Brink of Death

written by Clemerson

Why am I still alive? Why am I still involved in this never-ending nightmare? This tragic, depressing dream, known as reality. One that I could never wake from. The people make me feel like I am inhuman. I eat, sleep, breathe and speak like them, yet still I feel like an outcast. Maybe I have lost touch with reality. Maybe reality is not real at all, and none of this even matters.

I can’t escape it, no matter what I do. The people, their problems, the violence, the horror, it never dies. I can continue to run from it, but how can you escape something that is everywhere?

Knowing that, I still pack my bag and ride the trains, from state to state, looking for peace and solitude. A disconnection from friends, family and life itself.

Depression is the disease that has consumed me. No matter what new pill they feed me, it never does any good. Nobody loves me, so what is stopping me from dying? Every time I Overdose on my meds, Those damn doctors bring me right back to life. But why? What good am I to anybody?

I am a prisoner here. Tortured with these religious rants, How god loves me and that he has a plan for me. If there was a God that loved me, He would take me away from this. If I’ve ever prayed in my life, I prayed that he would do just that, but he isn’t listening, because HE does not exist.

Without hope, faith, need or ambition, I ride this train to wherever it may end. Ohio, New Jersey, North Carolina. Hoping that one day it will crash.

But, like my grandmother used to say…

It’s always at the brink of death that we begin to value life. —

here is a perfect example..

I’m laying face-down on dry ground. Smoke and dubri clouds form around the area. The sounds of massive flames and loose electrical wires are heard coming from behind my somewhat lifeless body. An extremely loud alarm, similar to an air raid siren sounds off. I can feel my arms and legs now, so I crawl away from whatever is going on behind me.

My face is covered in dirt. Blood rapidly flows from my head and into my eyes. My clothes are torn, arms and legs have been cut open by the glass chips and metal shards from the accident. Though badly injured, I slowly rise to my feet, looking at the open deserted area. Acres of land, similar to a dessert, but with a couple of farm-like homes far in sight.

The location has no shade from the scorching sun. The temperature rises each second, due to the horrific disaster that waits behind me. Finally, I turn around to see.

Two trains have collided into each other, moving at the speed of one-hundred miles-per-hour. Both transports are destroyed beyond recognition. The crushed trains ressemble an accordion. Some carts were completely smashed as the others were torn open like a soda can.

The trains are covered in high flames. Bodies were sent catapulting from the train and onto the hot bare ground. Gray and black smoke begin to mask the hellacious scene. As I watch on in disbelief, I noticed two people that are crawling away from the train wreck.

One, A caucasian woman, in her early thirties. She is wearing a business outfit with one shoe missing from her left foot. She digs her fingers into the dirt to pull her body forward.

The other, A middle-aged white male, dressed in a white t-shirt and kahki colored slacks. His left arm is broken. He crawls away but continuosly looks back at the wreckage.

The old man tries to stand, but is severly weakened from the crash. He falls onto his rear and watches on as the train burns down and the smoke builds into the sky.

“Merideth!?" He screams as tears pour from his sandy eyes.

I went to check on the woman that was further away from where I landed. As I tried to help her up, I recognized her as the bitch that wanted my seat on the train. We locked eyes for a few seconds before she shoved me away to turn and witness the accident.

“My God, Why?" She says in a whimpering tone as tears run down her face. “Please Jesus." she continues on with this God and Jesus crap. The old guy remains seated on the ground, watching others that are crawling toward us from the accident. The old man watches on with the saddest of sad faces. Nothing is being done. No one has come to help, No helicopters, police cars, nothing. No one for miles around.

As I look straight into the center of the train wreck, A tall pale-white man comes from out of the smoke, dressed in a black suit, black hat and black wool trench coat. Both of his hands are placed in the pockets of his jacket, not a scratch on him. His outfit is sharp and in perfect condition. Where did he come from?

The pale man approaches some young college kid, who attempts to get to his feet by grabbing the legs and waist of this mystery member in black. The tall man brings the kid to his feet by grabbing him by the neck, as if he were going to choke him. As the tall man looks into the kids blood covered eyes, the kid begins to develop a mysterious glow around his body. His entire physical form is covered in light. The light dims away as the guy has dissapeared.

“Oh my god" the woman repeats loudly. Her eyes wide open.

The tall male does the same to other survivors that were closer to the wreckage. He walks with no expression. Straight-faced. His old, wrinkled face shows fearlessness.

Afterwards, he looks at the three remaining survivors. Myself, The bitch, and the old bastard with the broken arm. My first thought was to run for my life. As I turned to do so, I spotted a house that was further away, but was the closest of the other two. As the three of us made a run for it, the woman continued to scream for help, hoping that someone would hear her. The tall man did not give chase by running, but by walking after us.

Minutes later…

We arrive at the doorstep of the home, knocking, banging, kicking and screaming. I kicked in the door and we all dove inside. I closed the door and covered the entrance with book shelves and a sofa The old man and woman laid on the hardwood floor, breathing heavily as I stood by the window. I watched as the tall man took soft, slow, calm footsteps.

“Who the fuck is that guy?" i questioned out loud, while ducking under the window.

“I don’t know," the woman responded. “I went through every cart, looking for a window seat. I don’t remember seeing him on the train at all." She said before coughing.

The old man stares at the furniture-covered doorway. He had this stupid look to him, as if he thought that he was dreaming. “He took my Merideth. He took her away from me." The old guy begins to cry as he keeps a grip on his broken arm.

“Sir, Do you know that man?" I asked.

“Not personally, but I know of him." He replies.

I rise again to take a peak out of the window. Shockingly to my suprise, the tall man was close to the home. How could he have got here so fast at the pace that he was moving?

“HOLY SHIT!" I shouted out loud.

I began to run up the stairs as the woman followed. We both looked back at the old guy, who stood at first, but sat down in the loveseat, facing the front door. He ignored us as we called for him.

Suddenly, the couch and bookcase was forced away as the front door flew open. The dust and smoke entered the home, as the tall man took his first step in. The woman and I proceeded up the stairs and into a bedroom.


The old man sat still as that bastard in black walked pass him, then turning around to stand behind the loveseat. He places his left hand on the right shoulder of the old man. Just then does a tear fall from the old man’s right eye.

“I want to be with Merideth." The old man says. The tall man places his left arm to the back of the old man’s neck,

“and so you shall." as he places his right hand to the front of the old fool’s neck. The room began to glow as the old man grunted, trying to scream for Merideth.

Meanwhile, the woman and I locked ourselves in a bedroom. We searched for something to use, and something to do.

“What in the hell is that… that man… That thing!?" I questioned while blocking the room entrance with tables and drawers.

“Dont you get it?" The woman replies as she stands in the center of the room. Her hands covering her face as she responds.

“Please almighty God, spare me." She begins to pray and beg.

“God? What fucking God?" I shouted at her. “Do you really think that there is someone in the clouds, listening to you right now? WAKE UP, LADY!"

I screamed at her, as if she were a child misbehaving. All she does is cry. At this point, we were running around like headless chickens.

“We need to hide… We have to…"

She interupts me with an outburst, yelling as loud as she could. “FUCK YOU, ASSHOLE! You don’t know me,"

The woman opened the window as I hid in the closet. The bedroom door broke into pieces as the tall man approached. The woman recklessly dove out of the window at the sight of him. He slowly stepped toward the window to look at her, laying on the ground, moaning in pain. She began to crawl away from the house. The tall man then turned his head slowly, looking at the closet door. It was as if he had X-Ray vision, and could see me through the small openings. He then dissapeared. He was gone.

I couldn’t believe my eyes. I slowly stepped out of the closet and looked out of the window. The woman crawled away, but wait, the tall man was behind her. She gave up her escape attempt and turned around to sit on her knees with her hands placed together, in a praising position.

“I’m sorry… I am so sorry… Please forgive me." she said while crying hysterically.

“I don’t do the forgiving." he said in a rhaspy, calm-like tone of voice.

He kneels down slightly to grab her kneck, bringing her back up to her feet. She cries like a newborn baby. Her face becomes pale as she begins to glow with light. I watched her dissapear.

Afterwards, I tried to move, but something kept me still. I watch as the tall man approached the house once again.

Just as he enters the home, he appears in the bedroom doorway on the second floor. He raises his head to look me in the eyes. The black covers the whiteness in his eyes. The man smiles so innocently, As if he has welcomed me into his home.

“Why do you run from me?" He asked.

I stepped as deep into the corner as I could, hoping that I would fall through the walls to escape his presence.

“Please," I begged while slowly sliding down the wall and falling to the floor. “You can’t take me. Not just yet, not like this." He stood over me without an expression.

“And what would you prefer?" he asked me. “Drug overdose? Jumping from a building? Or perhaps an instant, painless death. I am sorry, but no matter how you do it, I will come for you still."

“So, Y— You’re him?" I asked while studdering.

“Yes, I am him." He replied softly.

I began to cry, as the woman did before she dissapeared.

“Why, Mr.Decker?" He asked me. “You’ve spent the past two years of your life, chasing death. Now, when at the brink of death, you run away. Why?"

I couldn’t answer him. I didn’t know why I was running. I had been wanting, looking and begging for death for so long, now here it is before me, and I cower and cringe at it.

He stood over me, waiting for an answer. Death has such a hideous face on him.

“I don’t want to die." was the only words that I was able to say. They were the only words that seemed correct to me.

“You can’t die, Mr.Decker, not yet." he said. “You have experienced your share of pain and suffering. Understand this, Mr.Decker." He takes a step back.

“There is a balance to life. With hate comes love. With pain comes joy. and with defeat comes victory. You must hate to understand love. You will ache to appreciate pleasure. Oh yes, Mr.Decker, there is more to life than what you’ve experienced so far."

I stand to my feet, with a more comfortable feeling. I am no longer scared. The fear escapes me.

“Live, Mr.Decker. You don’t know what you would miss out on until you have experienced it. See it all the way through." he says to me, in his raspy voice.

I leave the house, walking behind him. I am refreshed, renewed and enlightened. We walk back toward the crash sight. He stops in front of me, looking down onto the ground before him. I approach his side to witness my lifeless body, laying on the ground. He looks at me.

“You’ve been wanting to die for so long. Are you ready to live?" he asked me.

No answer was needed. He walked away, leaving me with my dead body. He walks toward the burning trains, into the smoke, where he came from. I laid down, back into my vessel, where I belong.

My eyes opened wide. I gasped, taking in my first breath of a new life. The sounds of sirens and helicopters were everywhere. Someone stood over me,

“We’ve got a live one over here!" is what he said. Yes, I am very much alive.

Like my grandmother used to say…

It’s always at the brink of death that we begin to value life.

• • c l o s e • •

written by Christopher Lawrence Bacon (Clemerson)

Brink of Death


Mount Rainier, United States

  • Artist

Artist's Description

Mr.Decker, bored and disgusted with his life, has spent the past few years chasing death. What happens when death begins to chase him?

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