Fiction: The Final Death Rattle



By James Bergman

I lie within my bed gazing out to the wide horizon, the boundless sky and its shades of blue and white. The Mare is comfortably mounted upon my chest, the Reaper already playing his fiddle. My timely letters imploring consolation reek of disingenuous regret and good health, both of which I can’t help but resent.
Observing my deadened carcass only serves as a reminder of its contrary state. My worn legs, my creased skin, my fractured mind; all once capable of withstanding the trauma of what it is to live through the motions of life. Is not life an ongoing sanction of unrequested brutality complemented by the guarantee of a death sentence? Are we not disillusioned jesters, dancing to the rhythm of our savage beatings?
Pascal’s Wager is imminent for me now and his disingenuous deal is the last temptation; theism is now more than ever an opiate near-impossible to resist. The paradise of Eden was predictably lost from the beginning of its conception; Adam and Eve were victims of divine puppetry. Don’t blame the serpent, blame the crooked game.
Old age may as well be defined as autonomy; my actions and thoughts are harshly restricted - alas have they not always been? The youthful act as if they are immortal, immune from not only physical but mental decay; Is it not the case that the youth are wholly ignorant of the old, and the old wholly ignorant of the youth?
I’ve always believed that our childhood ends from the moment we become conscious of death. Hope originates from child-like fantasies; the fairy tale archetype is admirable but sorely mistaken. The origin of the “hero’s journey” is arguably rooted here; a wishful, diseased, reputable but ultimately understandable concept for the death dreading biped to embody.
Any further addition to the above would only subtract, perhaps disfigure. I hold no posthumous reservations for my words and their journey outside of these pages. Flourish or decay, they will do as they wish.





James Bergman is a British Psychology student, Philosopher, and avid reader of Literature. He is also the founder of Ahead of the Curve, where he publishes thought-provoking discussions, and analytical book reviews. He is also co-host of the popular podcast: The Bastard Sons of Oedipus, which gazes into the abyss of humanity’s darkest questions and depraved false consolations regarding the theme park of unsolicited rides that we regretfully denounce as our reality.

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