Six Feet Under

I am trapped here, possibly forever. I just don’t know. No one can tell me anything, and there’s no one to ask. Everyone else here is just as clueless as I. I feel like I’m walking in a cloud. It’s very strange—I’m walking, but I don’t feel anything beneath my feet. This place, wherever it is, is filled with thick, white fog. It’s slightly chilly, but doesn’t feel bad against my skin. I’m not saying it’s nice, but it’s not bad… It’s very still here and, though my eyes can’t penetrate the mist, I think it’s very large. My voice echoes back to me, amplified tenfold, every time I talk. I don’t know why, but it scares me. The emptiness of this place is slightly eerie; I don’t think it has an end.
I’ve been here for a while, I think. It’s hard to measure time here; I don’t seem to get hungry, thirsty, or tired, and the lighting never changes. Speaking of lighting, I don’t know where it comes from. There doesn’t seem to be a light source, but the entire place is lit up with a dull glow. Maybe the mist exudes light…? Anyway, if I had to guess, I’d say I’ve been here for about three or four days. In this time, I’ve met twelve people. They’ve told me this is a place commonly known as limbo. No one will say much else; my questions get grunts or single words in response. I’ve been asking around and I think this is like, a place between Heaven and H*ll. When you die, and you’ve done equal amounts of bad and good, you go here. This is why there are only thirteen of us here; most people are either good or bad. Me though? I don’t even know.
Let’s work backwards from my death. I died at the age of twenty-eight, crossing the street from my house to the delicious café across the street. The weird thing is though, I wasn’t hit by a car, or a bike, or a bus, or anything. A branch from the old, dying tree in front of the café fell and hit me over the head. Go ahead and laugh at the irony. I’ll freely admit I did. It’s not as if I had much to miss. Death really was the greatest adventure to me. My parents kicked me out of the house when I graduated from high school, but they hadn’t talked to me or been home since I was fifteen. They’re dead now, and I have no siblings, nor ever met anyone with whom I wanted to spend my life. Before I died, I lived at home with my cat, Tippy, and Sherlock, my dog. Anyway, I was crossing the street to get a French Vanilla Coffee; I really needed some caffeine for the current case I was working on. As a lawyer, I visited the café often. I graduated law school at the age of twenty-two with flying colors. Immediately after, a company hired me where I became a lawyer. I was a criminal defense lawyer and, when I died, had won a hundred and twelve cases, lost fourteen, and was in the middle of another. That’s basically my entire life.
Where is the justice in this? I committed my life to upholding justice, yet I receive none. The thing is, as a criminal defense lawyer, I have defended both the innocent and the guilty. Scores of criminals, who I know were justly accused, have escaped because of my skills. They slipped away, through my actions, to commit another crime. Yet, I have also helped those who were mistakenly charged go free. I have kept killers from behind bars; have helped the wrongly accused leave freely. I guess I deserve to be here after all. If I help people, but I help the bad people, do my actions truly help in the end?
When it comes right down to it, I don’t really mind being here. I’ve never had much time to think. As great as it’s supposed to be, I’ve never had the time to just sit and breathe, to meditate, to be calm. I have spent my entire life running from one place to another, grabbing at every case I can get my hands on. Here, there’s not much else to do. I sit, breathe, and think; there are no interruptions from human needs such as exhaustion, hunger, or thirst. At the same time, I don’t like it here. Although there’s nothing bad about this place, there’s nothing good either. Thus, it is called limbo. A place that hovers between good and bad, where no one can be happy, but no one can be sad. Where you can’t like it, but can’t dislike it either. I want to leave here, preferably up to Heaven… However, with all my contemplation, I’ve realized that I deserve to be in Limbo. I haven’t done anything that would push me up to Heaven, but I haven’t done much bad either. I am a lawyer because I want to uphold justice. Working for a robber or working for someone incorrectly blamed of theft makes no difference to me. I uphold the law, with logic and brainpower, not emotions and relationships. Since I don’t interact with people I’m not representing, I don’t have much of a chance to be mean or to be kind. Thus, I’m stuck in Limbo.
I’ve been talking a little with a woman called Janine who has existed here for much longer than I have; she says she arrived fourth. She told me what no one else did: that we do get a chance to leave this place, just once, before we’re stuck forever. She spent approximately eight hours. She received eight magnificent hours on Earth. According to her, several people left for a great deal longer, others much shorter. We are sent back down to Earth to watch our funeral and attend our own memorial service. I won’t be able to depart my funeral, but being on Earth will be enough. I’m sure my funeral will be short, seeing as I have no relatives, but a short time on Earth is better than no time at all.
Going down to Earth was like being shot through a vacuum or something. I felt like I was being sucked up like a piece of dirt and then shooting out again. I shot towards the ground, totally out of control—I finally stopped struggling and gave myself up to the wind… or whatever it was that was controlling my descent. I gave away my control, and then the controller gave up control to me. I descended more slowly and lightly touched down. Touching down on Earth was as exciting as walking on the Moon must be—I hadn’t realized until now how much I missed it; I didn’t want to be pulled back up into the foggy haze of Limbo. The trip as a whole, however, was a disappointment. There were ten people at the funeral: three of my business partners, a writer and photographer from the local newspaper, the four people who were going to bury my body, and the café owner. The café owner said some words about me being a “faithful patron” and someone who “never said a bad word about anyone” and other half-lies like that. I came to the café about once a week or so; I didn’t say anything about anyone, good or bad. This was one time I wished I had more friends. I wanted there to be a long memorial service; any time on Earth was close enough to Heaven for me. Sadly, it was a beautiful day, mid-sixties and sunny, so everyone was anxious to leave. They wrapped up the speeches quickly, hastily threw some dirt over my coffin, and walked away talking and laughing. Then I felt the vacuum sucking me back up. The last glimpse of Earth I ever saw were the two gravediggers joking around and burying my body, six feet under.





Post a Comment

Be the first to comment on this article!

bRealTime banner ad on the left side
Site Feedback