I forced my eyelids open, their heaviness begging me to close them again in the dim light. My hands felt around on the cold damp soil underneath me and I could hear water trickling down the walls around me. I blinked again, my eyes attempting to adjust to the light. My surroundings slowly came into view. It seemed like I was in a cave, but not too far in. I could see light dancing at the mouth of the cave in the distance and I could just make out some sounds from outside, echoing against the rocky walls. Birds chirped, a calm breeze rustled leaves in tree branches, and for some odd reason, I thought I heard the soft whisper of laughter. Where the hell was I? I had to be losing my mind.
The last thing I remember was an old acquaintance coming to visit. I’d completely erased her from my memory until something stirred it up again. I had hunted for the numbers she’d scrawled on a receipt from the diner and finally gave her a call. I knew she would have all of the answers I was looking for. She was one of the only people that would even begin to believe the crazy story I had in my brain. She arrived and more and more memories from the night I met her began to come back. I was never able to piece everything together, but I was getting closer. I didn’t know much about this woman at all and most people would think I was an idiot for inviting someone who was almost a stranger into my home. All I knew was that she had everything I needed. Everything I’d been searching for these last few months. Everything that was playing over and over again in my mind. Everything that had been keeping me awake at night.
After she left, I began to make dinner for someone who I was expecting later. Maeve. I bet she was wondering where I was. She was probably worried. She did that a lot- worrying. I needed to find her and tell her everything. The problem was, I didn’t know where she was. A bigger problem- I didn’t know where I was.
I sat up in the dull light, stretching my arms. Almost every bone in my body cracked like I had been laying there for a long time. My head pounded and my neck and shoulders ached. I pushed myself off of the ground with a groan and began to walk on unsteady legs. After walking what seemed like a hundred miles, my tired limbs reached the entrance of the cave. My breath hitched in my body as I took in the scene before me.
The sun was setting behind a forest of trees, creating a purplish glow in the meadow before me. Dragonflies danced in the air and crickets began chirping from the woods. The pasture at my feet barely grew any grass, but instead was filled with wildflowers, so many that if you stepped into it you would most certainly crush a few with every stride. They were every color you could possibly think of and more. A soft, glittery mist began to descend from the purple sky making the atmosphere otherworldly, causing me to again ask the question: where the hell was I? I began to get the odd feeling that someone was watching me. I whipped around and locked eyes with her.
“Harvey Edward Davis, you took a long time to die.”