This floating in the abyss stuff is really starting to get old. Going from corporeal to goo and back is a worse punishment than having to visit all of these people. I still don’t understand what is going on and why I can’t just get to my destination already. I feel that familiar tug. I’m shifting back into a form.
I land in a dusty field. Looking around, I don’t see anything but trees off in the distance. Any one direction looks as good as another, so I start walking. It’s at least a mile to the trees in any direction. I sigh. “This is just about right,” I mutter to myself.
Bugs are buzzing around me. The sun is beating down on me. I’m kicking up a trail of dust with every step. “Well, this is going to be a miserable trip,” I muse as I crest a small hill.
A June Bug flies full force into my forehead and bounces off. “Ow! You son of a…” I rub my forehead and look down and the beetle lying on its back in the dirt, legs flailing as it tries to get up. I watch it use its wings to flip itself over and it takes off again, undoubtedly to fly into something else hard. Down the other side of the hill, there is a small grove of trees. I start toward it, hoping that I can get some relief from this summer sun.
As I approach the shade, I see that the grove hides a pond. I hear splashing and whispers. Slowing my pace, I ease behind one of the larger trees and peek around it. There’s a couple in the pond laughing and splashing.
I watch as the woman swims up to the man and looks directly at me over his shoulder. She gives me a smile and a wink as she reaches over and bites his neck. Crap. I’ve been caught. I duck back behind the tree. I hear laughter again. “Come on out!” She calls. “We’ve been waiting for you.”
I close my eyes and sigh. “Of course you have,” I say to myself as I step out from my hiding spot.
“It took you long enough to find us,” she says in a drawl that I can’t quite place.
I am still quite confused by this journey. I nod at the duo and sit on the bank. “What?” He asks, looking at me for the first time. “You ain’t going to join us? It’s damn hot out here.”
“No,” I respond. “I’m not too hot as long as I stay in the shade. I’m Val.”
“He’s Clyde. I’m Bonnie,” she responds. “Pleasure.”
I nod in acknowledgment. This is great. I’m sitting in the afterlife with Bonnie and Clyde. Bonnie. And. Clyde. “So, you were expecting me?” I ask awkwardly. “Why?”
Clyde raises an eyebrow. “You know, we could rob and kill you right now and no one would be any wiser.”
Before I can respond, Bonnie laughs. “But we won’t,” she says, “because you are just passing through and we know you aren’t going to give us up.”
I shake my head and sigh. “No, I’m not going to give you up,” I respond. “I can’t find a reason to. Why am I here again?”
“Well, you’re here to learn something you silly thing, “Bonnie answers.
The two move toward the edge of the water to get out. I avert my eyes so I don’t offend either of them. “What am I here to learn from the two of you?”
It’s Clyde’s turn to laugh. “You’re here to learn that love is madness. Even in the happiest of times, you can go crazy with the person you love the most.”
Bonnie laughed and threw herself into Clyde’s embrace. “Not just that, honey, but when you find the right person, your madness doesn’t seem like madness at all! You will know it when other people try to stop you and they can’t.”
I watch these two psychopaths paw at each other for a minute before I clear my throat. They both laugh at how uncomfortable I have become.
Bonnie sashays up to me, mirth and danger in her eyes. She put her finger in the center of my chest and begins to poke me threateningly with a sly smile. “Love is the only thing in this life worth living for,” she says.
We are walking backward. I know I am going to be walking into the pond soon. “Madness comes only after love. Madness comes from being alone.”
She pushes me into the pond and as the water covers my face, everything goes black and I am floating in the void again.