Light. Dim, blue light from above my stinging eyes. My surroundings start as pieces, then slowly collect into one.
Ice. There is a sheet of ice holding me down.
Water. Water surrounds my body, icy and still.
Light. The dim blue light filters through the ice, far off.
Pain. A smarting pain dancing on the surface of my left shoulder and the sting in my eyes from the water.
I can’t move.
I can’t breathe.
I don’t need to.
My body is perfectly happy with its current accommodations.
Until it isn’t.
Suddenly my lungs need air, my skin needs warmth. I raise my arm, watching in fascination as my closed fist beats against the ice. Once... Twice... Nothing. Not even a crack.
A sudden burst of energy shoots through me, and I strike the ice again. This time, my fist breaks through and feels soft, cool air. I repeat my actions with my other fist, creating a human sized hole in the ice.
My head lifts, and emerges from the water, taking its first breath.
The air I need hurts at first, and I don’t want to leave the water. But I do, and my immediate reaction is to gasp in shock. A gale of wind screams past me, making me tense. I continue to lift myself from my watery tomb.
A torso emerges, thin but muscular. Then legs, long and also muscular. My entire body is pasty white, ghostly pale, and sturdy.
The pain in my shoulder returns, and I crane my neck to get a view of what is causing the damage.
A trail of black ink traces itself into my flesh, curving and twisting to form a shape. The intricate detail is stunning, and I can’t pull my eyes away. The lines come together to form a scene. A girl appears in the ink, her hair long and black, her skin pale. I do not know who she is.
I stand, my legs weak and unstable, making this difficult. But I manage, and when I straighten up, I am able to take in my surroundings. I am on a beach, the water of the ocean frozen from the chill of winter. A forest lines the edge of the beach, its thick, dense, luscious evergreens bent with the weight of a heavy snow. My bare feet match the snow in color. I just now notice the deep cuts on my wrists, most likely from the ice. Blood drips from the cuts and falls onto the ice, staining it a pale pink. I turn my attention back to my location.
It is silent here. Not one person can be seen for miles along the coastline. The breeze is cool but refreshing.
This is good, for me. After all, how high can my expectations be?
I’ve been dead for years.
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