Making a Revenant.

I don't know how I know things sometimes, but I know how I know what revenants are. I know them because I see them in my dreams.

They are not always nice in my dreams, but one was, once.

It's weird to have no waking memories that go back more than a week but have dream memories that go back, apparently, a long long long time. In my dreams, I am very old. I still look and feel and act like me, but I've been around an extreme amount of time. It's something I ponder when I'm awake, then, since I can remember all of my dreams in vivid detail. I thought, for a day or two, that I only felt that old in my dreams because of how young I am when awake, in a sense. Because I only can think back, when awake, to that moment when I realized I was working in that restaurant in New York City and that I knew nothing else about my existence whatsoever. But I know that I must have existed before that day, a week ago, because I know how to do things. I know about Doc, and I know how to activate a shower in the salonroom and I know what cities are called and I even was not surprised when I saw the sign about The Church of Our Savior of Living People Only.

So if I only have conscious memories for a week, but I've been alive for 25 years (which is how old Brigitte says she thinks I am) and if in my dreams I can remember all of that existence, then my dreams are 25 x 52 times longer than my conscious life. I am 1,300 years older in my sleep than I am when awake, right?
Or am I older than that? It's thoughts like that which make me whimper and cuddle Brigitte closer. I'm glad I found her.

Revenants are spirits-made-solid. When a person dies, I found out from the one who talked to me once in my dream, the spirit escapes through their eyes. The eyes are the window to the soul, and all that. That's why eyes flutter when we die: The soul escapes. I was skeptical but he told me that scientists had proven this almost a hundred years ago, and he seemed to know so I took his word for it. He also was guiding me across a river that was burning and filled with skulls. That's what the landscape is like in Hell. So I kind of had to trust him, I guess. Or I did trust him, even if I didn't have to.

He said that when the soul escapes, it usually heads to the afterlife, but it can be captured. The easiest way to capture it is to make sure that a person's eyes can't open as he or she dies. That traps the spirit in the body. The longer you hold it there, while the body rots, the stronger the revenant will be. Spirits need the afterlife to survive. They are only anchored in our world by our lifeforce, and when our lifeforce is gone, they want to leave. They want to get to Heaven, or they are forced to go to Hell, where the laws are different and they survive without lifeforce.

Spirits are strong, though, and can get desperate. If you trap them in a decaying corpse for long enough, some will try to survive, and they'll do that by pulling whatever energy they can from the corpse. Doing that makes the spirit solid, and the longer you do it, the more solid the spirit becomes.

As you can imagine, cannibalizing one's formerly-living body is not the act of a spirit that was going to make it to Heaven easily. The process can be sped up by torturing the person before they die, getting them to say and think all kinds of evil thoughts.

Revenants are not nice.

And because of how they came into existence, they crave humans. The flock to them. They want to draw on the lifeforce again. It's not easy to do that. It can't be done while a person is living, and most people die in their turn, dying when they've used up all of their lifeforce. Revenants can't, then, wait until someone dies because when you die your tank is on empty, there's no force left. So they trap people, and they kill the people they trap, kill them with their eyes sewn and glued shut, and then inhale the life force, the little dribs and drabs, that leak out through the pores. And create another revenant in the process.

You also have to want to see the revenants, which is probably why Reverend Tommy wasn't paying them much attention. There were three standing behind him. They were drooling.

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