“I had a plan for you, my dear;” her whisper ruthlessly pounded at Matvei's overwhelmed senses. His entire environment shifted and trailed off; his vision useless, a muddy smokescreen of shapes and colors bleeding into and breathing out of one another.
“A glorious plan, indeed,” she continued, her whisper becoming the hiss of a rattle snake, then slowly shifting pitch, going through every mode, until it was in perfect tune with the deep resounding purr of a well pleased kitten. Which, as fate would have it, was exactly the creature that had taken a seat in front of Matvei's double. The double, still suspended in mid-air, continued wrestling with his chains and screaming madly at the swirling pool of blood at his feet; the vision of the dogs violence still dominating his feeble mind.
Being so occupied, Matvei's double took no notice of the small black kitten as it lapped at the blood between its long and bassy purrs.
“You're without that precious body of yours these days, Sweet Matvei!” The woman explained.
“Or, maybe you've yet to notice that as well? You thick headed pig!”
Stolovsky's vision returned; he was back inside his body. He was the double.
“How's that, dear? Better?” the blood stained kitten at the edge of the swirling pool purred sweetly.
Stolovsky didn't respond and turned his gaze upward. He saw her for the first time; she was beautiful, ungodly so.
“Clean your head up, you animal! How dare you think of me that way!” she laughed.
Her voice returned to what one would expect from such a beautiful creature; the sweet vibrations of a woman, flirtatious and soothing to the ear of any man.
“I'm flattered, really, but we hardly know each other. At least, you hardly know me. Though, sometimes it is best that way, I admit!” she mused, finishing the thought.
“But, on to business then, shall we?”
“I don't suppose I have a choice, do I?” the words escaped Stolovsky's lips as though they were not set free by choice, but of necessity, by reflex alone.
“No. By the looks of it, you really don't, do you?” the spirit retorted.
“Who are you!?” Stolovsky screamed, unsure if he wanted an answer.
“I wouldn't raise my voice to her if I were you, dearie.” purred the kitten, as if it were attempting to instigate some sort of violent reaction from the spirit.
Those kittens, one must always be wary of a blood stained kitten! It is a thing to avoid, afterlife or otherwise. Be that as it may, the kitten's attempt at being the provocateur seemed to have quite the opposite effect.
“My name is not important.” she sang, her voice continuing to astound Matvei's senses, the sweetest evil you'd ever want to hear.
“You can call me Jehovah if you'd like!” she laughed as she spoke.
“Right now, you are my child, my sovereign property. I can do with you whatever I wish!” she paused for a moment, to allow Stolovsky the opportunity to recognize the gravity of the situation.
He did not.
She continued on, her voice shifting again,
“And let me tell you, boy, you've been a great disappointment! Did you know that?”
The rumbling of her tone, the changes in her pitch, were beginning to drive Matvei mad; he'd never heard anything like it! It was absolutely nauseating.
He attempted to gather himself; this was all so confusing. After all, wasn't he dead? Should he fear this, this, whatever it was? He controlled his anxiety enough to ask,
“What are you?”
“She's your new master, Matvei! And a wonderful master, indeed. You are very fortunate!” chirped the blood stained kitten.
“I believe he was asking me, X. Away with you, you ***** kitten!” Immediately, X vanished into thin air. Stolovsky stared downward, mesmerized, as his double was, by the pool of blood swirling beneath him.
“Am I dead?” he asked the goddess.
“You don't even know what that means, you idiot! Besides, you'll be worse off than whatever you think you are now if you keep asking silly questions. Now shut up and listen to me!” she replied.
“There is someone I'd like you to meet.”
As she said this, it appeared to Stolovsky as though the layer of existence that he had, until this very moment, believed himself to be in full occupation of, swelled outward at an amazing speed. It was as if he'd become as tiny as a quark and yet, he continued to become tinier still. He could see nothing recognizable; the sheer brilliance of giant photons zapping through space was enough to blind him. Even as he noticed this, they became infinitely larger, like suns themselves.
Stolovsky felt as though he were falling through it all, becoming smaller and smaller; or, was everything else growing larger and larger? He struggled to reposition his body. The intense pressure of the experience was becoming unbearable.
He could feel his rib cage sinking, his heart struggling, his lungs collapsing as he desperately clung to whatever consciousness this was that he was currently experiencing. X, the blood stained kitten, appeared to him just as she had been moments before.
“It feels strange doesn't it?” she asked.
“What is happening to me?” Stolovsky replied, struggling with the words.
“You're dying the Second Death. Don't worry, it'll only take a minute.”
Before the kitten could finish the sentence, Stolovsky's eyeballs popped, hurling frozen droplets of organic material in all directions.
The frozen droplets would continue to fly on for many years, some straight through into eternity. A few would be so fortunate as to crash into other, much larger, groups of particles and give rise to some very interesting lifeforms. Who, as fate would have it, would go on to destroy one another, along with one-third of their known universe, trillions of smaller universes, and something that may amount to a shoelace being vaporized in my level of existence, in a great war a few hundred billion years later. But alas, a story for another time.
“Oh, wow. That was much quicker than expected, Old Boy!” purred the kitten, pleased at this unforeseen turn of events. "Dr. Orville will be so pleased to learn of our improvement! I must tell the Master straight away!"
And once again, that silly blood stained kitten disappeared. Things were about to get very interesting for Mr. Stolovsky. The Third Life awaits.
The first part is buried in my poems somwhere...