It's Only A Little Death
Silver's memories are gone, but that's the way death usually goes. You wake up by the Styx, you realize you're dead, you pick a name, and you pay Charon for a ride across the river. If you have nothing of value to give, Charon deals in other currencies too — including ones of the flesh.Silver soon finds themself sitting on a bed in a strange room. They are given a diary, which is the most important item they now own, and a peer support worker, Ifris, who's less than stellar about the job.Silver isn't prepared to go through the stages of grief for their own death, but they're even less ready for the deal they made with Charon: Recover their memories and the reason they died in record time, and they get a chance to avenge their murder. And Silver's certain they were murdered. They doubt they slit their own throat open.There's one problem; the only way to trigger memories is to create a shock to the system, which is easily attained by having an explosive climax at the hands of the beasts that hold Silver's life story.
Content warnings; this story contains some sensitive subject matter, including drug addiction, violence, police brutality, and transphobia/homophobia. There are also several sexually explicit scenes, many involving humanoid monsters.
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* This excerpt contains explicit, descriptive sex and is for readers 18 and older.
EVERYTHING BECAME HAZY as they lifted themself up from the stone floor. Their long black hair hung in their face, and it was matted to their cheek and neck. When they reached up to pull it away, their brow furrowed as a thick, sticky substance clung to their pale skin. They observed their fingers through fuzzy vision.Blood. Thick clots of dark red blood.“Oh gods!” As they touched their neck again, their fingers became coated. Their hand slid along an open and puffy wound that squelched. “What happened to me?”“You shouldn’t worry like that, you’ll just black out again.” A pause, and then to the side, “They always do.”The dark and slithery voice came from behind them, and the human turned to see a cloaked figure with midnight-black skin revealed by an open, ragged black robe. The hood shadowed the being’s face, but from what could be seen, its skin shimmered like the night sky.It chuckled. “Good, you’re remaining conscious. Most humans just go mad for a little while until the reality sets in.”“Who are you?” the human asked. “Actually, where in the hell am I?”The deep, slithery voice hissed like mists of ages long past. “Good guess, but you’re not in Hell. The underworld, more accurately.” The being lifted a clawed hand and stroked its lips. “Curious, though. You seem to have a stronger constitution than most, despite…” The being observed the human for a moment. They wore an oversized gray knitted sweater over a white button up, ripped form-fitting blue jeans, and scuffed red and white chucks. A pair of thick black glasses rested cockeyed on their nose. “…being rather innocent and oblivious.”The human huffed. “Innocent, okay, I’ll give you that one, but oblivious? Rude.” They frowned at the figure and fixed their glasses, only to realize everything was still fuzzy. “I can’t see anything. What’s wrong with my eyes?”“Here, let me help you.” The being reached toward the human’s face but stopped when they recoiled. It chuckled softly. “I only mean to give you your sight back. You see, the rules are different down here.” It tried again and swiped the black glasses from the human’s nose. “There.”“Wait, I’m half-blind without…” They paused. “Those.” The human spun around and realized their vision was clearer than it had ever been. “Wow. This is real, isn’t it?” They turned back to the cloaked figure. “You’re real. This is all real.” They looked down at their blood-covered hands. “What happened to me?”“You’re jumping ahead, slow down,” said the being as it threw the glasses behind it, and they were swallowed by shadows. “A name would be a proper first step. Do you remember yours?”The human searched their mind. Everything froze as they stared off into space. “My name?” They took a deep breath, and a disturbing sensation of air seeping through the wound in their neck unsettled them. They shook it off. They couldn’t let anxiety get the better of them now. They were dead, apparently, so fear had no purpose anymore.The human looked up at the figure and finally took all of it in without the glasses, and their stomach clenched. The long robe that dragged along the floor hung open with nothing underneath, although the body lacked a defined sex. They swallowed hard and tried not to stare.The cloaked figure noticed and laughed. “Stare all you like. I’m not offended.” It moved around the human and swiped a black claw across the injury on their neck, and then brought it to its lips. Its hellish red eyes glowed beneath the hood. “Ooh, this is some tea, isn’t it? The way your life ended was dramatic.”The human turned to stare into its eyes, annoyed. “Why don’t you tell me your name first? You’re my guide, right? That's why you’re here?”“Hmmm, perhaps.” The cloaked being tilted its head slightly to the side and moved its eyes down and then back up the human’s form. “Charon.”“That name seems familiar.” The human’s eyes widened. A memory surfaced. “Charon! The guide to the underworld.”Charon smiled. “The one and only.”“My name is…” The human’s mind drew a blank before they decided to test the only words that came to mind. “Deception. Deception? No, that isn’t a name. Breathless. No.” They growled in frustration.“Breathless Deception, hah!” Charon’s eyes lit up again. “That sounds very enticing, doesn’t it?”“I can’t remember my name, alright?” The human huffed and hugged themself. “Why don’t you tell me? You should know, shouldn’t you?”Charon shook its head. “Now, I can’t do a thing like that. It’s not my job to recover your memories for you, you’ll have to do that yourself if you ever want to truly move on.”“Then what do I do?” The human slumped in defeat. Being dead, as far as they knew, resulted in peace and rest, not this supposed journey to recover memories. It sounded like an awful lot of work, which the human wanted nothing of. They were tired and felt it in every part of their body. Dying was probably exhausting.“I could give you a name,” Charon teased, “but it means so much more coming from you. Let’s start with your identity. How would you like me to address you, besides a name?”The human had a much more confident answer to that one. A recovered memory. “They/them, if you mean pronouns. I don’t have a gender, if that makes sense.”“Perfect,” said Charon. “Now, as for your name, what feels right to you?”The human searched again. “I don’t know. Should I just pick one?”The guide nodded. “That would be wise, you can’t go around without a name. It’ll be easier for your journey to come, too. Most humans just go with a keyword that pops into their head, something that rings true.”The human rubbed their fingers across their neck again. A spark. “Silver. Silver Sharpe. Yes, that feels right.”Charon clapped. “Well done, Silver Sharpe. Welcome to Styx.” It turned to part the musty fog, and behind the mist was a cold blue river with a wooden boat that had a lantern hanging from a pole. A tunnel system made of stone surrounded everything, and whispers of the dead could be heard from the distance.Silver stepped toward the boat and crouched as they looked down at the water curiously, but they were jerked back when a pair of white eyes found theirs. “Something’s down there!”A shimmering, clawed hand squeezed Silver’s wrist where it had tugged them back. “Yes, souls. Not everyone’s lucky enough to make it down here in one piece. They’re all lost. Forever.”Silver swallowed hard despite their mouth being dry, and it caused the split skin around their neck to squelch again. They grabbed their throat. “Sorry, but is there something I can use to, uh…” They made a wrapping motion with their fingers.Charon patted their shoulder and approached the boat, beckoning to them. “Yes, as soon as we reach your destination someone will fix you up however you’d like. It wouldn’t do to have you distracted.” It took Silver’s hand as they stepped onto the boat, and the human paused. Charon’s eyes flashed. “Speaking of distractions, there’s one little thing I require from you before we get moving.”Silver tugged their hand back. “I have nothing. I’m dead, what can I give you?”Charon stepped into the boat and sat on one of the wooden benches. It leaned back on one hand and gestured toward Silver. “I require payment to cross the river, you know. If you knew who I was, surely you knew that.”“Right,” Silver said with unease. “So how does that work? Am I stuck here if I can’t pay you?”The guide chuckled and held an arm out in a welcoming gesture. “Oh, money isn’t the only option. I realize the dead have limited resources and not everyone dies clinging to something of value. There are other currencies I deal in.” The robed figure beckoned for Silver to come closer as its body revealed just what it had in mind. An erect organ slowly grew from between its legs where there had been nothing before.Silver froze on the spot and shook their head. “No, gods, no. Are you serious? You’re messing with me. This is a sick joke, isn’t it?”Charon shook its head and beckoned with more urgency. “While you may have an eternity to mull over the finer details, I have other duties to attend to. So do you want to cross the river with me or swim through it and find your own way?” As Silver opened their mouth to respond, Charon held up a finger to silence them. “Choose carefully, Silver. The lost souls in this river will be more than eager to drag you down with them. I’m not sure that’s a fate you would want.”That definitely sounded much worse. Silver looked at Charon again. They glanced at the shadowy and shimmering organ swelling between its legs, and they realized it wasn’t the worst thing that could happen. Most people expected to be at Heaven’s gates to be judged, or in Hell to burn in a lake of fire — not debating whether they should sit in Charon’s lap.“Okay,” Silver said before they could think too much about it. They were surprised to find themself quite calm with the whole thing, and they noticed, finally, that their heart wasn’t even beating. They weren’t sure if they could feel pleasure either, but it would be worth it anyway.A spark. They furrowed their brow. Had they ever had the chance to do that with anyone in life? They certainly weren’t opposed to the idea. They blinked. Deception. Breathless.“I need a clear answer,” Charon said impatiently. “This is your decision. I’d like to get going, though, if you don’t mind.”Silver nodded and stepped farther into the boat, surprised that it hadn’t rocked. “Yes, yes I’m willing.” They paused awkwardly in front of the shimmering body that awaited them. What was proper to do first? Maybe they truly had been a virgin before they died.Charon watched with amusement before grabbing Silver’s jeans and expertly flicking the button open with one hand. “There’s no need for formalities, if that makes you feel better. This is a transaction, and it’s a good introduction to the way things are going to work down here.”“Excuse me, what?” Silver said, stunned. They allowed Charon to tug their pants down past their thighs. “I don’t know if I like the way that sounds.”“Oh, don’t worry. You’ll always have a choice. No one will make you do anything you don’t want, just like me.” Charon slipped two fingers between Silver’s thighs and tucked one just barely between the lips that were still dry. It sighed. “Right, we need to get you back online after the shock. Death is quite a shock, after all.”Silver bit their lip and stood awkwardly as Charon’s fingers slid up to form a V at either side of their enlarged clit. The cool, shimmering fingers worked at a rhythm until Silver felt a spark, and then another as something came alight within them. They hadn’t expected it and a sound of surprise left their lips, and as something crept higher and higher that bloomed into their chest, the sensation of their nerve endings coming back online brought back a semblance of life.“Ah, there it is,” Charon mused as it slipped its fingers between swelling lips that became slick. “What, did you think you would become a walking corpse?”“Yes — yes, actually.” Silver gasped as they squeezed their legs together on impulse. Too much. The feelings were too intense too soon.Charon pulled its fingers back and grasped both of Silver’s thin thighs, and then it buried its mouth between their legs.Silver placed a hand on the hooded head as their legs shook, and they moaned embarrassingly loud as a cool tongue slithered below. Their heart began to beat again, and while they didn’t grow warm from the swirling in their stomach, there was an urgency threatening to burst forth.They managed to speak when Charon pulled back to give them a breather. “I was a virgin when I died, I think. I’m sure of it now. I’ve never done this before.”“Interesting,” Charon mused. “But you desired it?”“Yes, I think I did.” Silver realized their mouth had become wet once more and swallowed, ignoring the uncomfortable feeling around their neck. “I just never got the chance. I was always…” They paused. “I was shy?”“Awkward, more like it,” Charon teased. “Shall we continue?”“Yeah, we should probably get going.” Silver took a deep breath and stepped over Charon’s lap. Clawed hands gripped their thighs and guided them down, and Silver closed their eyes in preparation as they felt a cool tip nudge their sex. “Sorry, you’ll have to guide me.”“Shy, even in death,” Charon chuckled. It rocked its hips as it worked itself slowly inside, and it continued to ease Silver down until they sat on its lap, filled completely.Silver bit their lip as their body fell into the motions, and they circled their hips as a sensation built low in their body that made them feel alive again. Charon gripped their ass and lifted them, and they moved faster as they bounced on its lap. The two bodies moved together as they came closer and closer to the edge, and Silver moaned freely into the dead halls as two fingers toyed with their swollen clit.Their mind expanded as they came, and another memory sparked to life as their body twitched with pleasure.A tiled room with tables. Faces smudged out and burned black. Electronic parts scattered. A kind voice: ‘You know, we should go on a date. What do you say?’‘Really? But you’re so… and I’m just…’A sultry smile. ‘Oh, I’d like to do more than that, if you're game.’Silver gasped as they came back to reality. They looked down at Charon, whose eyes glowed dark crimson from beneath its hood.It watched them with a wicked smile as it realized what had just happened. “You’re starting to remember,” Charon said huskily. It had reached its climax just seconds before. “Good, you’re making more progress than most so early.” Silver’s legs wobbled as they tried to stand, but Charon helped them onto the bench as it straightened its robe and grabbed an ancient wooden oar. Its body was sexless once more. “There’s hope for you yet.”“Hope?” Silver huffed a laugh as they made themself decent. “What hope is there for a dead person? I’m not getting my life back.”“You’re right about that, yes.” Charon rowed along the river and the boat entered a dark tunnel that was pitch black, save for the lantern casting haunting shadows upon the walls. “You won’t get your life back. Who you were is dead and gone as far as the people who knew you are concerned.” It became silent as it rowed and fell into thought. “Maybe…” it mumbled under its breath.“Just curious,” Silver said as they leaned forward with their elbows on their knees. “Has anyone ever escaped? Like, been able to go back? Near-death experiences and all.”“Interesting question,” Charon said as it guided them out of the dark tunnel and back into the ethereal blue glow of the river. “You’re asking because you wonder if you’re having a near-death experience right now?”“It’s possible, right?” Silver asked as they felt their neck again. No, no it couldn’t be. With an injury like that it would be impossible to survive.Charon stopped rowing for a second before steering them down another tunnel. “You still haven’t recalled how you died?”Silver shook their head. “No idea. I just have a few words that come to mind, and I can make a guess, but I’m lost.”“No, you aren’t lost, don’t say that,” Charon said. “You never want to be lost down here. In fact, I think you’ve got it together more than you realize.” It fell into thought again and mulled over something before nodding.The boat was guided to an aged wooden dock and Charon stepped onto the frayed surface. There were a few buildings behind it, one in particular appeared to be more ornate than the rest. Others had multiple windows and stories, and a few figures moved around in them.“Oh, why not?” Charon said as it came to a conclusion and turned to Silver. Its eerie eyes glistened again. “I’ll make a deal with you. I haven't done this in a while, and I don’t just offer a deal to any human, but I think you’re capable.”Silver stepped out of the boat, perplexed. “Okay, what’s the deal?”“Since time doesn’t exist down here like it does up there, I can’t really give you an ultimatum in that regard, but if you’re able to recover your memories quickly, and you recall the way you died and the events leading up to it, I may offer you a rare chance.”
Silver’s breath caught in their throat. “To return? You’d let me return?”“In a way, yes,” Charon said carefully. “I can’t reveal too much to you, but I will give you the chance to avenge your death.”“My death needs avenging?” Silly question, Silver realized. They doubted they slit their own throat, and it would be a bit difficult to have an accident that would cause something like that.Charon nodded. “Mmhmm. You can’t have your life back — I couldn’t do that for you anyway — but I can give you this.”“What’s the point if I can’t live again?” Silver fell into step beside the robed figure as they approached the ornate building. White pillars rested at either side as they stood before tall double doors.“Souls that regain their memories sometimes become stuck because of, what you’d call, unfinished business,” Charon said. “Many of them spend eternity in a purgatory of their own design, reliving their deaths over and over again because they weren’t able to find closure for the rage they uncovered. You, though.” Charon smiled, although it was difficult to make out. “You show promise. And maybe I like you a little bit.”Silver bit back a smile. “So, you’ll let me find closure to save me from an eternity of misery?”Charon nodded. “Yeah, if you’re up for the challenge. It won’t be easy, but it’ll be worth it.” It opened the double doors and stepped inside. A dimly lit office with a waiting room remained silent, save for the snapping keys of a typewriter behind a glass window. A pale blue hallway that stretched for an eternity was on the other side.A sickeningly wan woman with a brown beehive hairdo looked over at them and frowned. “Charon, your job is out there, not here.”It sighed and nudged Silver forward. “I’ve spent too much time with you already.” It then whispered inside their head, “But I might sneak in to see you later.” Silver’s body lit up at that, but Charon quickly whispered again as it crept out the doors. “I didn’t mean for that.” It chuckled. “I’ve created a monster.”
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