Creative Writing

The Beginning

I become aware of my surroundings like a diver rising from the depths. Slowly, and then all at once. Light floods my vision, and for a moment, I’m completely overwhelmed. Incrementally, my eyes adjust to my surroundings, and I become aware that I am standing in a vast, vaulted chamber, everything around me white, pearl and the palest shades of gold. I blink, turning in a slow circle, searching for some clue as to my whereabouts. Nothing immediately presents itself, nor upon a second look.


I jump, and turn to see a man I had not previously noticed standing behind me, garbed in diaphanous white robes, hands clasped in front of him, half hidden inside his enormous sleeves. He smiles benignly, and I incline my head by way of acknowledgement, my mouth suddenly dry.

“H-hello,” I stammer, “sorry, might you tell me where I am?”

The man’s smile fades, his expression becoming grave and sombre.

“The question so quickly asked, and always the most difficult to answer,” he says, “I am afraid you are dead.”

A dull throb of confusion settles in my temples, moving to a sharp ache in my chest, and finally settling heavily in the pit of my stomach. Varying emotions wash over me in waves: grief, fear, disappointment, disbelief. It is too much to think of everything I have left behind, and I have to sink my teeth into my lip to stop myself from crying out in anguish. A muffled sob still escapes my throat, and I clamp a hand over my mouth.

“My…my life…it’s all over? This is the end?” 

A gentle hand presses against my shoulder, and I look up, having barely managed to compose myself. The man’s expression is tender and understanding.

“That’s one way of looking at it. But I prefer, or rather, I find it easier to think of it another way.”

I stare at him expectantly, tears brimming in my eyes, waiting for him to continue, but he simply turns away, and raises his hands in the air, the trumpeted sleeves of his gown ballooning as they fall up his arms. At the other end of the vast chamber, an enormous set of doors I had not previously noticed swing open smoothly. A gentle breeze lifts my hair, bringing with it the scent of fresh grass, wheat, and blossom.

“What- .” My voice cracks, so I clear my throat, and begin again, “what is the other way?”

The man smiles at me softly.

“Think of it as the beginning.”

This time, when I feel tears pricking my eyes, I let them fall, taking in a shuddering breath. 

“The beginning of what?”

Placing a guiding hand on my back, the man begins to walk me forward. The white marble beneath my feet is cool and soothing, and as I draw closer to the enormous doors, a profound sense of tranquillity settles on my heart and mind like an embrace.

“The beginning of everything.”

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Bella Hatch

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June 2022
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