In life, we are plagued by the uncertainty of an afterlife, and it is often expected that when we die, everything will suddenly make sense. But when a group of strangers, similar only in their time of death, find themselves in the afterlife, they are faced with more questions than ever before. Are they in Heaven or Hell? If they’re in Heaven, why is there a Nazi wandering around? Why are there no children? If they are in Hell, what universal law did they break? Is there a way to repent and move on to a better eternity? At least one man seems to have some answers. Marcus, a Roman dead for 2,000 years, gains the group’s trust by leading them through the perils of their new reality. But soon it becomes clear that Marcus is only telling them half the story.
L. A. Barnes is public librarian in the southern US. She is a Nerdist podcast listening, South Park loving, Twin Peaks conspiracy theorizing, Stephen King reading and Joss Whedon worshiping geek. The Pit is her first novel. She plans to explore the Watchmaker’s universe through four more novels.
“ARE YOU AT ALL…” CHRISTOPH chose his words carefully, “concerned about what we’ve done?”
They traveled along the river as Lauren instructed them to do. They were headed for the City to meet up with Marcus’ team.
For a moment, Allison considered a facetious answer that would imply she misunderstood and thought he was talking about sex. But that sounded immature, even in her thoughts, so she told the truth.
“I haven’t been, no,” she answered.
“You told me in that dream that you could hurt and maim and kill. Could this be it?”
“I really don’t think so,” she reasoned. “It’s too dramatic. And existence isn’t in many ways. It feels eternal. We may run into Alex at some point. We may end up working with Regan down the road.”
He stopped to look at her and measure her reaction to his next statement. “You asked me about my faith in our salvation.”
“Christoph,” she groaned, “I don’t think I believe in it. What would salvation be worth? Would we find someone we lost and missed desperately? We have that now. Would we find meaning to our existence? We can find that here. What is salvation really but a fancy word?”
She wanted him to echo her sentiments or praise them for their insight. Instead, he looked older and sadder than he had since the last time he talked about his dead wife.
“What do you think?” she prodded.
“I think….” He looked like he might cry. “I think…I care nothing of salvation. Only for you.”
Letting out a contented moan, Allison replied, “Run with me and I will never stop touching you.”
It sealed his fate. Hers was sealed back in the last sharing circle with her lover, Sid, Nadia and Heinrich. Or perhaps it was earlier even than that. Perhaps her fate was sealed from the moment she picked up the phone and called her mother.