I usually don’t do this, but before I get to the story for today I have a question. After you are done reading this can you comment and tell me if you want more in this story? I wasn’t planning on writing this right now, but of course sometimes stories stand up and scream at you. Thank you for your feedback. 🙂
Jeff opened his eyes and watched his corpse being taken away by the ambulance. He looked down and his body seemed whole to him. He then heard laughter behind him.
“Man, that never gets old,” said a young man Jeff didn’t recognize. “You should have seen the look on your face before that car crash. Man, it was precious.”
Jeff glanced around noticing that some of the people he saw were looking at him, while others were cleaning up the accident scene. He ran up to a policeman who seemed to be trying to direct the cleaning crew. “Mr. Officer. There seems to be something weird going on,” Jeff said.
“Nothing weird man, you just bit the dust and said your final goodbye,” the man said.
Jeff wheeled around and looked at the man again. The man was wearing bell bottomed pants where the bell bottom was at least a foot bigger than a normal pant leg. He also wore a shirt with a collar and lapels that you could land an F-16 on. “I’m sorry,” Jeff said, “What do you mean?”
The man bowed his head solemnly. “You, my son, have just died.” His head snapped back up with a large grin on it. Jeff just stared at him, dumbfounded. “Man, I love it when they just don’t get it. What do you think boys and girls?”
A few of the other people paying attention nodded. One of them, a red headed woman dressed in a flapper style dress spoke up. “Did you ever get a chance to eat Baked Alaska?” Her haunted blue eyes felt like they were boring holes into Jeff’s very soul.
“Gillian, enough with the Baked Alaska.” The man pointed at the red head with his thumb. “She was going to her birthday party to try out the new dessert fad. Instead she ran into a bit of a mugging gone too far.”
“Did you?” asked Gillian.
The man turned around and gave Gillian two middle fingers. “Go haunt that restaurant on 22nd why don’t you. Someone eventually will kick the bucket and you’ll have someone to pester about it for eternity.”
Jeff couldn’t process the conversation and turned back to the police officer. “Sir?”
“Give it up!” the man yelled. Jeff whipped his head around and the man shrugged his shoulders. “Sorry about that. Look, he’s still alive and you, my son, are dead. Unless he’s some sort of medium he can’t hear you. The most you can do is cause him a shiver down his spine. Watch.” The man walked over to the cop and placed his hand inside the officer. The officer shimmied involuntarily. The officer looks around, but his gaze passed right through the man, Jeff, and Gillian among the others watching the scene.
“Man, that doesn’t get old either. Too bad I can only do that to someone once every couple of hours. If I could do it more often…” The man shrugged his shoulders. “Well that would make being dead a bit more fun.” The man walked over and grabbed Jeff by the arm. “Look, in a couple more minutes you will have to make a decision. I suggest focusing on the now, or at least what passes for it on this side. Let the living be the living, you know what I mean?”
“I’m dead?” Jeff asked in a very small voice.
“Keep up with me son, you don’t have much time.” The wind suddenly picked up, but only Jeff and those that could see him seemed to be effected by it. The man looked around, but continued. “A passage is about to open soon.”
“A passage to where?”
“No one knows. Anyone who goes inside never returns.”
“It’s how you go to heaven,” Gillian said.
“You don’t know that you foolish woman,” the man said. “For all we know it spits you out in Hell or someplace even worse. Hell, you might cease to exist.”
“The tunnel opens when someone freshly dies,” Gillian said. “This will be yours.”
“Once again I call bull,” the man said. “I’ve had friends go into them afterwards. They just show up when someone dies.”
Jeff noticed most of the other people that he must now assume were dead had begun to leave. “Why are they going away if it’s my tunnel,” Jeff asked. “Not that I totally accept that I’m dead and all.”
“Man, them’s the chickens. They worry about the tunnel somehow sucking them in or some bull.”
Suddenly a circle of light opened in front of Jeff. He could feel its pull. It called for him to walk on through, that this existence was truly done and over.
“You should go into the tunnel,” Gillian said.
Jeff tore his eyes off the tunnel. “What happens if I don’t go in?”
“You get to see the world in all its glory,” the man said.
“You’ll regret the decision for the rest of eternity,” Gillian said.
“Then why are you still here?” Jeff asked. “Why didn’t you go into your portal?”
“I didn’t have my Baked Alaska,” Gillian screeched before turning and running away from Jeff, the man, and the gleaming portal.
“Man, she is such a crazy.” The man waved at her as she ran away. Turning his attention back to Jeff he said, “Promise me you won’t lose it like she has.”
The pull on Jeff started to lesson, but Jeff could feel panic of missing out starting to settle in. “Why did you stay?”
“I stayed because I wanted to see how my family would do without me. Man, they have done some messed up things since I died.”
“Yeah. I try to be around when the kick the bucket. Because you know, I care.”
“What does that make you to me?” Jeff could feel the portal slipping away. The winds were calming down and the light began to dim.
“I’m your daddy’s granddaddy,” the man said. “So are you going to stay with me son?”
Jeff took his eyes off the portal and looked at the man again. He definitely could see the family resemblance now that he looked for it. “You wanted to be there for me when I died?”
Jeff made his decision in that moment and the portal winked out of existence. “So what do we do next?”
“Whatever you want.” The man looked around and then waved at Jeff. “Catch you on the flipside.” With that the man began to run down the street, right through the cop, never pausing.
Jeff called out, “Wait, I thought you were going to help me.”
The man stopped and turned back around. “I did. I either gave you eternal life to play with or doomed you to the same hell I decided to hold onto. Either way I’ve got places to go and people to watch.” With that the man took a right and walked right through a building and out of Jeff’s sight.
Jeff looked around at the living who didn’t even notice he was still among them. “Well I’ll be damned!”