He took out his pouch, lit a cigarette. The strike of the match lit a sulphurous glare in the near-dark. “No such thing,” he said.


Continue Reading
Further Recommendations

Shyam Peri: Good read very well written plot was good and build up was excellent hope he concludes well as he started

christinadyckes01: Another page Turner the whole series has been great

knbherrera: This book is brimming with so much emotion. It is so well written that you feel everything. I loved it!!! Simply put this book is amazing.

Nessma Ashraf: It is a good novel I love it so much ❤️❤️❤️💙💙💙💋

J.A.N.: it is very good love the tension and dramatic scenes and I like how you made the side charecters forget what goes on in past days

Sudeshna Das Saha: nice story

sadhana: I was virtually into the story until the climax..Awesome..Loved it!!

reneem744: I really enjoy reading this book so far, I cant wait to see whats to come. I would like to find out more about the " bleeders " and why they chose to live that lifestyle. And Lazy cant wait to hear his back story.

More Recommendations

Denise Cross: This book is amazing! I haven't been able to put it down because it's so addictive! It's very well written and I hope the author starts updating more often because I can't get enough of this wonderful story!!!

Olivía O'Connor: Amazing book. It describes scenes very well leaving little to the imagination I am only halfway through yet am already riveted. Great book overall original plot I especially like how it'd told from both points of view: the sirens & the sailors salmare so wants vengeance on. Overall I would rate t...

Eniola Asoso: I liked this book a lot, as it had a lot of horror and gore (which I love). Also, the plot was exquisite, and there were plot twists at every turn. The book shows the animalistic qualities that all humans have, and the havoc that can happen when it it unleashed. This book would be great to apply ...

Katherine Coye: Grammar errors aplenty. Nice storyline, a bit predictable but it develops nicely. Can't wait to continue!

toddstacey29: Love this book couldn't put it down

Khalil Rahaman: Great book! Your story kept me on edge and I love plots like these, grammar could’ve been a bit better but besides that I’d recommend this story to anyone

About Us

Inkitt is the world’s first reader-powered book publisher, offering an online community for talented authors and book lovers. Write captivating stories, read enchanting novels, and we’ll publish the books you love the most based on crowd wisdom.