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Almost, Sort Of, Not Really, Dead
“Mom! Watch OUT!!” I screeched.
Where the heck am I?
“Hello? Mom? Anyone…” The world just disappeared and was replaced with yellow nothingness. I took a - HOLD UP! Yellow? I looked around again. Yep. Yellow. Everything, the horizon, the sky, the ground, was yellow. Like… pee-yellow. Urine-yellow. Not pretty yellow. PEE-yellow. Like Ew-Yellow. Okay… start over: I took a deep breath and tried to calm myself down, my heart was beating a thousand beats per second.
“HELLO?!?!?!” I called out, my voice sounded hysterical. “PLEASE! SOME ONE! PLEASE!!” I collapsed onto the yellow floor. It gave like one of those foam mattresses. I curled up as tight as I could and cried. I was in a pee-colored place and I had no idea how I got there and the last thing I remembered… my tears stopped. A crash. Mom. The car. The car crashed. I’m dead. I’m DEAD.
“So this is heaven?” My voice traveled across the yellow-ness. “Or is it hell? A yellow hell?” I had always been told that death was peace. They said that peace would fill every inch of your body as you drifted to another life. Whether you go to heaven (or hell), you’re reincarnated, or whatever else you believe in, you always leave this life in complete peace. And hun, I ain’t feelin’ it.
I don’t know how long I’d been lying there, but it felt like hours. I was contemplating different ways to get out of this place. So far I’d had three options:
1.) Dig through the mattress-floor. (Begin hole by biting it.)
2.) Walk toward horizon (or what I think is the horizon.)
3.) Jump. (It’s a mattress isn’t it?)
I was about to bite when I heard a loud POP!
“That’s bad for your teeth you know.” I slowly looked up from the yellow ground. The person, well persons I guess, was looking down at me with contempt. He/She kept morphing. One second, it was an Indian woman with a bindi on her forehead, the next it was a hippi-like man with a tie-dye hair band around his head. It kept morphing to all kinds of different things.
“What are you?” I asked. It scoffed at me.
“It’s always THAT question!” I felt guilty. Had I insulted her-him-her-IT!?
“Sorry.” I mumbled.
“Whatever. My name is M. Which is short for Morph, which is short for Morpheus.”
“So… you’re a boy?” M glared at me.
“Yes, I’m a male in your terms.”
“Gotcha…” I was creeped out now. “So where am I, M?”I slowly stood up and brushed some yellow dirt off my pants.
“Rule 1: Don’t ask questions.” M said in a rather bored voice.
“Rule 2: Don’t mess with me.” M said, with a fresh glare.
“Just explain what’s going on, please?” I begged. M smiled.
“Gladly. You’re not dead yet, but you’re in a pretty bad coma.” My heart skipped a beat.
“Something about a car crash or boat crash or something like that.” M said, waving his hand around.
“SOMETHING LIKE THAT?! THIS IS MY LIFE WE’RE TALKING ABOUT!! ARE YOU THAT HEARTLESS??” I almost collapsed again, but I kept myself up. The tears, I couldn’t hold back, though.
“Actually yes. I don’t have a heart. Geez. You humans are SO touchy in limbo…” I didn’t even shoot back a snarky retort. M sat there watching me cry for a while. Finally, he said something.
“Okay, look I like you. So I’ll let you have a little fun-“
“Fun? Have you SEEN this place?” M cringed.
“If you let me FINISH.”
“Sorry…” M morphed into a big, bald man in a pinstripe suit. He looked like a mafia man or something. He finally seemed to settle in that form.
“You can go back to Earth, but as what you call a ghost.”
“You mean I can haunt people?!” This DID sound fun. M smiled.
“Haunt you can.”
“Okay… so what are the rules, el capitán?” His eyes narrowed again.
“Well, Ms. Smartmouth, there ARE rules…”
“Shut up.” He waved his hand and the yellow world went away.
“What did I say?!” We were covered in darkness for a moment, and then it dissolved away, revealing a smoky, French furnished and decorated café.
“Le serveur, m'apportent s'il vous plaît quelque chose, quelque chose, manger.” M said, as a young waiter came to our table. She wrote it down and walked away, not even glancing at me.
“What’d you order?”
“None of your beeswax.”
“Really. What did you order?”
“If you care so much, look it up.”
“Fine. I WILL.” I made a note of what he said in my head, for later.
“Okay, the rules. So, if you kill anyone, you’ll be in SERIOUS trouble. And-“
“What would my punishment be?” I interrupted. There was something about this guy that made me love interrupting him just because it annoyed him. I was succeeding.
“Can you shut it for one second?”
“It’s a little hard.”
“Well try. Okay, two: no hurting anyone. You can scare, move things, show yourself to only four people at a time, make rooms cold, send shivers, enter dreams, and touch people. All these things you will learn how to do in time. But touching people takes much more energy. You will have a supply of energy and when that runs out, you will come back to limbo, and you must check with your body every two days. When you die, you don’t have to check it at all, but since you’re in a coma, you must check it or your energy will deplete even faster. Understand?”
“Sounds good to me.”
“Good. Ah…” The waitress came back and put a plate down with really thin pancakes and fruit on it.
“Merci. Okay, Maddox. Go away.” It was the first time he said my name, and I don’t know why, but it made me shiver.
“Umm, Earth to M, where am I going?” He sighed and looked up at me, annoyed.
“Does it LOOK like I care?” He started to eat and I looked around. I had the entire world to explore.
For the first time, I realized what freedom felt like.