Next Place

His eyes felt as if they were being forced open, like the wind itself had taken the form of two meaty hands and held his eyelids in place. The Veteran was somewhere new, somewhere he had never seen before. Before him lay a never ending blanket of thick grey fog. The ground below his boots had no obvious texture: it wasn't metal, grass, dirt. It wasn't anything he could immediately identify. He walked forwards, the surface wasn't loud to walk on. It was like wearing a pair of slippers and sneaking across a carpet. He called out to Duncan but he couldn't see him. "Lad, lad, are you there?" As he expected there was no reply. "Please lad, I feel woozy," he exclaimed stressed.

"I'm here with you," a gentle feminine voice said suddenly. The Veteran jolted in shock, rotating quickly to locate the source of the words. There was something familiar about the voice, one he recognized but hadn't heard in years. "Don't be afraid."

"Who are you miss? Who's saying that?"

"You don't recognize my voice?" the body less voice sounded disappointed. "I thought you would never forget it."

"I recognize it, but I don't know why? I'm afraid. I don't need spectres whispering into me ears too," the Veteran cried.

"It's Clara." Clara, of course, the Veteran's wife but she had been dead for years. Her voice sounded so young too. It didn't make sense to him. "I thought you loved me."

"Clara, sweetheart. I'll always love you, but how can you be speaking to me? You're not here anymore."

"Maybe you're the same now," Clara's voice replied. "Maybe you just need to relax and accept your fate."

"But-" as his lips contorted to utter his next words he felt a sensation inside his chest. His heart roared angrily, it beat faster and everything felt different. Maybe this was the next place. Maybe that's why Clara was there to comfort him. Maybe it was all a nightmare.

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