humanity was dying. it was being killed off by an unidentified condition.
the world seemed green and natural, greener than it usually would be. not green as if nature overgrew human creations, but green and natural as if human creations somehow vanished without a trace, and nature sprung back up as if humans and their creations never existed. the weather seemed temperate and pleasant, and it was sunny and clear, but not scorchingly so.
the last few humans were on a train. it was a strange train - just a single coach. it had the capability to be attached to other coaches, but it was not. it didn't even have an engine attached to it. just a coach, by itself.
the train/coach ran on tracks across rolling green grasslands, with gentle hills on both sides, patches of trees here and there. it didn't run so much as roll at a leisurely pace. almost like it was rolling with its own momentum, down a slope so gentle as to be imperceptible to the observer.
the coach seemed like it was designed mostly for standing room, with just one row of seats along each side, facing inward. there were windows, and they were sealed off with class panes. but there were no doors. it did have a psssage at both ends to allow movement between coaches if they were connected, but since there weren't any, the passages were sealed off. there weren't many people on the coach, but it wasn't empty either. they were all seated along its length. they were not shoulder to shoulder - there were plenty of vacant seats, and they weren't clustered or consciously uniformly distributed either. they were just sitting randomly. the people on the train were silent. they did not attempt to interact with each other in any way. they were static, but not catatonic. there were all grown men and women, but no children. none of them seemed particularly old either. they were all dressed quite uniformly, in charcoal grey jackets that seemed quite heavy, and otherwise quite nondescript clothing.
the coach rolled along its solitary tracks, until it slowed, and stopped. not abruptly, as if brakes were applied, but quite gently, yet distinctly - at one moment it was moving and at the very next, it was not.
as soon as it stopped, everyone in the coach stood and turned to face the direction the train was previously moving.
i was not on the coach, but i could see it all, as if the walls existed and were visible, yet somehow transparent.
the humans on the train were distinct from myself, and though they did not make a sound, as they stood and turned forward, i could feel what they felt: this is the end of the line.
their feelings felt strange. they were not feelings translated into words, but feelings themselves. as if i was somehow connected to them, and i could feel what they felt. they felt a blank, black sadness. they felt like it was over. that it was not their personal responsibility that things had come to this point, but that they were still part of whatever brought them here.
they were oblivious to the beauty of nature around them. they did not feel like they had to get out of that train and survive, or do something. they just felt that it was the end.
they started marching towards the end of the coach, even though there was no door there - just he closed off passage that would normally link to the next coach if one was attached.
their feelings began to dissolve. i lost focus of their feelings.
that's when i realized i had no physical form myself.
i had no physical location either. i was free to localise myself to wherever it pleased me. i did not have to move to localise myself elsewhere.
i was everywhere. i localised myself somewhere far above the earth. i could view its expanse, but also see beyond to the darkness of space. the brilliance of this blue-green earth (now more blue than green) and streaked with silvery white (i assume those were clouds).
i was aware of many beings within myself. they all had their own feelings. but i couldn't locate any thoughts or words. it was some sort of non-uniform, pulsating (but not regularly pulsating) contiguous mass of souls. i could not tell if they were human or animal, but they probably weren't plants, as plants seemed quite distinct from the swirling mass of feelings i was a part of. i felt feelings of these beings the same way as i felt those of the last few people on the train before i lost focus. that is, i felt them distinctly from my own, and distinctly from each other. none of these beings seemed to be located specifically either - they all seemed to be everywhere and without physical location or presence.
i had no significant feelings of my own. i just existed, in a neutral, timeless sort of way. the feelings of all other beings diverged or merged with mine depending on whether i focused on them or not. but no feeling stood out noticeably. they were not as dark as the feelings of those in the train though.
while these beings were timeless, the earth did seem to be bound by the normal laws of time and physics - it was spinning, moving. since i was quite timeless i could percieve its spin as quickly or slowly as i pleased.
and at that point, i woke up.
shruti asked me if i had been dreaming.
i told her the bit about the feelings and beings.
she told me that's what some people perceive the afterlife to be.