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Asking the Survivor

It was the evening in the City.
Lois saw the words dancing in the air, the strings of gentle phrases urging. She closed her eyes and---
Go, go! Your questions, they are waiting for answers! Will you not go, oh my child? Will you not go?
And she sat up violently. “Yes, I will! Why, yes!” Out of the bed, out of the house, to the street. Yes, the street! And the bridge, it was waiting! Lois ran. And she saw the pillars waver in question, the cement crumble to the water, a great crash of labor and work and struggle.
Then, from the water, a survivor like a water spider rose, paddled to the bank.
“My God, are you alright?”
“Yes, yes!” The survivor paused, looking back into the water. “I must go now.”
“Go now? But---!”
Without another word, the survivor left, dripping a trail of water in her wake.
“Wait, wait! I’ll come with you!” Lois, helpless, followed her. Into the City they went, through traffic and alleys. Until finally, into a restaurant marked Dayton’s.
The survivor looked back at Lois. “Come with me, here. Now you can ask me.”
“Ask whatever it is you’re wanting to ask.”
“Well.” Lois looked uncomfortable. “I’m sorry I followed you. But I had to. It was all set up, a voice before I went to the bridge. . .” She leaned across the table. “What does it feel like?”
“I never had the feeling. Not the near-death experience feeling, anyway. No life’s glories flashing across your eyes. It was only shock, some kind of shock.”
Lois nodded enthusiastically. “Thank you. I’ve just always wanted to ask someone.” And she left, back to the lights of the City and the bridges and her house.

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