Everything I had expected was dead wrong. Only darkness marked with pinpoints of light floated ahead of what I assumed to be myself. I didn't appear to have a body, yet I existed. Memories of life before this place felt fuzzy and quickly faded into nothingness. Feeling scared, I tried moving towards one of the lights. The only way I could tell that I succeeded in movement was the other lights moved around me slightly as though I was passing them. But the one in front of me stayed the same distance away. I turned towards another closer light and sped up. The light retreated to the distance of the first one, taunting me with its presence. I knew those lights were important, but they continued to elude me, as though they had a mind of their own. A growing sense of danger clouded my mind and I grew more and more anxious. I stopped after what seemed like an eternity, exhausted. It was cold. My phantom limbs cringed and curled, desperately trying to warm a body that was no longer there. Fear crept it's even colder fingers over me. I was suffocating in it, the life I no longer possessed felt like it was once again being sucked away from me. I screamed. Not a sound came from my non-existent throat. Sobbing, I fled. I needed to be somewhere, anywhere than here. This could not be the end. This is not where I was supposed to be! Surprisingly, my tears were real. I could tell by the way they blurred my vision so that the points of light looked large and spikey. I tried blinking and the blurriness was cleared from my vision. Tiny drops of light floated away from my face. It was the tears. I reached out, allowing a finger to brush its surface. Suddenly my essence twisted and roiled. White light flashed for a second before all became dark again. This time, it was different. I felt as though there was someone else there. A familiar presence with a touch of dejà vu. It took me a moment to realize that the presence was me. It was my memory. I saw as much as felt myself chase the lights, feel the fear of being shut here forever and start to cry. As the tears left my memorial self, my essence twisted again, this time a little more painfully and white light flashed, blinding me. As my vision slowly came back, pain began to grow inside me. It grew worse and worse until I keened soundlessly and writhed.

Come back… sighed a silent voice. It is your fear….Summon your essence… Come back to us… it whispered. I tried, I really did, but the pain only seemed to get worse. Find us… it whispered again. I flailed in all directions, searching for the disembodied voice. Where are you? I screamed. Silence answered me. Then, We are here. Relief washed over me as the pain suddenly ebbed. It was as though a warm blanket was coating me, driving away the cold, the fear and the pain. I felt others wink into existence around me. Many other silent voices chorused around me. A new one. So scared, poor thing. There there deary, you're ok! A bit shocky around the edges isn't she? They felt warm, like family on a good day. I felt my ghostly heart gradually start to slow down. Their tittering quieted as they moved off. One presence stayed behind. You ran before you could walk, it said. Who are you? I asked, Is this really death? It answered, I am another spirit, just like you. We are all spirits here. Eventually we forget our past names. We know each other by our presence. Names are not needed.

Is this death? What are all the lights? Why can't I reach them? I asked.

We are not dead. We are freed from our bodies. Our bodies however, turn to dust whist we live on. The lights are our strongest memories. The lights you tried to chase were not yours to take so they eluded you. They come from your tears.

I thought this over, trying to soak in this new information. Where are my memories?

The spirit gestured with invisible arms towards her heart. They live on in you. You must release them to remember. I looked down and saw only darkness. Don't use your eyes, feel for them. I closed my eyes, and lifted my hand to touch my chest. There was warmth there. That's it, said the spirit, find them… remember your beautiful past… rejoice… it sighed as it faded away. I was once again alone. But I was warm. I pushed harder on my chest and suddenly felt it give. Looking down, I saw a huge glowing sphere nestled in my bosom. I squinted at it, and saw that it was made of many tiny spheres linked together. I flung it away across the space. The lights jumped apart and settled. They beckoned to me, like old friends, laughing, welcoming. Tears formed in my eyes again, but this time it was from happiness. I blinked. They floated away to become more lights. My glorious, beautiful memories.