Once upon a time, in a quaint village nestled amidst rolling hills, there lived a young girl named Eliza. She possessed a deep curiosity about the world around her, always seeking answers to life’s mysteries. However, one question plagued her mind more than any other: What happens after death?
One evening, as the sun painted the sky with hues of orange and gold, Eliza embarked on a solitary journey. She ventured into the ancient forest that bordered her village, hoping to find the answers she sought. The forest whispered with secrets, its branches reaching out like gnarled fingers, as if urging her forward.
As Eliza walked deeper into the woods, a strange sensation enveloped her. Shadows danced around her, and a soft voice called out, «Curious child, why do you seek the knowledge of death?»
Startled but undeterred, Eliza replied, «I yearn to understand what lies beyond, to unravel the mystery that haunts us all. Is death merely the end, or is there more to the story?»
The voice chuckled gently. «Follow me,» it beckoned.
Eliza continued deeper into the forest, following the ethereal voice. Soon, she arrived at a hidden clearing bathed in moonlight. In the center stood a tall and wide figure, shrouded in a dark cloak, its face hidden beneath a hood. She realized she was in the presence of Death itself.
«Child, your curiosity has brought you here,» Death spoke in a voice that echoed with ancient wisdom. «Many fear me, but few seek to understand.»
Eliza hesitated, her heart pounding in her chest. She gathered her courage and asked, «What awaits us on the other side? Is it an end or a new beginning?»
Death extended a bony hand, revealing a golden hourglass filled with shimmering sand. «Life and death are intertwined. Each grain of sand represents a precious moment, an opportunity to embrace existence. When the hourglass empties, it signifies the end of one journey and the beginning of another.»
Eliza’s eyes widened with awe and realization. «So death is not an end, but a transition?»
Death nodded solemnly. «Yes, it is a gateway to a realm beyond mortal comprehension. It is where souls find solace and peace, where they reunite with the essence of all life.»
A sense of tranquility washed over Eliza as she absorbed the profound wisdom. She felt a newfound acceptance, not of her own mortality, but of the beauty and inevitability of the cycle of life and death.
With gratitude, Eliza said, «Thank you for sharing your knowledge, Death. I will carry this understanding with me and cherish each moment I am granted.»
As she turned to leave the clearing, Death’s voice whispered through the wind, «Remember to live fully and embrace the gift of existence. For in the tapestry of life, both light and darkness hold their purpose.»
Eliza emerged from the forest, her heart brimming with newfound wisdom. She returned to her village, forever changed by her encounter with Death.
As the seasons turned and the years passed, Eliza tried to live a full and meaningful life. She always helped others, she was of use. She made a tiny difference in this world.
Then one day she died, right before turning one hundred years old. Death greeted her as an old acquaintance, and told her, «you did better than most».