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OldSchoolOG

A brush with death

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Sepher felt warmth within his fleshy prison, and with it a glimmer of something. Conscious thought was slow in returning, but it did return. The glimmer was a thought that became a word. It was hope. Hope in the form of a presence he had despaired to ever meet again. His friend Vadim was near, the "vor" who changed the course of his life within the Bratva, who would later become his best friend, his captain, at one point his equal, and eventually serve under him. He was here, wherever "here" was. He was close, very close. "I am here" Sepher called. It was a simple sentence, but it took some effort. The effort made him feel warm.

Yet the presence did not answer with words. Perhaps it didn't need words, or was unable to form them. "I need help" Sepher called again, "I am trapped, it feels like... death". The presence responded with feelings; doubt, but determination. Sights and sounds filled Sepher's mind. Among them, a confusing scene he could not at first comprehend. A blurry streak of crimson, floating pieces of paper, bits of metal, and a spark to his right that slowly came into focus. As he came to realize what he was looking at, he heard the loud bang of the firearm, everything in slow motion. The streak of blood, the bills and coins flying off the overturned table, and the man behind it, fatally shot, suspended in time, his chair falling backwards, but never completely falling. And then nothing.

"Help". Another feeling. One of recognition? "Help" the presence called at last, "I can help". He might have just been echoing his own words back to him. The presence seemed to "speak" with difficulty, as though it wasn't inherently in its nature. This place existed in ways Sepher's mind could only begin to experience as simple shapes, sounds, and colors. To sharpen his focus, to understand was beyond him. A jolt of agony pierced Sepeher's consciousness, as if he had been stabbed. It was excruciating and made him rejoice. Physical pain meant physical feeling. He was getting warmer.

"Live". The sensation flooded Sepher's body, exquisite agony he could feel from the tip of his toes to the top of his head. He had a body, he had toes. He had skin, legs and hands. As yet, he had no sight, and no hearing but the voice of Vadim inside his head. He was not yet awake, but he was alive. The presence drew closer, inch by agonizing inch. With every movement the agony of life flooded Sepher, each time jolting his heart into beating stronger within his breast. Water. He could feel its wetness, and a burning sensation in his throat. "Breathe". As he heard this word, he heard it in his ears, and not just in his mind.  And then, in a flood of light and color, and an explosion of heat, vision returned. Though blurred, there was no mistaking this for a dream or vision. The pain all over his body confirmed this, and as he shielded his eyes from the sun shining from behind the silhouette, he heard his savior utter the words "not today, old man".

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