Juliet was dead.
At least she thought she was.
She had no sense of self or time. No motion or emotions.
“I am dead.”
Juliet tried to stand and realized she was laying down on… nothing.
Juliet looked down and there was no floor and she was looking at… water?
“Not water, exactly.. but what is it?” Juliet realized her voice sounded different but she couldn’t figure out why it did. It just did.
She looked up. Then around. Everything looked the same: Dark grey when looking up and around, water-ish when looking down.
“But even the water-ish is grey.” Juliet said in her strange voice that was and yet wasn’t her own.
Juliet looked down again, but this time she focused on her feet.
“Feet. No shoes, of course.” Juliet said, before reflexively moving her arms up to cover her exposed breasts and body. Her legs were natural and unshaven.
“What the fuck? Why am I naked?” Juliet said aloud to no one.
“Why wouldn’t you be? You’re dead, dear.”
Juliet screamed upon hearing the voice.
“Shit, why would you scare me like that?” Juliet scream while turning in the direction of the voice.
The voice was from behind Juliet, and upon completing her turn and shouting her question Juliet was facing an older woman. The woman was tall with thick twisting hair that had a streak of white in it. Her face was warm and her cheeks round. Her eyes were a strange color.
“Colors” Juliet whispered while staring into the older woman’s eyes.
Juliet realized she was warm and felt safe.
“Was I cold before?” Juliet asked herself.
“Where am I? Who are you? What is this place? Am I dead? Dreaming? Am I sick with fever? What is going on? Who are you? Wait, do I know you? Juliet was a speaking fast – she always spoke fast, she recalled – and the older woman stood still.
Juliet realized the older woman was also naked and her body was beautifully aged with loose skin and appropriate wrinkles.
“You have a lot of questions, J; you’ve always had a lot of questions, haven’t you?
“How do you…. Where do I know you from? How do you know me?” Juliet was confused but at the same time she felt comfortable with the older woman even though she had not provided any answers.
The older lady warmly smiled.
Juliet saw the smile and felt calm wash over her.
“You know, don’t you, J?” The older woman responded confidently.
“Now, let’s take a walk in the park and I’ll answer some of those questions you asked. How does that sound?”
Juliet started following the older woman.
“Wait, there’s no park….” Juliet started to say before realizing there was indeed a park in the near distance.
Juliet was certain there wasn’t a park there before.
“Wait, wait.. who are you?”
Juliet was running but she didn’t feel anything on her feet and didn’t know how she could be running. She felt no wind resistance or cold or heat. Instinctively she reached to touch her hair, realizing she hadn’t thought about her hair since she awoke.
“Did I wake up, though?” Juliet asked herself as she slowed down just as she reached the older woman, her left hand gently tugging on her long curled hair.
“How do you feel?” The woman gently asked.
Her voice was familiar, Juliet thought.
“I – I feel good. I guess?” Juliet answered confusingly.
“Good.” The older woman responded. “Let’s talk. What do you wish to know, J?”
Juliet was still. She wasn’t tired after running and she still wasn’t cold or hot. In fact, she felt.. fine.
“Well, except for the fact I don’t know if I am alive or dead, and I’m standing somewhere outside naked with a older woman who is also naked – beautifully naked I should say – who I may or may not know. I guess I want to know…am I dead?”
“Yes and no.”
“So, I’m in limbo or purgatory then? This can’t be hell, can it? I wasn’t religious but I was – am – a good person.”
“Not that. None of that. Those are man-made myths. Men made a lot of myths. You are alive here, but dead on earth. How’s that?” The older lady answered and asked.
Juliet wasn’t exactly surprised because, well nothing made sense and being not-dead was just another strange thing happening.
“That, sort of makes sense I guess. As much as any of this…” Juliet waved her hands.
“Do you like this park?” The older lady asked as she turned away from Juliet to face the park before them.
The park was huge. There were long rows of trees on either side of where the women stood, there were flat grass areas, multiple playgrounds and ponds, large boulders, and grass on many mounds that were scattered the width of the park. Sections of wildflowers could be seen near and far, and there were benches, covered areas, picnic areas, and children’s play areas.
“I love this park. It is perfect.” Juliet answered as she really took in the beautiful sights.
“I’m glad you do, Juliet. Now, let’s talk about how you died and what we’re going to do about it.
The older woman took Juliet by the hand and for an instant for Juliet everything went dark.
To be continued…
Copyright 2020 by Myron J. Clifton. All Rights Reserved.