Overture

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What is it like to die?

Every person has their own visualisation of what the last few seconds are like before the curtain finally falls. Some imagine it as a shadow, like that of a great mountain, falling across life and eclipsing the light of the universe. Others perceive death as person, or creature. Whether death is a skeletal ghost or dresses formally to convey the size of his business, as it is the largest in the universe, death visits all.

Elizabeth-Louise Parker, however, had never put much thought into the matter as she knew no guess would be relevant or correct until the time came when the answer stood before her. But she wasn't expecting this.

Nothing conveys life like the sound of water, the father of all that breathes. Whether it is ambling through the landscape in the form of a veteran river who has seen all therefore is in no need to rush, or is racing through mountains as though it is aiming to reach the sea by nightfall, water speaks in a voice that varies in a fashion similar to the creatures it creates. But for Lizzie, the water was screaming. The sound dominated everything she knew, it crept into her mind and crashed between her and her brain. All thoughts and memories were waterlogged with sound. All light had been eclipsed by the screaming, but Lizzie couldn't recollect vision, or her eyes, regardless. Everything she once knew about herself and her reality had been washed away. Her past, her present, the events running up to the point of her fall, the people who'd been with her when she fell. They had all been erased, lost, like tears in rain. All she knew was that sound, the sound of water screaming out in its descent towards the earth.

That and the single thought that managed to whisper loud enough through the sound, the thought that rang and reverberated like a church bell.

I am dying.

By this point she was barely a person. She was stripped of her body, her mind, her memories, her self-awareness. She had lost the sensation of falling and the awareness of the time in which she had been falling. Time had been placed into a blender and emerged as unidentifiable chunks. Had she been able to acknowledge the passing of time, she would struggle to tell the difference between a second and a decade. She was simply a whispered sentence and a bottomless container of which a seemingly eternal stream of dominating sound raced through.

Anyone could guess that what happened next would include the general deterioration of what was left, the sound, and then the thought, and then Elizabeth Louise-Parker would disappear from reality like a star winking out of existence and leaving a gaping black vacuum of space in its wake. But that could not be further from the truth as what happened was the opposite. Instead a star was born, silently, and slowly.

The sentence that made up her mind was lost as the curtain rose. Gradually, in a movement similar to that of an oncoming storm, the sound of the water grew into that of white noise, the hissing of a television screen. It was as though a flood gate had opened up and the water was gushing through to the other side because, in return for the water lost, Elizabeth Louise-Parker returned. Slowly, she became aware of herself once more. Her mind and all of its thoughts flooded back and swamped the sentence that had once defined her. Before long it was lost completely in the haze, never to be seen again.

Eventually, through the white noise that still hummed in her brain, Lizzie became aware of the beating heart in her chest, it was slow and heavy, a drum being beaten by an executioner. With the beating came her breathing, long and forced, the sound of a gentle tide scraping at the sand. Amidst the deafening noise of her body, that seemed so familiar yet so new, her thoughts began to shape themselves into coherent sentences. Only one managed to make it through however.

I am alive.

There was relief in the thought yet she didn't know why.

Her mind was still that of a child, her memories and ideas were still locked away. Instead of them returning, she became aware of her body. First, the reddish glow of light seeping through her closed eyelids. It was so bright and comforting. She then became aware of her limbs hanging on either side of her, heavy and warm.

With every new discovery, her memory of the state she had been in before was pushed further away until it disappeared entirely when her consciousness was completed.

Because next came the pain.





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A little over two years ago, I wrote an obscure fanfiction called 'Staying Alive' that was conceived when daydreaming about crossovers between the TV series and original books. Most of it was written on a ridiculously boring holiday in France however little did I know that it would have over 10,000 reads in two years. I did not expect that. Well done guys, give yourselves a little applause. And thank you, very, very, much.

Here I am again, having left school and facing an equally boring summer. Of course, almost as soon as I had finished Staying Alive, I was outlining a sequel. However many distractions and problems meant it was pushed to the back of my mind for possibly forever. That was until a massive surge in reads, comments, votes, and actual, genuine, requests, brought my attention back to that same book.

So, for you, dear reader, I am sat here again trying to visualise, in as much detail as possible, Elizabeth-Louise Parker once more.

Now, as a warning, I have to admit that this is going to be very different to Staying Alive. Not only has my writing style definitely changed (Dear God I need to go through and edit that book) but the pacing and nature of the plot is different to say the least. It's going to be much more confusing and not in the way it was last time. (I spent roughly 75% of the 'planning time' staring into space trying to figure out what the hell I was trying to do) However, if I did do the same thing as last time, I think I'd go insane.

Thank you to anyone who is reading this; you're wonderful. Once more, this is a product of holiday boredom, enthusiasm about a TV show, and a need to experiment, so, sorry if it doesn't work out.

(Also, to those of you who rightly called me 'Moffat' in the last book, in advance, I am so, so, sorry...)

-BH

P.S. In this book, like Sherlock itself, I make an attempt at using multiple languages. However, I don't, like Sherlock, have a research team and lots of money to find the exact translation of what I'm trying to say. I only have google and a very limited understanding of Spanish and a few rogue words of French. As a result I know that I may not be using the right terminology or verbs despite the fact I use at least 3 translation sites to triple check what I'm translating. Computers don't understand language like people do and I wish I could learn all the languages I'm attempting but I'm not Sherlock, I'm a seventeen year old girl who can barely manage English. So if you speak one of the languages I try to use and notice a mistake please tell me in the comments, I will be so grateful. And the same goes for the rest of it really, if you see a spelling, or grammatical, mistake please tell me, I will be eternally grateful.

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