“What’s it like?”
“What do you mean?”
“To be dead,” she asked.
She stared at him for a long time, trying to comprehend what it was. Well it was a man that she was sure of. A man dressed in a long flowing cloak, with ivory skin, or at least it looked like skin, and a face that seemed to always be hidden by a shadow.
“Because I am dead, right?”
He sighed, “No not dead. Dying.”
The word dying wasn’t shocking, she had hoped for it all along. It was her plan, driving too fast down an old dirt road with alcohol coursing through her veins. The wind blew back her hair, it all felt so refreshing. When she came to the sharp curve in the road, the one lined with the tall, thick, oak trees, the one she should have slowed down for she only found herself pushing the pedal down further.
“How much longer?”
“I really shouldn’t be here,” he mumbled.
“What do you mean?”
And now here she was walking beside whom she now thought of as Death, himself, in some second dimension, some lost world where nothing was clear. The ground melted into the sky and the light was so bright, but no sun could be seen. Yet up ahead loomed a dark void, with a light mist seeping through, but right now the air smelt so sweet, it felt like a lost paradise.
“I mean it’s not your time.”
“Oh please,” she said rolling her eyes, “I have nothing left to do down there.”
She motioned to the earth. He held out his arm and abruptly stopped her from moving any further. With one gesture the fog seemed to part, revealing a hole. She knelt down to get a closer look. People hustled around as lights of all colors continued to flash. Faintly, she could hear panicked voices and cries for help. Horrible, awful, wailing cries.
“What is this?” She was appalled.
His voice had an eerie calmness to it he seemed distant, as though he was miles away from her. She shuddered at the sound and continued to gaze at the scene beneath her. As the image grew clearer she saw her Camaro wrapped around a tree and staring in awe was her boyfriend as well as her sister. She couldn’t make anyone else out.
In the back of her mind she could hear a constant rhythm. Beep…Beep…Beep, the sounds of a heart monitor.
“Why show me this?” She asked slowly rising.
“So you know you’ll be missed.”
“Missed! You said I wasn’t dead yet.” A tear slid down her cheek.
“Yes, but that was nearly an hour ago.”
If only she could have peered into the shadows, she could have seen the glint in his decaying green eyes and the hideous smirk that gaped back at her.
“No…I don’t want this.” She shook her head frantically. “You must be here to give me a second chance.”
He reached for her, revealing a hand of polished bone and silken sinew. The long smooth fingers brushed up against her flesh, but she could hardly feel a thing. Her mind was swimming she tried to run from him, but only managed to stumble a few feet away.
“You’ll get nowhere,” he sneered, “you’re here to stay.”
“I want to go home,” she cried.
This time he took a firm hold on her arm, roughly pulling her close to him. She squirmed, which only caused the bone to cut at her arm. He held her near as the world around her began to disappear, and a new picture began to develop. One with a sky of blood red, a ground of ruble and sickly looking trees, suddenly the air didn’t smell so sweet. She gasped for her breath, but she nearly choked on the smell of decay.
“You’ll like where you’re going,” he chuckled, “it’s always warm.”
In the back of her mind she could hear the constant rhythm. Beeeeeeeep…..