Ready Or Not This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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   As I woke, I realized that I felt a cold, damp sensation on my bare chest. Light drenched in from somewhere and I squinted my eyes to see my surroundings. Everything was white, with a gray splotches here and there. To my right, I noticed a man dressed totally in black. He looked familiar, but I knew I had never met him face to face. I realized suddenly that I was not in my bedroom. The light became dimmer.

"It's time," he said silently.

"What do you mean," I asked. "Who are you?"

Coldly, he glared at me. He then started pacing back and forth. His eyes were looking down at the floor. All of a sudden, he stopped, and stared at me again.

"How's life?" he asked.

Confused, I stuttered, "It's better than the alternative."

He smiled. "Mr. Lee McNeil, meet the alternative."

My eyes opened wide. Was the guy saying what I thought he was saying?

"Are you Death?"

"Yeah, some people call me that."

I looked at Death, and realized that I had missed life. There were so many things I needed to do - and so many people I needed to talk to. One, for instance, was Linda Frederick - my ex-wife. We had just gotten a divorce. She had told me that she didn't ever love me, and that had hurt. I wanted to tell her so many things. I wanted to say I still needed her, but I couldn't. I told her that I hated her, too. I had told her that I didn't even know why I married her in the first place, and I had told her good riddance. Sitting there, looking at Death face to face, I realized that was a lie.

I looked down on the floor and noticed a cockroach running around me. I stepped on it, killing it in a single second without giving it a second thought.

"I'm not ready to die," I whispered. "My Lord, I'm only 27."

But Death did not respond. It just stared at the little insect beside my foot, which started giving off a brighter light then the one before. Slowly, the light traveled to Death's hand. He grabbed it quickly and tuned his eyes to me.

"My work here is done."

He disappeared and every light faded. It was complete darkness.

I opened my eyes and found myself in my room. Yawning, I got out of bed. I stood up and started walking to the kitchen, where my phone was. I had a phone call to make. 1


This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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