Go with the light
I took a drag off my cigarette as I watched the man lumbering in the distance. He had an unsteady gate that would have made me nervous, if he was alive. His neck was bent at an unnatural angle, his right arm torn off at the elbow joint. It was not easy to distinguish any other features as he was still too far away.
I lit another cigarette as I watched him. Must be difficult to be dead and not know it. The sounds of the night filled my ears. The crickets chirping and the breeze gently blowing the leaves. Closer and closer he lumbered.
As he got closer, I began to make out more features. He looked young, maybe in his late teens, early 20's. What little was left of his left eye appeared to be brown. Though it was rather hard to distinguish given all the blood covering his face. His head was caved in, as if he had been thrown through the windshield of a car. I suppose that could explain his missing limb?
He was so close now I could hear his ragged breathing. It sounded wet and very inconsistent. Interesting how the dead continue to breath even when it isn't necessary. His mouth opened, and I awaited the typical, "Help me" utterance that most dead people gave. He surprised me by letting out a scream that echoed inside my head. A few moments passed before the scream tapered off. His eyes, rather his eye, fixated on me, and he stopped walking. I stared back at him, waiting for him to speak.
"Help me", he whispered. The blood in his throat made it almost inaudible, but I had become accustomed to speaking dead speak. Ahh. There is the typical, help me, utterance. I looked at him, motioning for him to go on.
"Where am I?" I sighed as he asked his question.
"You're dead. I assume that car accident up the road ended life for you."
He stared at me with his one good eye and let out another wail. My patience was wearing thin with this one.
"What do you want me to do? Who do you want me to tell, ect ect? There has got to be something you need."
His scream cut off and again he stared at me. "Tell my dad I am sorry."
There it is. About time. I took my pendant from around my neck and walked towards him. I placed it against what was left of his head and whispered, "Agath nei lithe" which roughly translated to go with the light. His body began to shake and slowly fade away. It will be his choice now whether he reincarnates or just takes a sabbatical from the grind of life. After that death, I think I would want to take a sabbatical.
I threw my cigarette butt out into the darkness and walked back inside my cozy little apartment. I needed to take a shower but sending the dead over was an exhausting experience. It took so much of my energy to ensure that they got across to the other side, or whatever you want to call it. I plopped down on the couch and cut on my tv. Some mindless program is just what I needed.
I dozed off at some point and was awoken by the cries of a child within my apartment. I let out an exasperated sigh. For some reason dead people always picked the middle of the night to show up. At least they could have the kindness to come around after I had a full night's sleep. I tried to ignore the cry, but it resonated through the small apartment. Begrudgingly, I got up off the couch and searched the apartment. I found her in my bedroom closet, sitting in the corner. Her outfit was not a modern one. It looked to be late 1800's garb.
"You’re dead. I'm sorry. But you need to go now." I held my pendant to her head and sent her on her merry way. Children get lost a lot in the transition. They usually don't have any unfinished business, but just need a guiding hand to get across the gap.
You may see me as uncaring, but this is my everyday life. It has gotten to the point where I can barely even hold down a job and a social life without being bombarded with dead people needing something. Sometimes it is the most trivial shit, too. They forgot to mail a letter, or they left the oven on. The smallest thing can hang in the mind and make the transition complicated.
So, how did I end up like this? Well, I died. More accurately, I died and then came back. They revived me after I was out for 20 minutes. I was only 8. Apparently, you really shouldn't go swimming after eating. I was in the local pool in my neighborhood after lunch and got a horrific cramp in my stomach. I doubled over in pain, slipping under the water. It was a wave pool, so it didn't take long for me to be knocked under the waves. I fought to get above the water, but the pool was so over populated, I couldn't stay above the surface. Next thing I remembered was waking up in the hospital. My mom crying and screaming for the doctor. Apparently, I was out for a week. My brain activity had dwindled down to nothing and they were getting ready to pull the plug. Good timing, huh? Dying twice in one week seems a little much.
I digress. When I awoke, I noticed that there seemed to be way too many people in the room. I thought they were family members I hadn't met yet, but they looked a little off. Some were covered in blood, some were very pale. You get the point. As I got older, they began to speak to me. I listened and tried to help as much as I could, but I had no idea how to help them cross.
When my grandmother was on her death bed, she whispered to me. "Agath nei lithe". Her wrinkled hand slid into mine, imparting the pendant upon me. "Help them" she said, and then she was gone. It took me a few more years to piece it together, but eventually I did. Go me, huh?
I decided it was a good time to take a shower since the creepy little girl had disturbed my slumber. Why did they always have to be crying? Speaking in their monotone little voices. Ugh.
I got into the shower and turned up the hot water. I closed my eyes and let the water wash away the stench of death. Metaphorically speaking, that is.
I got out of the shower feeling like a brand-new person. I toweled off and slipped on my robe. Coffee sounded amazing, so I trekked into the kitchen and started a pot. The sinful aroma filled my nose, warming my soul. I grabbed my Doctor who coffee cup and poured myself a hot cup of happiness. I felt eyes upon the back of my neck. I let out an exaggerated sigh. I just wanted to drink some coffee in peace.
"I assume you need something?" I mumbled as I turned around.
My coffee cup slid out of my hand, shattering on the floor. The dead person I was staring at was my mother.
Submitted July 14, 2018 at 12:34AM by evilpinkmonkey