This May or May Not Be an Excerpt (2)

by krstaten

“What did it feel like?” Sheila leaned forward, dark hair hanging in her eyes, body almost vibrating with a curious energy.

“It felt like…”

I struggled to find the words. I had died. I mean, I hadn’t, but I had. And then nothing. What did that feel like?

I watched Sheila run her finger around the rim of her coffee cup over and over, anxiously, habitually. It felt like that, I thought. It felt like a finger running over thick glass in a circle. Steam rising with no heat. Like a body full of vapor; only not quite, because there was no body at all. Like a memory of a sensation; like deja vu, maybe.

What I said was, “It felt like falling asleep.”

Sheila seemed almost disappointed. She abruptly stopped the movement of her hands around her coffee cup and took a slow sip.

“That’s it? Like sleeping?”

In retrospect, I thought the idea of death feeling like sleep was more unsettling than the truth. I could almost imagine Death lying parallel to me in my own bed each night, its robes so close to my skin I could mistake them for my blanket any moment, and felt a chill run down my spine.

“Yeah, just like sleeping,” I repeated, and touched the rim of my own, still full coffee cup. The smooth of the glass almost pulled back the full memory, but I could feel it fading like the steam.

Previous (first) excerpt here; not necessarily chronological.