Monoland: Into the Gray Horizon

By E.A. Minin

Paranormal, General fiction

Paperback, eBook

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4 mins


Terror and tranquility became whole. White and black merged into something that feels gray. The color has a significant part in this story. The death-biography of mine. Not often you hear a story of the life that starts with the last chapter. So here we are - Death! Saying this didn’t cause pain. Going through late pleasures of life and see the freeze frames of happy moments and interactive pictures of our friends with their foolish customs, just like those newspapers in one fantasy movie. Could I see all this, lying in agony with my guts next to me? Recall all the right things and go through them as a dragonfly sees changing landscape below.
Thoughts started to overwhelm my head. Heart pumped faster with each breath. I decided to make the last call while I still could. Found my phone and dialed the number, rejected the call. Repeated. One more time. Frightened I could survive… Ridiculous.
How this person will look at me if it’s a false alert? I stay alive and we will meet later today or the day after or even in few month. What would I say?
- Phew, that was close back then. How’s life? Weather is shitty again, eh? Want to grab a cup of coffee?
Not me. Couldn’t make up my mind. Of course, I should have done what I wanted to. Every motivation poster or life trainer will tell you this. I knew being astronaut or a scuba diver you have a point of no return. For ones like me point of no return is our last breath and not a second earlier.
Walls absorbed my words as I stood there with a phone in my hands, screaming at myself, trying to make the call. I had a quarrel with a piece of plastic in my hand.
- By the way, where is it? I see the cell phone on the floor and have no memory of the moment I dropped it. Death is playing games with me or my brain, but I don’t feel… and why do I say everything I think. This agony is driving me insane. Same moment I understand that my room lost its color. Another joke of death. I keep saying things I think. What is this? It’s like I’ve lost the thought-speech filter.
That is where grammar turned the story of my life into the past tense. From now and further on “I am” — is “was.” Opening new arc where I was alive, and I am dead.
1st impression - Death is imperceptible.


Looked around to understand whereabouts of mine. I stayed in the same room, my room. Everything turned gray, and I didn’t spot a single dot of color. Some things also changed. My cell phone, television or the laptop. All these elements were still in the room, but now they appeared to be a sort of deep dark glow. The Same glow came from the plants. I went to the kitchen and saw the glow coming from the mirror and even the fridge. Without an idea what that might be, decided not to hang on this. After all, things should be hard to understand for a newcomer.
Inspection of the room revealed further details - wallpapers became monochrome, yet the pictures on walls still had images, yet with no color. Gray washed the room from colors of living. New details compensated the lack of colors. Now I saw it different. I notice cracks on the floor and how tastelessly pictures on the walls looked when colors did not hide mistakes of the painter. Everything else - the furniture, belongings on shelves and clothes here and there became firm with the interior. I tried to pick up the t-shirt from the chair. It became a part of it and didn’t even move, not even a fold on the shirt. As a sculpture made of stone my home became monolith with strange glowing portals, that I felt too scared of to approach. I had no idea what comes with death, and I preferred not to force the next step. 

All of a sudden these thoughts brought me to a one I couldn't believe I forgot to ask myself earlier - the body.
Ran back into the room and checked the place I last stood still in colors. Nothing. I couldn't understand this; I needed more time and preferably someone to explain. We always need time, who said it would be any different in the afterlife. In the corner, I noticed another dark glow source. A place where my friends' guitar rested. He forgot it a while ago, but he would get it back quite soon. What in common to all these items had? So many questions and no one who could give me answers.
- Is this hell? - I, though.
No light from above or a hole of fire below. Abyss or void didn’t devour me, and I still stayed in my room. With no chance to get out or even pick up a thing in my monolith room. I entered the underworld wearing underwear and slippers. Maybe when the landlord would come, I might slip outside and meet others like me. Still would be good to somehow dress up before going out.
Excited and nervous; however the feeling is different. I mean completely. I don’t feel the pulse, heartbeats or hard breathing. Still, I do breath. Inhale, exhale.
Is blood still pumping through my veins or lungs are still delivering oxygen into my body? No pulse, no heartbeat. When I pinched myself, I felt the itching and hitting a bed-table, just for an experiment, ended up with a sudden lack of pain in my delicate foot fingers. Slightly limp on my way from the bed-table to the chair I summarized my experience.
2nd impression - Death is absurd.
Sitting on the chair, I added another question to thousand standing in line - time. Is it running faster or slower? Maybe not moving at all? Maybe everything just stopped? That would explain the petrified surrounding and interior. I recall wristwatch left on the table and in less than a second I stood above them staring and laughing. Uncontrollably. Hysterically. Watch had no hands on it. Only a deep dark whirlpool. Laughing at me as I laugh at it. I will have to count time myself if I don’t want to get lost in it. Always accurate with my day while still alive, it shouldn’t be a problem.
I decided to have a cup of tea while I’m waiting for the unknown. With each step to the kitchen, I slowed down, trying to put it off as long as possible. I knew I wouldn’t be able to pick up the cup or the kettle. A greater shock, than death itself. No more tea or coffee. How am I supposed to live… exist in this world?
I closed my face with palms and slid down the wall. Sitting on the floor, I wanted to see colors again when I open my eyes. I wanted to die some other day, some other way. Frightened of thinking about my whereabouts, of what happened to me and of how my body and brain reacted on it. So scared and for reasons unknown so calm. The reason is not lack of coffee or tea; it’s everything. Losing little ritual, you think of dozen other sacred rituals you had and would never be able to do again.
3rd impression - Death is unbearable.
“Я собираюсь прожить вечно. Пока всё идёт хорошо.” - слова Стивена Райта.
Time or not, it passed by. Long or not, I had had enough of it to recall main checkpoints of my life couple of occasions. Next moment heard the entrance door opened. Probably it’s been a while, and now landlord or police came here to check the source of the smell, guided by neighbors complaints.
Rush to the entrance door in four big steps, and I froze in front of the door thinking - what happens next. The door opened, and the girl appeared in front of me.
- Hey. Sorry for being late.



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