Mehreen Ahmed is widely published and critically acclaimed by Midwest Book Review, The Wild Atlantic Book Club, DD Magazine to name a few. A winner in The Waterloo Short Story Competition, her short stories are Shortlisted in Cogito Literary Magazine Contest, a Finalist in the Fourth Adelaide Literary Award Contest, and winner in Cabinet of Heed stream-of-consciousness challenge. Her works are Three-time nominated for The Best of the Net Awards, nominated for the Pushcart Prize Award,Two-time nominated for Aurealis Awards. Her book is an announced Drunken Druid’s Editor’s Choice.
My time was up. The clock had stopped. My stilly pupils stared. Cold. My body fell like filbert. Stiff. It occurred at the stroke of twelve midnight when the hours froze. I rose to a height, and saw my inert body, once conscious and full of lights, had now been sucked out of all its virtuous nuances and delights.
A boat waited on the River Erebos, on the western edge of the mortal world. A hooded boatman stood with an oar. I looked at him and winked to say I wasn’t quite done yet. I looked down at my body, which had now been removed and lowered six feet below. But my good friends thought I must still feel thirst. For I saw them place cups of water in the room where I had once been. In order to not disappoint them, I stooped to the ground and sipped the water wholly swooping drown.
“Do sprites drink water?” I heard my friend ask her companion.
“Apparently, yes, look at the level of water in that cup. It has halved in twenty-four hours.”
“True, and true it is, that’s a visible reality.”
They continued to place brimming cups of water on the table in that room for me. There was a perforation. I entered this world, which was mine just an hour ago. And I continued to drink it every day, as the sage boatman reminded that we must be on our way. But I refused to hearken his words of wisdom, for I saw how my friends grieved down there for me.
“Do they even realize what happened here?”
I asked the boatman who nodded his hooded, blackhead in the dark and said,
“They know, but not enough to know the magic that you’re. They know nothing of the bigger magic that you’re to be united soon.
“But I have been banished from my home, my body,” I cried.
“You’re the soul, the magic that propelled consciousness in that melting body that they do not know.”
“This world, A Midsummer’s Night’s Dream, conjured by the potion of Puck’s magic, no?” I ask the boatman.
“It is a sentient potion, which you’re a small fraction of,” he replied.
“Look, look at them, how puzzled they look, because I, now the unseen, had drunk the water which they lovingly put aside every day for me.”
“Ah, but, but you’re a mist leaked out of the sullied body; you lay outside of the bottle. You must come with me at once, not enter a bodily world you do not exist any longer.”
But I still hadn’t stepped into the boat yet. My once magical body now starved of it was composting.
Who was I? What was I? I may, or may not drink from the topped cup, and halve the water down, to trick them into believing that the appearance of a full bodied life was a reality. That I was going to be here forever, drinking from that cup of solace like band aid to a wound. But I was … who I was … a part of that mystifying magic of nuanced lights, much larger than the energy potions packed into this leaking body which appeared to be, I. The boatman was right. I must go. Half cup lures must cease to chase a fuller consciousness of the deceased. For that was the real, I. That was my real home far beyond.