by Alex Creece

Vitality slipped from his dark, calloused fingertips. Blueish, purpleish, and then grey. Stigmata once throbbing raw with rot blackened to an impenetrable void. His palms were a purgatory of coagulate crust. The eyes of the all-seer shrivelled upon the salvationless silhouette of the boulder which obstructed his portal to the next life.

He was dead. Or dying. Or definitely, definitely dead.

Kenneth Lu via Creative Commons

He stared at the boulder for hours on end, blinking less and less until he no longer felt the need to scrape his sleep-starved lids against eyes so dry and devoid of sight. Rocks and rubble etched secrets and scripture into his back, and eventually he was comfortable enough to settle into his Grotto of Eden as he awaited his exile into a new existence. His nerve endings had ruptured—their own rapture, perhaps—so he no longer felt the searing necrosis of his physical form, nor did he choke on the stench of his own decay. He welcomed rigor mortis eagerly, allowing it to exorcise him of a life left.

A couple of days later, a crack of light seeped through the edge of the boulder. It caught his vacant eyes and singed his peeling flesh. But he remained staunch. He had found his way through days ago.

Alex CreeceAlex Creece is made of dirt and determination. It’s the latter which laces her lungs with grit.