Chapter IAdamIm not entirely sure, though Im pretty damn sure Im dead.Queue in the random.Minor hazy state thats enveloping my entire body?Disconcertingly, yeah.Stationary upright macabre bodies in varying stages of deterioration lined up behind me, not speaking?Im not going to check any closer than where Im currently standing, but yeah, two feet away a corpse of sorts has empty eye sockets and thats far from normal.A tang of rot in my nose?Unfortunately, yeah.Why am I the only whole, and functioning person in this very dark place? Better question, what is this place? When I look up there is infinite sky and no sun, moon or stars. It looks like a midnight-blue apocalypse.Streaks of red clouds above me start bleeding red rain in every kind of direction, and then fall like ash on my skin. I brush my lip contemplatively with my thumb removing the ash that tastes like burnt blood. My hand comes through my mouth and out the other side of my cheek like a ghost experiencing sideways gravity. For whatever reason, that seals the deal in my mind. Im dead and lost in some screwy afterlife of darkness and silence.Whatever this is Im feeling royally-out of my comfort zone and waiting for what exactly? Answers? I certainly never got the reason for life spiel in life, why would answers fall at my feet now?A violent, thunderous, cracking sound makes its way through the sky above me. I fall backwards from the surprising noise onto my denim-clad ass. Embarrassed? Doesnt matter because the bodies behind me havent moved, instead I get the visual of hundreds of gruesome mannequins in the sand.My bare feet are covered in black sand and ash that feels like glass and ice, and there is darkness in every direction apart from the blue light emitting off each dead person behind me, and the sky above me. The silence is the worst part of this place, its eerie like a zombie-apocalypse on freeze.My clothes are the same grungy ones I used for hiking earlier in the day, a band shirt and jeans. Where are my socks and boots? I must have taken them off at some point...I cant remember...the details. I cant even remember getting to this place or how I got to the beginning of this line of the dead.A much brighter light abruptly illuminates the sand at my feet. An old and decrepit looking man in a ferryboat, made of ivory or bones, glides closer to me. “Next soul, come forward.” The mans voice is thunderous like the crack in the sky moments ago. His ferryboat hits the shore of whatever beach Im standing on and small sharp bones are more visible now with the added light. They glitter back at me like scattered diamonds. Birds bones maybe, because things that fly are now visible and swarming the sky above me, soundless small black dots.I push myself out of the sharp sand with my hands and walk away from the vacant stares of the dead at my back, towards the old man hunched over in his ferryboat holding a ragged looking stick thats propped in the sand now like a dart.“What is your trade for entrance into Hades, Adam of Epsiwes?” The mans monotonic voice vibrates through my body like glacial waves making time with the ferryboat that rocks lightly back and forth. He watches me with expressionless dark charcoal eyes, sitting and waiting for my answer.