The Trials of the Afterlife Dazzlings - by Anonymous
>Where am I? >You opened your eyes to a shower of bright light surrounding you. >There was little to see but pure light in all directions. >But you could hear something just faintly though you couldn't locate the source. >It was like the softest angelic choir, low and delicate in it's harmony. The more you listened the harder it was to stop. >"Hello my dearest Anonymous." >You looked up to see an angelic figure before you, cloaked in robes of white and bearing a halo of celestial purity. "Who are you?" >"A guide to help you find everlasting harmony. My name is Sonata and I come to you at the dusk of your mortal life. I am the first of three you shall meet. My sisters and I will help you as we embark upon this journey together." >'Mortal life?' "You mean I'm d-dead?" >"Don't be alarmed, this is the path we all must take. The ones you've left behind will hear from you again in time. You have only just begun the next chord of your immortal song." >She looked at you with a serene smile and sparkle in her eyes. >You weren't afraid, but you had so many questions. "Where are we going?" >"To the greatest show you will ever witness. To add your voice to the softly spoken magic spells of the eternal symphony." >This was so much to take in all at once. >You couldn't even remember how you'd perished but somehow you knew it would be alright for everyone back home. >You smiled back at her as she held out her hand and you took hold of it. >It was soft and warm, like a mother's lullaby or a lover's whisper. "Okay. I'm ready." >The chorus surrounding you grew louder and louder, until it was almost deafening. >Then it stopped. >You blinked and looked around you before spotting a young girl wrapped in a blanket, her eyes teary and her face bloody and bruised. >You looked to Sonata who's smile had faded and been replaced with sadness in her eyes. "Sonata, who is that girl?" >"My sister, Aria. She is the next guide on your journey. You must help her regain her voice." >She squeezed your hand and slowly led you over to the distraught woman. Before letting go and giving the two of you some space. >You knelt down beside the girl, she looked up at you with fear on her face. "Aria? My name's Anonymous. Can I talk with you?" >She looked down with a bitterness in her eyes but made no effort to leave. >"What do you want?" >Her voice was shaky with anger. "I'd like to help you. If you'll let me." >She curled into herself even more. >"No one can help me. Nobody cares." "I care. Your sister cares." >"Hmph." >You looked over her battered body. Pain was everywhere with this girl, inside and out. "Can you tell me what happened?" >Aria pulled her blanket closer around her. >"All they do is yell at me and mock me. Throw things at me. I try to sing better but it always ends the same." >She closed her eyes as fresh tears started to form in the corners. >"I'm just the worst." "I don't think so." >She looked over at you with distrust. >"Why?" >The question was defiant. "Because you're the only one who can help me find my way. I need your help too." >"M-my h-help?" "Yep. Sure do." >She looked away, a thoughtful expression on her face. >"How?" "I need you to sing again." >"No! You'll just laugh at me!" >She buried her head into her arms and turned away. >You put your hand in her shoulder, causing her to flinch in surprise. "We won't. I promise." >You smiled as she looked back at you. >Sonata moved closer and placed her hand on Aria's other shoulder. >She took a deep breath. "Okay. I'll try." >Arias voice started off gentle and tepid. Singing just a few notes and stopping frequently. >But it was beautiful. Like water flowing down a mountain side, it was clear and pure. >You and Sonata gave her a nod of reassurance. "That's great Aria, keep going." >"You can do it sister." >She gave a slight smile and pressed on. Raising her volume and alternating her rhythm until she had found the pitch and tone she was looking for. >Higher and higher she sung until she held a single note perfectly. "That's it! You've got it! Just a little. Bit. More..." >A blindingly white flash of light enveloped you once again as you closed your eyes from the brightness. >When you opened them again you were alone this time. >"Who are you?" >You turned around to see a young woman standing behind you, a quizzical look on her face. >She was also completely naked. >You looked away out of equal parts embarrassment and courtesy. >"Relax bro, you don't need to be shy." >You slowly looked up at her. >All of her. >She was sitting on top of what looked like two large boxes stacked haphazardly on top of each other, making several feet taller than you witout even standing up. "I'm Anonymous." >She giggled, causing her large, orange puffy hair to shake slightly. >"Any relation to incognito?" "Uh, no I don't believe so. I'm trying to find my way to the 'great eternal orchestra' I believe it's called." >"Huh?" "It's a long story." "Neat. Well I'm Dagi. Short for Adagio. Nice to meetcha!" "Likewise." >She giggled again as she leaned forward until her hands were touching the white bottom of the structure she was on and performed a handstand. >She didn't hold it for long though and soon crashed head first. >"Ouch!" "Are you alright?" >She waved you down. >"Yeah, I'm good. Don't worry about me. I don't need your help or anybody else's." >What a strange girl. >You looked around you, Sonata and Aria were nowhere in sight. "I wonder where those two went" >You muttered to yourself. >"Who's that?" >The girl looked down at you with a scrunched face. These two girls I'm supposed to have guide me, Sonata and Aria. Do you know them? >She made an exaggerated sigh. >"Yeah I know 'em alright. Those two sisters of mine think they're SO special. Pfft. It's so annoying." "You're their sister?" >She took on a laughably pompous tone as she spoke. >"Yes, for I am Adagio Dazzle! Supreme leader of the Dazzlings. Super Siren extraordinaire! >She paused briefly and clicked her tongue. >"Or least I was before we broke up." >Her face turned sour for a moment before she shrugged and resumed her attempts at gymnastics. >So this was the final sister, the last guide to your eternal salvation. >Not exactly what you were expecting. "Why did you break up?" >"Why do you care?" "I'm curious." >She inspected her nails with a look of indifference before biting one with her teeth. >"Meh, I guess it doesn't matter if I tell you. Truth is those two were weighing me down big time. So I cut 'em loose and became a one woman show." >She gave you a seductive wink before sticking out her tongue and blowing a raspberry. >You looked at the uninhibited girl before you as she scratched her armpit and did the splits. "Look, I think I need your help-" >"So? It's not like I need yours." >That was debatable. "There must be something you need." >"Nuh uh. Sorry Mr. Eponymous." "Anonymous." >This exchange was starting to test your patience. >"Right. Well anyway I don't see what's in it for me to help you get to some 'solar symphony' or whatever. So if you wouldn't mind shutting up and letting me concentrate- "Look I've talked with both your sisters- >"And they didn't even mention me did they? You didn't even know who I was! They never appreciated me. Besides I'm better off without those idiots and so are you. So just mind your own business why dontcha and let me live my life!" "Sweet Celestia..." >You hung your head in frustration and walked over to the bottom box Adagio was standing on and leaned against it as you sunk to the floor. >She began whistling a catchy tune with a familiar cadence. >All of the sudden you felt a bump against your back and swore you could hear movement from the inside. "What the heck?" >You stood up and turned around. >Looking up at Adagio still seated in a meditative posture with her eyes closed. "What's in these boxes?" >Adagio's eyes remained shut, ignoring you as she whistled louder. "Answer me!" >Her face started to look more nervous and she began fidgeting as she opened one of her eyes tentatively. >"Oh, you know just some junk. Some old toasters. Nothing you'd be interested in." "Is that so?" >You had a feeling you would be very interested. "Mind if I take a look?" >"NO! I mean, uh it's just that, well, I just got finished packing them and it's a real pain so..." "Get. Off." "She pouted." >"Or what?" >She stood up and cocked her hip to the side. >You'd had it with this game. >You started pulling the bottom box out from underneath her as she began to lose her balance. >"Hey!" >She seemed genuinely worried for the first time since you'd met and you took this as a positive sign of progress. "Last chance." >She planted herself back down on the stack indignantly. >Very well then. >With a great heave you pulled the bottom box out from under her as she screamed and went flying through the air. >Sonata's head popped out, looking around before her eyes met yours and she smiled. >"Thank you Anonymous." >You grinned. "Anytime." >You heard rustling from the other box and went to open it before Aria fell out, still wrapped in her blanket. >"Okay, I was wrong. THAT was the worst she said morosely." >The three of you heard a loud groan and looked over to where Adagio had landed. >She rubbed her head and groggily looked around before settling her eyes on you. >"Ugh. Seriously?" >She got up and stomped towards you. >Grabbing you by collar she ripped your jacket off and threw it over her naked form. >With a sly grin she looked over at her two sisters and then back at you. >"Looks like you passed the test. Shall we girls?" >The other two nodded and all three placed their hands over their necks as three red pendants materialized seemingly out of thin air. >They wrapped them around their necks and began singing as everything went white once again... >You were Anon. >Anonymous. >And everything that came with that. >Everything else was black and silent. >Just you and your thoughts. >So dark you couldn't tell if your eyes were open or not. >So quiet you weren't sure if you were speaking out loud or just thinking. >Every sense felt distorted from the deprivation of input. "Where'd they go now?" >You asked no one in particular. >But nothing else made sense. >It was confusing. >Though you weren't sure how to feel about that. "Alright, I can be pretty certain I'm dead right now." >You grumbled, trying to remain focused on the next word in your head. >Slowly, a tiny glow emanated from beneath you. >You were standing over something It was cold, smooth and hard as diamond. >You nelt down to get a closer look as the dot became three, each a different color. >Yellow, magenta and cyan. >They illuminated the increasingly brighter red liquid they were swimming through. >Slowly, the forms of Sonata, Aria and Adagio became clearer through greenish fog in front of you. >Covered in simple white robes that gently flowed in the ruby waters. >By the time they had gotten within several feet from you it was possible to see your surroundings. >You could see what you were standing on by the edges of the stucture visible in the distance. >Gradually you could feel the crimson glow swelling as it was mirrored back to you from all sides. >It was a gemstone. >You looked back at them in their ruby red auras. >They beckoned to you in a sensual manner. "Girls?" >They moved even closer to you. >Their smiles were invitating as they playfully tugged at their clothing. >Part of you still wanted to help them. >And the other part just wanted to help yourself. >The temptation swelled in you. >At first just a tinge but undeniably gaining strength over you. >You felt yourself losing control of your thoughts of anything else. "What is this?" >All you saw was them. >All you heard was them. >"Ah ah ah, ah ah." >They sang. >Those same notes on repeat. >Their liquid surroundings muffled their voices but it didn't matter. >Listening to them was all you wanted to do. >All you could do. >It was everything. >Then it slowly started getting worse. >Much much worse. "Yikes." >You couldn't help it. >It was terrible. >You tried to laugh but you practically couldn't hear yourself over the pulse of your rapidly growing headache. >It hurt to listen to. >And it was getting louder and louder. >Off-key singing with horrible pitch repeating the same chorus over and over again. "Girls, seriously stop, please." >You put your hands over your ears >It actually made you angry. >What was happening to their voices? >How could they let themselves sound like this? >You felt more and more infuriated. >The burning desire you'd had just a moment ago turning into blind rage. >Not towards them but yourself. >You hated yourself and everything in existence. >You wanted to see it all burn. >You wanted to feel the heat and escape the cold forever. >A warm bath in a red sea. >And you would follow anyone who could give this to you. >As if in reply to that wish, you felt a rush of ecstasy surge through you unlike anything you'd experienced. >As if a tide was ebbing within your very spirit. >Soothing waves. >You felt calm and drowsy. >You just wanted to sleep. >You started to close your eyes. >And listened to whatever those three voices said to you. >They wanted love. >They wanted control. >But most of all, they wanted more. >More and more their voices demanded in your head until you had nothing left to give. >Every memory, thought or opinion that wasn't of them was thrown away. >All you had now were the sounds of words and the instincts they provided you. >That and your name. >They wanted that too of course. >"You undertand, right? One less thing to worry your little head about." >The three cackled wickedly. >Adagio's voice had struck you like a tsunami. >"Well? Don't make me repeat myself primate scum." >Her voice grew increasingly growly that last warning. >"I don't. Wait what?" >You paused for a second at the strange insult. >Why would she call you that? "Anyway, I just..." >"Shut up! The worst creatures in existence don't even deserve names!" >Aria's voice. Though much harsher than before. >Sonata giggled. >"The only names you need to remeber are ours Nonny!" "Huh?" >The other two groaned at the last word. >"What? What did I say?" >Adagio moved closer to you, running her hand through her hair and giving you bedroom eyes. >"Now won't that be wonderful? You can handle that can't you?" >Her sarcasm was getting more prominent with every syllable. >"You'd better." >The shift in tone was chilling. >No. This wasn't the three girls you remembered. "No." >"What? Who do you think you are?" >Aria's shout slammed into you. >For realzies Anon? What's the big deal? I even forget my own name sometimes." "No." >You repeated the word. >Louder this time. >You felt it echo throughout you. >Then you slowly opened your eyes. >Your body was heavy, you could not move. >It was as if the gem had an immense gravity of its own. >Like a magnet drawing you to it. >Unrelenting. >Promising you everything in exchange for surrender. "Ugh." >Exhaustion and pain wracked your every muscle. >But on the surface beneath you cracks formed loudly. >You looked down again. >The three girls below you looked enraged. >Their bodies became wrapped in blinding light as their silhouettes changed shape. >They were becoming something else entirely. "No!" >With one last vocal denial the barrier between you shattered and you brought your arms up to cover your eyes. >It was like falling into a raindrop that was growing all around you. >It was endless darkness again. But instead of bleak silence there was only despair. >And you were sinking into it. >A harbor of every negative thought you'd ever had and each droplet was soaking into your skin. >Filling your lungs. >You flailed desperately. >As you felt yourself choking you used everything left in you to command your limbs to move. >You swam upwards. >Up and up until you could see something above you. >Almost there. >Just a bit further. >You breached the water just as you felt like blacking out and gasped for air. >Your eyes searched all around you. >It was like an emerald ocean as far as the eye could see. >Littered with ruby shards like small islands. >You made your way over to a particular large one, pulling yourself up and out of the water onto the jagged surface. >It felt strangely warm. >The sky above you was cloudy and dark >Thunder clapped in the distance. >A cacophony of monstrous roaring bellowed from behind you and you turned to see its source. >Three beings, with lightning flashing behind them, massive in size and unlike anything you'd witnessed stood above you through the air. >Their forms were chimeric, seemingly aquatic and equine at the same time. >But the colors of their eyes were the same. >Adagio. >Aria. >Sonata. "Girls..." >Fiery blasts shot from their mouths, at each other and at the sea beneath them. >You watched in silence as they wrought destruction upon themselves and everything around them. >Not sure what you could do against such raw power to placate them. >But you knew you had to try. >Slowly, you stood up on the ruby refuge you had found. >You called their names as each in turn stopped and looked at you. >They moved through the air towards you, as you became aware of the sheer size of their new forms. >You smiled back at them. "It's gonna be okay." >They stopped and stood still. >Staring into you. >Quietly they flew down into the sea beneath you as their three colors each rippled through the waves. >The waters changed to a navy blue as the stormy skies cleared above, beams of sunlight shining down through. >When they emerged again they were as you had first seen them, but now bare and bathing in the sparkling sunlight. >They glided through the waves gracefully until they were right before you on your little desert island. "Hey." >They each placed a hand on its deep red edge as you felt their magic ripple through you. >Adagio spoke first. >"So, did you enjoy the performance?" "It was... Dramatic. I'll give you that Adagio." >She chuckled contentedly as she examined her finger nails. >"It was good for me too." >Aria gave a grumpy frown and furrowed her brow. >"That's it?" >You leaned forward and whispered in her ear. "Thank you Aria." >Her face turned redder and she looked away mumbling. >"You're welcome. I guess." Sonata put her hand on yours, a worried look on her face. >"You're not mad are you? About before and what we said? We didn't mean it!" >She looked genuinely worried about what you might say next. >You squeezed her hand gently. "No. I'm not mad Sonata." >She beamed back at you. >You looked at the three of them, floating beside you, tiny blue waves splashing against their skin. >Like three sisters at a pool on a summer's day. >You sat back and sighed in relief. "So what now?" >The three looked at each other before Adagio spoke up again. >"Well, there's a new song we've just finished. I assume you'd be interested?" >"He better be." >"It's our best one yet!" >You looked back at them, nodded and closed your eyes. "Okay. I'm ready."