"John, just shut up and listen!" I glanced behind me at the open pit in the middle of the warehouse.
Deep inside that pit lay a massive creature looking to destroy everything I'd ever cared about. We'd gotten ourselves in over our heads but at the moment we were the only people who could do anything about it. John, Carl, and I were the only ones that knew; the only ones that would believe it. Moloch, the sun god wanted to destroy the city so that he could rise in power again.
"It's too crazy. Let's back out and come back with a plan." Carl spoke against it but he was holding John back; stopping him from stopping me.
I shook my head, "This IS the plan. He needs unwilling sacrifices or the spell will backfire. He needs people who don't want to die. This is the only way."
"Let me!" John struggled against his brothers hold, "Let me go in your place!"
The ground beneath us began to shake, pieces of wall bending and contorting as the weight of the roof combined with the growing heat wore down at it's strength. I stepped aside as a massive steel pole fell where I had been standing.
"You can't. It has to be me. These things are terrible, and must be fought. You and your brother are the only people that can do it." I turned toward the pit.
"That's a bullshit excuse! Why do you have such a death wish?! I thought you were smarter than that!"
I didn't tell him about the doctors visit. Maybe Carl would later on. I was dying anyway, I had maybe a month left. It was like I'd been conditioned for this role; created by god to serve specific purpose. My wife was a horrible mess over it. My daughter tried her best to stay strong, Emma was like that. A fighter and crazy smart, two things I couldn't have expected.
"See you guys later."
"Let me go, Carl!" I could hear him fighting behind me as I approached the pit, "Alex! I'll make sure of it! I swear on my life that we'll see each other again. I'll do whatever it takes!"
"I'll see you then." If John said he was going to bring me back then I wasn't sure if there was anything that could stop him. He'd break vows he made and beliefs he held without blinking to get what he wanted. It was almost scary, because there wasn't often a time when he didn't deliver.
But this was the real world, and it was cruel.
I dropped into the pit. As I felt my flesh burn away, I knew that I was screaming for help but it was involuntary. In my mind I knew that I had to do this. To save everyone I had to sacrifice myself. The pain was unbelievable and lasted for what seemed like ages.
And then . . . silence, painlessness, weightlessness, loneliness.
"Alex Kayser." A voice, followed by a person. A tall man wearing an expensive suit with eyes that seemed ageless.
I couldn't respond. I had no voice.
"Don't worry I know what you'd ask. I am Patrick Bernauw, better known as death to humans."
What could I do but listen?
"I have the important task of putting people where they belong. I do this sort of thing for everyone but most don't get a choice. You do."
A choice. To make. A choice, to make without a mind.
"You can either be dead and enter the nothingness. You'll no longer have anything; you'll cease to exist. Or you could be changed into a Walking Soul and then you can help me save the entire world. Of course the only stipulation is that you cannot return to your realm. You'd be stuck within the Other Lands until I called you."
I'd already made my choice.
"The Other Lands run on a different time frame than normal reality, so if one of your friends does try to bring you back to life than four years to them could turn into thousands for you. You wouldn't age, but it is a really long time. Trust me. So be sure."
I was sure.
"Good choice. Be prepared."
The world flew into focus and I found myself high above the ground falling rapidly. Down below a huge battle was raging and I was headed right for the middle. I hit the ground so hard that it shook, but was unhurt. Probably because of Patrick, or rather Death. In front of me stood a man. He had dark hair and a scar that ran from his neck, through his left eye, and cut into his ear.
"Who the hell are you?!?"
"I'm Alex." I stood, my head spinning, "Where am I?"
"In the wrong place," He leaped around me and gunned down a creature that had a black bag over his head, "My name is Jason and you need to run or pick up a weapon."
I looked toward where he was shooting and my breath caught; Thousands of those black bagged creatures were flowing over the landscape toward us. I felt my panic rise and I turned to run.
What the hell was going on?