The story centers on Sir Richard of Aquitaine. Yes, that's Richard the Lionheart. He's spent over seven hundred years in hell when Yoshi, a man from modern-day Japan, drops into the midst of a battle. Richard drags Yoshi to safety and immediately though unintentionally insults the newcomer, calling him an Oriental.
“Yoshi,” [the newcomer] said finally. “An Oriental, really? What century are you from? And how come you speak perfect Japanese?”
Richard sighed. Oh well, better to get it over with as quickly as possible.
“We normally let one of the more experienced and empathic women do this, but, unfortunately, we never know when—or where—a new penitent will arrive. I really hate to be the one to tell you this, but you’re dead.”
“Don’t be ridiculous,” Yoshi replied, indignantly. “First you beat me to a pulp, and now this. I want to know what’s going on!”
Yoshi learns that Richard leads a band of people from various ethnic groups and time periods who are struggling to break through the wall of a huge black cone from under which new land emerges. Richard is convinced that heaven, or something better than their current situation, awaits them on the other side. Richard's "people" (he can't stop being a king) are opposed by an army of zombie-like creatures who used to be people but have given up their individuality to submit to a mob mentality. They are huge, hulking creatures but not very smart individually. Somehow they know of Richard's plans to punch a hole in the cone wall and are desperate to stop him. Plenty of zombie-style hacking awaits as the two groups come to blows in battles of ever increasing numbers (on the zombie side) and ferocity.
|Richard I the Lionheart, King of|
England by Merry-Joseph Blondel
Beyond the Veil comments on the human condition, which after death is not all that much different than during life. There's a ferocious war between us and them; a maniacal single-minded leader convinced beyond a doubt in the truth and ultimate success of his campaign; and a celebration of what can be achieved when vastly different people come together. But, Beyond the Veil is a horror story, and it works on an inversion. What if the dumb herd is right? What if all that Richard celebrates and represents leads to a horror beyond hell?
To learn more about Gustavo Bondoni, check out his website Gustavo Bondoni Writer.
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