The darkness rolls in, like fog coming through an open window.

Everything is happening so slowly, yet it's still too fast for me to comprehend.

The sky is dark with greasy smoke, and the ground is wet with blood.

Distantly I hear someone screaming.

My name maybe?

No, no, of course not.

Yet they continue to scream.

The air becomes warm, then hot, then searing. I'm blinded by white light.

The screaming has stopped.

It's frightening, not knowing what's going on. I hear my heartbeat in my ears.

I feel my mortality slipping through my fingers.

I think to myself, so many people will miss me.

I will miss them too.

The darkness is almost complete. My vision is reduced to one sliver of sight.

I see the sky darken, and brighten, and darken again.

It becomes red, then white, then green and blue.

Are the colors just my imagination? They're so beautiful.

In the midst of the turmoil, I glimpse a woman walking towards me.

She is untouched by bullets, unstained by blood.

She stops and looks down. Her dark eyes are sad, yet they bear unimaginable age.

She reaches down and touches me.

The darkness engulfs her.

I am so cold.

***

It's over now.

I don't quite know where I am, but there are others like myself.

They're all here, hundreds, thousands. Looking dispassionately upon the battlefield.

We look so peaceful, us, the dead.

We got out early, got out before it became really bad.

I know that now, I know many things.

How, you ask?

I do not know.

I just do.

I assume once all is said and done, we will cross over. Through the gate.

It sits on the horizon, a great silver archway.

The sun is setting, and the killing slows.

So many have died.

Yet I cannot find it in myself to care.

I know where they're all going.

I'm one of them, after all.

It's been a long day, and I'm very tired.

We begin to move towards the arch in a great procession.

One by one, they pass through.

I am one of the last, and there are still many left to go.

I am so tired.

***

The moon now hangs high in the sky, bathing us in silvery light.

It is almost time. And I wonder where I'll be going.

Am I going to heaven? I ask the woman with the sad eyes.

She stands between the two silver pillars. Watching.

She is silent for a time.

I wait.

She turns then, and meets my gaze.

I see eons in those eyes.

I see the rise of cites.

I see the fall of empires.

I see kings and queens, presidents and lords.

Gods and goddesses.

I see the death of suns. The birth of stars.

I see the lives of countless humans pass her in the blink of an eye.

But what I see more than anything is wisdom.

The kind of wisdom that comes to those who are older than time.

Those who watched the world when it was still young.

Those who stood and waited as the universe was formed.

I see power.

I see age.

I see Death.

And I am scared.

She smiles and speaks.

***

Now's when you find out.