Soul Hunter 2
Death has often been described as the end of the physical body and the beginning of the soul's journey. I've encountered many different people in my lifetime, all who had various versions to tell of what this journey might be like. The one thing that they all agreed on however, was that when the soul left, there was no coming back, at least not to the body that it left behind anyway. And there is a very good reason for that.
Coming back or ‘reawakening' as Faren called it, was by far the most unpleasant thing ever. And that is putting it mildly. Literally it is as if your soul was hurled out of the afterlife and sent crashing back towards the mortal realm, with nothing but your lifeless body there to break the fall. Trust me; the landing is not much nicer than the falling. If you've ever fallen overboard a ship into one of the iciest oceans, the Turgon maybe or the Fareiz, you may have an idea what I'm talking about. The shock to your system is immense. You feel cold all over, in fact frozen and numb. Then sick to your stomach. I remember throwing up shortly after I regained the ability to move. It was as though my body knew that I no longer belonged there and was trying to exorcise me the only way it knew how.
But that is not even the worst of it. There is the excruciating headache that follows, like a pressure in your head, possibly from all the memories in there swirling around like a whirlpool and then assaulting you continuously, one after the other. People who have been near death have sometimes had this happen to them. I believe they describe it as your life flashing before your eyes. However, when you come back the experience is more intense, and your life as well as your death flashes before you.
After several hundred memories, some stomach contents and what felt like an eternity later, I was able to regain enough of my senses to remember why I had come back and what I should be doing now. Groaning, I sat up, my eyes adjusting to the sight of the world once more. Slowly, my other senses, touch, hearing, smell all came back.
I was in a memorial house, the small part of the temple that was set aside for the bodies of the deceased, a temporary repose before the ceremonial services. The smell of jasmine and cedar filled the air, mingling with the incense that burned at a small altar in the far corner of the dimly lit room. Apparently I had been bathed, my body washed in the sacred oils and spices, and dressed in a plain white robe. Small carved images and other ornaments lay beside me. Apparently my cremation was going to be soon. Lucky for me to awake now, and not then, in the middle of a burning pyre. Of course it would have been interesting to see the look on Faren's face had I showed up again in the afterlife so soon after being sent back.
Faren. At the thought of the keeper my amusement faded. His last words to me floated in my head. Find the sword and the stone. I had work to do, and little time to waste. Swinging my legs over the side of the stone slab I rested on, I stood up, legs shaking like that of a new born foal.
A scream and a crash of metal on stone told me that I was not alone.