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Lady Flame:

Facing Death

Droplets of liquid fell against her windowpane. Sasha gazed off into the emptiness of the room as her feelings came flooding in like a tidal wave. She tried to shut her eyes throughout the night, but the dreams, the creepy crawling monsters would not let her sleep. Sasha overreacted as she struggled to breathe. Her breathing became constricted. She could not move. She felt like tiny snakes were crawling underneath her skin.

Sasha wanted to scream as she leaned on the side of her king-size bed. Sasha’s legs was heavy--more than usual. Her body had been sore all the way down to her toes. Sasha wanted to reach for the phone on her nightstand. She urgently needed to call 911. She realized that something must have been wrong--that maybe she could die.

Sasha forced herself out of bed, rolling to the carpet, barely able to stand. Her legs trembled. Sasha held on to the wall and steadied herself before grabbing the phone. Instantaneously, the room spun. Sasha let out a scream. She fell backwards, hitting her head on the edge of the bed. The pain became unbearable as colors of white, blue, and green showed up in her vision. She held on to the phone. She dialed 911.

"911 What is your emergency?"

Sasha heard the voice echo in her ear, but she could not speak. Blood oozed from her nose and mouth as she choked. She forced herself upon her left side as she drifted away into unconsciousness. Darkness wrapped around her like a blanket on a winter night. She lay there in the gloom, not existing, not caring, and not worrying.

Suddenly Sasha heard the sirens as they yapped in her ears. She opened her eyes to get a glimpse of reality, but drifted in and out of consciousness. Two paramedics, one on each side, lifted her up on to a bed before rolling her out into the warm sunlight.

She had never experienced anything like this. She felt trapped inside her body. One of the paramedics took her vital signs, and another checked her blood sugar and realized how high the numbers were. They understood why Sasha's EKG flat-lined.

"Sasha, Sasha."

She recognized the paramedics as they shouted her name even though the EKG stayed the same. One of the paramedics used a defibrillator to revive her heart twice, but Sasha did not respond. Why was this happening to her? She was confused as her mind raced in thought.

Sasha tried to move, but the pain paralyze her. She struggled--losing grip on reality as she drifted into the unknown world. A tunnel spiraled down with emptiness as she fell. She thought there was a Heaven on the other side of death.  She remembered Minister Rose's advice--telling her she needed to get her life in order before God called her home. Oh no, she thought, was she dying?

She no longer saw the paramedics that had been by her side. Instead, she spiraled down into the darkness. Strange things happened to her. She hit the hard ground and stood up as fire burned around her. There were no angels, no demons, or any other creature she had read in mythology and religion. If this was hell, it wasn't what she had expected.

"Hello," her voice echoed. She stood to her feet. How could she have been freezing with the fire burning? Sasha walked toward the fire, but could not go any further.

She sat on the ground and wept. What did she do to deserve such a cruel punishment? This replaced her nightmares. It became unbearable. She could not escape. She struggled with her thoughts here in the darkness. Something pulled at her flesh. She did not understand what was happening. There was a tunnel and then a bright light and before she realized it, she was back in her own body surrounded by doctors.

"Hello Miss!" One of the doctors spoke to her. "Your father is here. Welcome back!"

Sasha tried to speak. She wondered if this was a curse or a dream. Was she dead or was she alive? She didn't know as her father entered the room with flowers.

"Flowers, flowers, I hate flowers." She tried to talk with her father, but no sound came from her lips. She watched as her father placed the flowers on the table before facing her. They were yellow similar to daisies and they sparkled in the sunlight. Sasha turned her attention to her father. He was studying her--scanning the IVs in her arm. He studied her heart rhythm and the rise and fall of her chest before returning his gaze. Sasha realized that her eyes were burning. She could not blink them. The nurse must have read her mind. She put eye drops in them.

"She's been unresponsive all morning." The nurse spoke with her dad. "We are worried that she may slip into a diabetic coma or worse. We have to keep her for observations."

"She's still alive?"

"She can understand you, but she cannot speak. We've never seen anything like it. Your daughter must be fighting death. She doesn't want to let go. The paramedics called us on the way here. Her blood sugar have reached an all-time high. Her EKG flat-lined twice, but she came to twice the paramedics informed us. I honestly do not see how she will survive any of this. We thought she must have been brain dead earlier. Nevertheless, her eyes shot open and her brain returned to normal. Yet it’s possible that she might die."

Sasha was very surprised by the nurse's tone of voice. Did she say I might die? No way, I'm not going anywhere!

The nurse comforted Sasha's father by holding his hand.  Suddenly an overpowering aroma lingered. It smelled of smoke or something far more badly than garbage. She directed her attention toward the window where the stench was coming from. A man dressed in a long black suit startled her. She thought she had been hallucinating because the nurse nor her father saw him.

"No, they can't see me. I'm invisible." He laughed.

"Am I dead?" Sasha asked him.

"No Sasha, you're not dead yet!"

"What do you mean bout yet?"

"You have been chosen to carry a curse."

"What curse?"

Sasha focused her attention on him as he grabbed a stool and scooted over by her side. He wore a pair of dark shades and he stunk of death. He wore a pair of white gloves so that she could not see his hands.

"I don't have hands." He said with a creepy smile.

"What are you?"

"I am a mystery."

Sasha sat up startled because she could move again. It was as if time on Earth had paused as she found herself lost in another dimension. She moved her lips even more surprised by the words. She walked over to the door before returning to the bed.

"What is this?"

"An outer body experience. Go ahead enjoy yourself. It won't be long now."

"Long for what," Sasha asked.

"For them to pronounce your time of death," he replied.

"What!" Sasha shouted. She watched the EKG go flat. Her father stood wide-eyed as her nurse called the code.

"Code Blue," the nurse shouted as the doctors brought the crash cart.

"No!" Sasha screamed. "Let me live!"

"Why?"

"Because you're breaking my daddy's heart," Sasha cried.

"No, you're breaking your own daddy's heart. You are the one dying here. Not me."

"No!" Sasha shouted as she tried to return to her body, but it was no use as the doctor’s call the time of death.

"No!" She yelled again only to have startled the doctors as she sat straight up in the hospital bed. The doctors didn't move as her father stood there staring in dismay.

Wow, she thought. She had control over her own death. This was awkward.

"My God,” her father dropped to his knees. "How is this possible?"

"I don't know!" Dr. Frank said as she stared down at his nametag.

"Sasha!" He said her name, but she did not speak as she sat up on the bed. Dr. Frank examine her pupils, they were dilated. He grabbed her shoulders and laid her back upon the bed.

"She's fighting death!" The nurse responded to Dr. Frank.

"Yes, I find this strange. No one has ever come back from death twice in one evening."

"She won't let go!" Her father said. "My daughter has always been a fighter."

"But her blood sugar are at an all-time high."

"How high,” her father asked?

"One thousand," the doctor replied.

"I didn't realize blood sugar can reach that high."

"Oh it can, that's why it's killing your daughter. Her kidneys are shutting down rapidly. Her heart is overworking itself. Her brain has her going in and out of consciousness. I won't be surprised if she loses her sight in the next few minutes. Mr. Jackson your daughter's body is shutting down there’s no doubt about that. How she came back from death I do not know."

"Are you fighting your death wish?"

Sasha turned her attention to the creature still sitting by her bed.

"I am." She responded as the creature folded his arms. She had thought he was a grim reaper, but he said he was not. He was too strange, and she wasn't in the mood to pursue him any longer.

"Didn't you hear the doctors Sasha? There is no way you will live. Just let go. Your father will be fine. We need you. The universe needs you. America needs you."

"Wait! If I'm dying why did you say that the universe needs me?"

"You have to let go before you can understand."

"Understand what?"

"Your destiny," he said as he stood up and disappeared through the walls.

"Wait!" Sasha shouted as she stood up and ran out the door only to have transitioned back into a black tunnel spiraling down into outer darkness.

"NOOOO," she shouted as she tried to return only to find herself engulfed in a blanket of darkness. She focused on the flames encircling her.

"Eww, not that stench again."

If things didn't get stranger, strange creatures appeared through the fire. They were tall with green flesh. They had wings that stretched across their backs. One of the creatures had four horns upon his head, and vision as a spider. They stood holding hands in the flames. They smelt of death and decaying bodies. Their eyes focused on Sasha even though she wanted to run. She could not go anywhere as the fire burned around her.

The young creature she had seen in the hospital appeared before her in the same suit he had on earlier. He greeted her with a smile before bowing at her feet. Then the others bowed at her feet. Why were they bowing to her? Was she kind of a god or something? She didn't know as she watched them appearing in the darkness before bowing down at her feet. There were millions of these weird creatures as they stood around the burning flames. She stood back in fear as they sing an old folk song in a weird language she did not understand. The young creature she saw in the hospital stood up and removed his shades before revealing his yellow eyes. Sasha's mouth dropped open as he approaches her.

Fangs popped out of his mouth as he removed his shirt and allowed it to drop to the floor. Sasha screamed and ran toward the flames. She was more afraid of him then the flames that continued to burn. She took her chance as she jumped into the flames hoping to be lost forever from those creatures that surrounded her. She heard him shout.

"Wait," but it was too late as the flames consumed her. The fire did not kill her like she'd thought. It was a warm blanket wrapping her into another dimension of time. The flames took a hold of her as her eyes turned dark red. Her hair became long and red as well. Her skin was as dark as the night. The Sasha she once grown to love was dying.

The doctors watched as her EKG flat-line, but they weren't in a hurry to revive her from the stillness of her heart. Her father had agreed that the next time her EKG flat-line, he would let her go. Tears streamed down his face as he watched his daughter's eyes looking straight at him. She was lifeless. She was gone forever. His daughter was dead.

Chapter One

Sasha opened her eyes as rain fell gently upon her fragile skin. Where am I? She rolled over to her left side. The mud felt weird as it moved between her toes and hands. Trees stood tall and the sun shined brightly despite the cool dampness of the rain. Sasha stood to her feet admiring the scenery. The smell of the fresh grass filled her nostrils. She was surprised to be alive. Maybe she had been dreaming. Maybe she dreamed of Hell and a god that govern its premises.

Sasha hadn't recognized the strange figure in the nearness of the trees. He stood far off wearing a long black robe with badges and honors. He wore a pair of steel toe boots. He smelt of death as if he'd been entomb for centuries.

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