Cover art by Adam Bedore at Anjin Design.
Photograph copyright Red Glass Sphere (isolated) © Kompaniets Tara and Handsome Young Man in Hood © Nejron Photo. Licensed through Shutterstock images.
For Aaron, Madi, and Hannah
The Boy Who Died
Death lived up to Jacob’s expectations.
The day he died was sunny, as it was most days on the island of Oahu where he lived. Only a few miles away, bikini clad tourists stretched out on the sand of Waikiki beach. While they toasted themselves golden brown, Jacob lay on a steel surgical table, broken and bleeding. He’d heard that when a person died they saw a tunnel that ended in a bright light. If the person moved toward the light, God or some already deceased loved one like a great-grandmother would meet them on the other side. Jacob didn’t believe it. He’d accepted that everything would end in black nothingness and for him it did. What he didn’t expect was that the end was just the beginning.
The light returned. His eyes fluttered open against bright white and a face emerged from the radiance, materializing from the void. A rumbling voice called him by name. “Jacob. Jacob, can you hear me?” Behind the voice was the clink-clank of metal hitting metal and a smell like a copper penny soaked in Clorox.