"Death - the last sleep? No, it is the final awakening" –Sir Walter Scott

Prologue

A single black butterfly, fluttering up in the air. Its movements were graceful and smooth, like a beautiful dance. My eyes followed its movements, hypnotized, captivated, enchanted. I was in a dream-like state where everything felt surreal, but was nonetheless very real.

I reached out a hand towards the butterfly. It landed gently on palm. I could feel its soft wings against skin. It was so fragile.

If I closed my hands, I could easily crush it.

A few seconds later, it flew away. I followed it.

But it flew beyond my grasp, beyond my reach. Too far away.

From the distance, I could see the butterfly stop in front of a figure. It was a boy; he was holding some kind of sword in his hands.

In that instant I somehow knew what was going to happen.

He was going to kill it.

The butterfly scattered into tiny pieces. Like petals, the ash-like remains blew away into different directions.

The sight was strangely beautiful.

The boy caught my eye suddenly and even in the distance recognized him.

His exceptional beauty and those crimson eyes.


My eyes opened.

People. Cars. Traffic lights.

I was-in the middle of the road?

How did I-?

Confusion filled me. Panic.

Suddenly a pair of lights shone painfully into my eyes.

Everything was so bright.

The sounds of horns honking.

In an instant, unbearable pain filled me.

Then as quickly as it came, it was over.

Numbness. Nothingness.

This was the end.

Or so I thought.


A cloaked figure wielding a scythe appeared. A faceless creature with an eerie aura. I followed him wordlessly as he led me to the other side. I did not know what awaited me on the other side, but I knew intrinsically that it was my destination. I felt compelled to go.

The journey was short, and I was almost there. I could feel the voices calling out to me. I stopped for a moment.

A curious creature appeared in front of me, in this place void of life. A petite, dainty, scarlet butterfly. What an unusual being it was, for it began changing into a distinct form. An impossibly beautiful lad with crimson eyes.

A rush of fright and wonder filled me at the sight.

"Sorry I'm late, princess." He winked at me.

"Who are you?" I stared back at him, baffled. For some reason I could not explain, I felt as though I knew him. But why was here? I was supposed to be going to the other side.

"No time to explain." He looked at me, then at the creature.

"If you would kindly step aside, reaper." He said, with a smirk on his face. "I'll be taking this one."

The faceless creature did not respond. Instead, it took action. The scythe gleamed as it was raised into the air.

"I guess it can't be helped." The lad said, with a boyish smile. There was a noticeable arrogance in his voice. He held up his hand and a sword materialized.

It was like watching a fight scene in a movie, so surreal. Their movements were so quick that my eyes could not follow. In what seemed like a blur, the reaper was diminished into shadows, and faded into the nothingness all around us.

Now we were all that was left in this space, void of existence.

The lad looked at me and I felt his crimson eyes bore into the very depths of my soul. It was exhilarating and frightening at the same time. I felt myself lost in those pools of scarlet. I was drowning deeper, and deeper. I could not pull away.

Wake up. A voice murmured somewhere in the depth of my subconscious.

Wake up. The voice grew louder this time, more urgent. Images-memories overwhelmed me suddenly. A different time, a different place. A different life. I felt myself drifting away.

In my mind I saw a place made up of mirrors. My reflections stared at me with the same expression, the same face. They were mirroring my actions, as though mocking me. A hand reached out from one of the mirrors and grabbed me suddenly. I screamed. There hand was covered in blood.

Wake up.

"It's alright." His lips brushed against mine and the place began falling apart. The looking glasses shattered into millions and millions of pieces in my mind.

A clock struck midnight in the distance. The spell was broken.