Fiction on Odyssey: Reawakening

Fiction on Odyssey: Reawakening

Heather awakens with a scream, hands clawing to get them off of her.
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Heather Reawakens with a scream, hands clawing to get them off of her.

Wait.

There’s nothing on her?

She touches a shaking hand to her neck and pulls it away to examine it. There’s no blood glistening on her toffee-colored skin, no torn flesh hanging from her neck, no pain radiating from her body, nothing. How is she not dead?

She shudders as memories of frenzied moans and snarls echo in her head. Hopefully, her distraction had bought her friends enough time to get out of there. Herself, on the other hand… hmm. Maybe someone came back and got her after all? If that’s the case, and she’s been out long enough for her injuries to heal, then just how much time has passed? Where even is she?

She sits up, reflexively reaching for the knife she keeps by her side before remembering that she’s not in her and Sun’s quarters at the base. Actually… she’s not in the infirmary, either. In fact, if she didn’t know any better, she’d say this was her old dorm room.

That’s impossible, though. The entire east side of campus was destroyed in one of the Purging explosions. She remembers because Sun had to drag her away from the building when she tried to run in and save her dorm mate Katie.

And yet… this sure looks like her dorm room. Her purple laptop is over there on the desk where she always kept it, her old posters are up on the ceiling, and behind that dresser may even be the hole that Katie accidentally punched in the wall in an experiment gone wrong.

Heather’s eyes slowly travel the familiar room, a hollow feeling in her chest. This dorm room is the core of the wild ride that was her first few years in college, and she loves every little part of it. If only this were her life again.

Then she notices the girl on Katie’s bed.


Than had been strangely drawn to Heather’s pending Reawakening. She hadn’t understood why, but for the first time in millennia, she decided to listen to her instincts again.

Heather’s Reawakening had been entirely unremarkable. She’d abruptly sat up, screaming in residual fear from her dying moments. Her dark skin glistened in the environment’s soft light as her screams quieted, confusion evident in her actions.

Had this been any other soul, Than would have lost interest and moved on to assist her Reapers in another day of Collecting. As it was, something about Heather was peculiar. Off. Wrong. Her aura is familiar in ways that it shouldn’t be, almost as if…

…no. Her love had been driven away millennia ago, and Than had resigned herself to never lay eyes on her soulmate again.

Heather’s eyes land on where Than sits on one of the Dream World's beds. Than expects the girl’s gaze to slide past where’s she’s sitting, but to her surprise, Heather gasps and locks a gaze.

She can see her.

The weight of Heather’s stare is almost a tangible burden on Than’s chest. Those eyes are so familiar, and overwhelming emotions she thought she had stifled long ago promptly return.

All of a sudden, she understands.


“You shouldn’t be here,” the girl says quietly. Her tone is even, but Heather gets the sense that she’s sad. Lonely. Heather suddenly longs to help her.

“What is your name?” Heather says. She’s not sure why. She should be looking for her friends, getting out of wherever this is, but this girl… Heather has an obligation to her. Somehow.

The girl doesn’t answer.

Heather tries again. “I feel like… have we met before?”

“You’re dead, Heather.”

Huh. Heather guesses she hadn’t survived the attack after all. She hopes her friends are okay. She hates that she had to leave them behind. She had so much to do. They were going to find the cure together, they were going to save the world. It looks like they’ll have to do that without her.

She feels strangely at peace with this fact.


Now that Than has realized it, she can't stop seeing Lux in Heather. The girl has the same curve to her lips that had once graced his features, the same compassionate aura that he had exuded, the same sparkling eyes that outshone all the stars in the heavens.

This was some cruel joke Than decides. Some cosmic deity had first ripped her love away and let her mourn for millennia and then reintroduced him in a different body just as she had healed and moved on. This poor girl had been ripped out of her life before her time was due, and it was all Than's fault.

"I'm so sorry I did this to you," Than says mournfully.

Heather seems confused. "What? Wait, you mean me dying? How could that possibly have been your fault?"

Than frowns. "I–"

"Look, I don't know you, but I'm guessing you're Death or something. I died because I wanted to save my friends. That was my choice, and I dunno what you're thinking, but if you're anything like me then you're guilting yourself into depression about something. So just… stop."

"But–"

"Nope."

"You– "

"Nuh-uh."

Than stares.

"…Oh my gosh, I just back-talked Death. I'm sorry. Please don't kill me."

Than, stunned, watches in silence as the now flustered girl rambles apologies. Then, for the first time in millennia, Than grins.

Perhaps Heather was killed by some obscure deity, or perhaps her death had just had been coincidental timing to Than's Reaping day. Perhaps she was Lux reborn, or perhaps she was simply a girl that bore eerie resemblances to her old love. Regardless… perhaps it's time for Than to attempt to pursue happiness again.

"I'll consider forgiving you," Than interrupts Heather's flow of words, "if you give me a tour of your Dream World."

Heather blinks. "Dream World? You mean this is… wow. That makes sense." She beams at Than and holds out a hand. "Shall we?"


Disclaimer: This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events and incidents are either the products of the author's imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.

Cover Image Credit: Christine

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To the guy that shot my brother...

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To the guy that shot my brother,

On January 9, 2019 my families entire life changed with one phone call. The phone call that my little brother had been shot in the face, no other details. We didn't need any other details. The woman on the phone who called us in full panic told us where he was so we went, as soon as possible. I don't think it helped that not even 10 min prior I talked to Zach on the phone.. kind of irritated with him, and the ONE TIME I didn't say 'I love you' as we hung up. Could've been the last time we ever spoke.. I remember pulling up to the hospital thinking 'this can't be real' 'it's not our Zach' 'this is just a dream Sarah, WAKE UP' I'd close my eyes really tight just to open them, I was still in the hospital emergency parking lot. I could still hear the ambulance sirens coming. It was all real.

The day our life's changed was definitely a test of faith. A test of how strong we were, as a family. I sat in that waiting room ready to see the damage that has been done to my sweet baby brother. Because at that point we had no idea how lucky he got. That glimpse of seeing Zach will haunt me forever. How helpless I felt in that exact moment frequently wakes me up from these horrific dreams I've been having ever since that day. That is a moment burned into my me and families brain forever.

You always hear about these things in the movies or on the news, a house being shot up, someone shooting another innocent person, not to care if they died on your watch. But we found ourselves on the news.. We have been confined to the hospital since that day. Running on barely any sleep, taking shifts of sleep so we don't make ourselves sick taking care of Zach. Watching him suffer. Undergoing surgeries, to repair the damage you did.

Before I proceed let me tell you a little something about the man you shot.

Zachary Keith Wright. A blonde hair blue eyed boy. Who could potentially be the most annoying human on the planet (possibly coming from his sister). A man who loves his God first, loves his family second. Perfect by no means, but almost perfect to me. A 19 year old who was to graduate high school this month. After graduation he was prepping to leave for Marine boot camp in the summer.. being in the military has been Zach's dream since he could talk. Literally. Running around, playing war with underwear on our heads, and finger guns. Some would say we looked like natural born assassins.. growing up he has been a country boy. Let me tell ya country to the core. He loves this country like he loves his family. He believes in helping people, taking charge in what's right, and never leaving a brother behind. He's lived by that his whole life. Until now....

The day you shot him. The day not only did you change my brothers life, you changed his families life too. The day you almost ripped my brother out of this world... for what? A misunderstanding? Because you've let something take ahold of your life that you can't let go you're willing to kill someone innocent over? Luckily for him, his guardian angels were protecting him in your time of cowardice. There were 3 times that day he should've died, the time you shot him, the time you tried to shoot him again as he stared you directly in the face, (even tho he couldn't talk I know you could read his eyes, and he still intimidated you. That's why you tried to pull the trigger again) and the time he was running out of the house. But he lived. A man who was shot in the face, didn't lay there helpless, didn't scream in agony. That MAN walked to the neighbors to get help. Why? Because he's a MAN, and because he's on this earth for a reason.

It's gonna sound a little strange not only to you, but the audience who is reading this. I must say thank you. Even in this situation, this was the best outcome we could get. He gets to live. He will make a full recovery. He will graduate. And he will go off into the Marines. You united my family together. Closer than ever. Thank you. You tested our faith and brought us closer to our God. Thank you. Because of your moment of weakness, you showed us what prayer could do. Heal anything. Thank you. This was a bump in the road, and a helluva way to kick off our year of 2019. But here we are.. all laying in the hospital. I'm looking around as mom is sleeping in her recliner chair exhasted but still here, Zach his awake playing his xbox all hooked up to machines, fighting to heal and get better. And of course I'm writing this letter to you.

See you in trial,

From the girl whose brother you shot.

'Fight the good fight' - 1 Tim 6:12 🤟🏼💙

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