By Rachel Garvey
I woke up slowly, letting the black dots clear from my vision. I was in a lot of pain, but I don’t know why. I was lying in an unfamiliar bed, I sat up. Someone walked in, but I don’t look to see who. I screamed when the person turned to me.
“What the hell?! Get away from me… somebody help me!”, I screamed, tumbling to the floor in shock. He, she or it, was a skeleton. A live skeleton. “Hey, hey, hey, it’s okay, Sam,” a female voice hushed. How does she know my name? “My name is Martha, I’m head nurse here at Foreclosure Basin, do you remember what happened to you?”. “N… no”, I hesitated.
“Foreclosure Basin is where our beings continue to live after death. Each being is assigned a job in the portal, Foreclosure Basin, and some of us even get to be assigned as house spirits. If you haven’t already seen yourself… then…”, Martha explained, and she held up a mirror to my face. I recoiled back in terror. My eyes were hollow, my nose looked like two blunt triangles cut into my bone structure, I could see ribs, bones, bones everywhere. I had died, but how? I couldn’t remember what happened. Martha sensed my frustration and explained my memory would be back in a day or two.
“Here, sweetie”, Martha said, as she handed me a booklet. I opened it and read the contents:
Welcome to Foreclosure Basin, the portal of the undead.
- Do your part here
- Humans strictly prohibited in the portal
- Skeletons must have training to be a house spirit
- Only the house spirits leave the portal
I closed the booklet, promising myself to read it later. Until then, I need to get my head straight. How did I die? If I’m here, does that mean I have unfinished business? How many others are here? My questions are answered when permission was given for me to leave the room. Martha is right behind me. I stepped out into the light and I stepped back, my hollowed-out eyes widening in circumference. The portal stretched up 500 metres to a bright light where the portal entrance is, and all the way down are different levels of floors with shops, dormitories, workstations and dozens of skeletons, both tiny and tall, scurrying about the place and going about their daily business.
“Our ruler, Lord Malevolence, will meet with you shortly. Reaper, his assistant, will be along soon to escort you to his Lord’s realm situated at the base of the portal”. I looked down to see other levels and then another bright light. I nodded, still unable to talk. This was my new life now; I didn’t know was it temporary or permanent.
“Also, Sam, we don’t use our real names here. Only the officials, like me, because I’m a nurse and it makes newbies feel more at ease… so, would you like to pick a new name?”, Martha asked, giving a small smile.
I hesitated. “I... uhm… call me Fright!” I half smiled wondering how my own new smile looked. Martha jotted down my name in her notepad and smiled back. “Fright, welcome to your new home”.