Short Story: What Adventures Await

written by Antonio Garcia

Gordon looked on as his family surrounded his now lifeless body.

It had been a week since he had been admitted to the hospital, but in the end, his body had given out.

Now he watched on, as merely a spectator. He had tried to talk to his family members. He walked up to each one hoping they would hear even a whisper from him, but they never reciprocated.

He followed them to the funeral home, and then to his burial spot.

He had always thought when the time came, he would be greeted by loved ones, maybe an angel, someone who would be able to tell him what he was supposed to do once he had passed, but he found himself alone and confused.

Since he had no guidance, he could only do what came natural to him. He followed his family around.

At first, he still felt a part of the family. Though he couldn’t communicate with any of them, he was able to share in their activities.

The only times he was lonely was as they all slept. Since he was dead, he didn’t sleep himself. Often times, he would venture out and walk the streets while his family slept.

He was surprised that he didn’t see other souls wondering around. Of course, he also realized that he probably wouldn’t be able to tell the difference between souls walking around and the living.

No reflection greeted him whenever he looked into a mirror, but he was able to look down at his hands, arms, and legs. He didn’t see any glowing aura. He looked just like did before. He wasn’t even translucent.

As time passed, his family grew older, and though he was at the hospital when his wife died, he didn’t see her soul appear, like he had hoped.

His kids became grandparents, and when they died, he wasn’t able to greet them either, so Gordon began to lose interest in following his family line.

One day, he walked out, and never returned.

He once again found a little excitement in being able to explore the country. Since he never got tired, he was able to keep walking until he reached his destination.

It was decades before finally, he had seen every part of the country.

A deep boredom began to fill him, as he no longer saw any mysteries left to explore in the world.

“That’s because you haven’t stopped thinking with your living mind,” Gordon heard a voice behind him.

Gordon turned and found himself facing a middle-aged man, with a trim beard, and a wise demeanor.

“Who, who are you?” Gordon asked, having trouble remembering how to talk.

“My name is Alfred,” the man said with a slight bow. “You look like a man who is becoming lost, so I thought I would lend you some assistance.”

Gordon didn’t know how to reply.

“I know when you first died, you were hoping to have been met by someone who would show you the way, however, you’ll find most souls have no desire to help newly dead people. It’s only after a very long time, do some of us see that souls are ready to be shown what they are truly capable of.

“You see, if we tried to explain all these truths to you when you first arrived, it would fall on dumb ears. You would have been unable to fathom what I’m about to teach you, but now that you have been dead for a long time, and have severed your ties to the living, you are now ready to be instructed in life after death.”

If Gordon could drool, he imagined he would be staring at this stranger with dead eyes and drooling.

“I can see you’re a little confused,” Alfred continued. “Let’s start with something easy. Why you don’t see anyone else.”

Gordon perked up a little. That had been bothering him since the beginning.

“You see,” Alfred began. “When you die, you become energy. You no longer have mass, and you’re little out of faze with everyone else. Living people are securely grounded across all these different planes.

“Now over time, you’ll be able to pass through the different planes at will, and even see them as easily as you see me in front of you, or those buildings over there.”

“Are you going to teach me how?” Gordon asked.

“I’m afraid not,” Alfred replied. “It would take too long, but what I can do is teach you the basics. Let you know what the progression usually is. Often times, it takes hundreds of years to reach your full potential as energy, but some of us return to help others to speed up the process.”

Gordon was ready to take whatever advice Alfred was offering.
“First of all, let’s start with getting pass the limitations your mind has set. You see, you’re mentally thinking like a living human.
“When you traveled around the country, you probably walked, am I correct?” Alfred asked.

“Yes,” Gordon replied.

“Did you know you could fly?” Alfred asked.

Gordon stared dumbfounded, and then slowly shook his head.

Alfred smiled, and then slowly began to float off the ground.
Gordon was astounded.

“How did you do that?” Gordon asked.

Alfred floated back to the ground, and said, “Follow me.”

Gordon followed him as he began to walk away.

Alfred led him to a cliff overlooking a quarry.

“Walk up to the edge,” Alfred said.

Gordon did as he was told.

“Now close your eyes, turn around and walk,” Alfred explained.

Gordon closed his eyes, turned away from the drop, and then began to walk.

Once he had walked a short distance, he felt Alfred grab him by the arm, and began to pull him in a different direction.

“No peeking,” Alfred told him.

Gordon obeyed, as Alfred led him in different directions, changing every several steps.

“Now open your eyes,” Alfred instructed.

Gordon did. His eyes doubled in size, as he realized that he was floating about a hundred feet above the quarry ground.

Alfred let go of him, and immediately, Gordon fell, hitting the ground hard, but feeling no pain.

“Meet me back at the cliff!” Alfred yelled down to Gordon, and then flew back to the cliff to wait for him.

Gordon eventually rejoined him at the cliff edge, who immediately repeated the process that he just done, randomly alternating between leading him out over the quarry, and staying on solid ground.

Over time, Gordon was able to remain floating after Alfred had released him.

“Very good,” Alfred complimented. “Now, use the same thought you’re using to remain floating, and will yourself back to the cliff.”

Gordon found that flying was much easier now that he had learned to float.

Once they were back on solid ground, Alfred continued explaining what he had learned.

“You see, Gordon,” he began. “When you die, you become energy, no matter, but your mind still limits you because that’s all you’ve ever known.

“Now that you’ve accomplished, probably the hardest hurdle, everything else will come more naturally over time.”

Gordon listened intently, wanting to absorb as much as he could.

“You see,” Alfred continued. “When you first die, your natural will is to be with your family. As time passes, and they move on, you become curious about the physical earth, so you explore it.

“Normally, most people accidentally learn to walk through walls, or fly, but once they cross that barrier, their way of thinking takes on a new course.

“First, you fly around the earth, feeling as free as a bird, and then it isn’t long before you get bored, and fly straight up. You find that because you don’t have any physical form, you’re not held down by gravity. You’re able to fly as easily in space, as you are here.

“You may fly out to explore space, but once you realize it takes forever to get anywhere, you return to your home, mother earth, and begin trying other ways of existing.

“You learn to walk through walls, if you haven’t already, and when you get bored with that, you set your sights on the oceans, exploring them now that you do not have lungs, or feel the pressure of the water.

“Oh, Gordon,” Alfred said. “I envy you. You have so much to discover, and I can only tell you that you will see so much when you begin to explore. Dying is the best thing that ever happens to us.”

“This all seems amazing,” Gordon began. “But I miss my family, and I’m disappointed that I have not seen them yet.”

Alfred remained smiling, but understood.

“I completely understand,” he explained. “Enjoy each step of discovery, and I can promise that you will see them again.”

Alfred saw Gordon’s spirits rise.

“Let me continue, and I will arrive to your family, and much, much more,” Alfred said.

“Please,” Gordon said. “Everything you say is fascinating to me.”
“I am pleased,” Alfred replied, sincerely. “As I was saying, you’ll explore every inch of this great earth.

“Through your adventure, you’ll knowledge will grow, and it won’t be long until you find yourself free from the confines of you limited understanding of travel.”

With that last sentence, Alfred disappeared, and then reappeared behind Gordon in a blink of an eye.

“Oh, boy, once you master this level of travel, that’s when you’ll finally leave this earth. You’ll wonder the stars for centuries, seeing creatures you could never have imagined in life.

“You’ll even brave flying directly through stars to see what’s in the middle.

“Through your travels in space, you’ll gain more understanding of the universe around you, and one day, you’ll come to know that there are countless other universes.

“It will take some time to be able to interact with them, but that’s when you’ll return to earth and begin the search for your family.”
Gordon smiled at the prospect.

“I know this seems like I’m ruining some of the mysteries, but I assure you, I’m not,” Alfred explained. “Without help, most people stumble across these pivotal moments, taking centuries to learn just one new trick. The purpose of me coming to help you’ll one day understand. It can be sad to see souls clumsily exist in death.”

“Oh, I don’t think that at all,” Gordon assured him. “The thought of learning all this on my own is daunting.”

Alfred smiled, and continued. “I’m pleased to hear that.

“When you’re able to see and interact with the other planes, you’ll be able to not only find your families, but travel anywhere, anytime. You’ll learn that time and space are relative and only linear for the living.

“I must inform you though that it may take some time before you find your families. The planes are limitless. The only good benefit, is that there is only one you across all of them.”

Gordon was fascinated with everything Alfred spoke.

“I myself had had may adventures with my families, and once you find them, even if you go your separate ways, you will find it easier to locate them later, as you can more easily feel where they’re at.”

“Families?” Gordon asked.

Alfred laughed. “I was hoping you would pick up on that. Yes, I meant families.

“Which leads me to the final lesson. Once you learn to master all these lessons you can choose to be reborn, on this planet, or even another.”

“Reborn?” Gordon asked.

“I myself have lived a dozen lifetimes, and since you can travel anywhere in the universe, you can even live a life on a different planet.

“There are a couple of quick pro quo though. The first is, even though you can travel to any time period when you are dead, life is linear, so you can only move into a shell not yet occupied.”

“Occupied?” Gordon asked.

“You see, at the moment when a child reaches a certain point in its development, it is ready for a soul to enter, whether a new soul, or someone who wishes to be born again.

“Now, of course, I should explain that once you learn all these lessons, another option is to shed your immortal coil, and become pure energy. You don’t cease to exist, but you combine with the universe to create a new, unique soul. Many do this after a thousand lifetimes, when it becomes a more natural transition.

“So when an unborn child is ready for a soul, it will either receive your soul, or a new, unique soul.

“Which leads me to my conclusion. Unfortunately, all that you have learned cannot be retained by the limited living brain, so when you are reborn, you will remember nothing throughout your entire life, which as far as I am concerned, is the best part.

“Of course, when you die, you’ll have all the memory from before, as well as the new memories you gained through your new life. You’ll be a son, father, and grandfather to a new family, who you will be able to reconnect with when they die.

“Now you’re probably wondering why wouldn’t you go and meet them at the time of their death to teach them all that I’ve taught you.

“Well, the answer father, is that you’ll understand why they need to reach a certain point first, to truly understand what’s to come.”
“Father?” Gordon asked.

Alfred smiled. “Greetings, dad. It’s me, your son Kevin.”

With that, Alfred morphed into Gordon’s son, Kevin as a teenager.

Gordon rushed to him, taking him into his arms. Kevin hugged him back.

Words cannot express the happiness that Gordon was feeling. He had been alone for so long, and now his son was standing before him.

“Where’s your mom and sister?” Gordon asked.

“They’re happy, dad,” Kevin explained. “And don’t worry, you’ll see them soon enough, but for now I thought we could spend a little time together, say a hundred years, or so, and travel.”

Gordon was left dumbfounded.

Kevin took Gordon by the hand and said, “Let’s go, dad. There’s so much I want to show you.”
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Published on March 29, 2018 10:25
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