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What To Do When You Are Dead
The sun rose bright and early, except it wasn’t bright. It could never be as bright as it once was; mushroom dust covers it up, leaving only a small amount of light to permeate. It was like being underwater, way down low.
He didn’t know.
A boy with brown, straight hair just above his eyebrows wakes up. He changes out of his pajamas into a slim fitting, black and red AC/DC shirt and American Eagle jeans; this style is fifty years old.
He walks down the streets of Miami, the largest city in the world. Its population is seven hundred and fifty.
He didn’t know.
He walks by many types of people: Hispanic, Chinese, plain white, tan white, young, and middle aged.
The boy keeps walking down the street and a siren goes off. Slowly everyone stops, but nobody has a clue at what’s going on. Everyone brushes it off as just some weird noise and moves on with their lives. The siren keeps going.
He didn’t know.
The boy is still walking down the street, and he nears an insane asylum, the sound is louder here and he wonders why, but he keeps walking.
A man is running out of the asylum. He runs to the boy and grabs him, telling him that danger is afoot. He kindly brings the boy into the asylum for protection.
I’m sitting on a bench in a room with dim lighting. The lights are flickering in and out, leaving me in darkness one moment and dim yellow the next. I’m sitting next to a girl in blue, who I guess was also grabbed off the street, and the man who pulled me off the street is standing about five feet in front of me; none of us are talking.
The man is giving me funny looks and he’s watching me so closely that he hardly blinks. It’s really bugging me, so I stare back at him. At first glance, he looks like a normal person: His head is oval shaped and balding; he’s tall and has a strong build to him. He’s dressed in brown khakis and a blue dress shirt with a few red stains across the front; at first glance he looks like everyone else, except he has something in his hand, a hatchet, which he is gripping tightly. No one in this city is supposed to have a weapon; the town council banned it.
I’m staring at the hatchet and see that it also has red stains on it. The top of the hatchet has a blood stain loosely around the shape of a hand that runs down to the jagged and splintered bottom.
“You, in the black,” says the man, who has a deep, scratchy voice.
What the h*** is going on? I hesitate on whether to get up and follow him because I don’t know what to think. “YOU in the black,” he says again. “This way,”
“…What’s going on?” I ask, but he says nothing; I don’t move.
“Don’t make me force you, kid,”
I decide that force is worse than “freely” following this man, and so I get up, “OK,” and start to follow him down a hall.
We walk for about ten seconds in complete silence and then I just stop, stunned and sickened. The walls have red stains all over.
“What’s going on here?” This isn’t right; there’s something wrong.
“Nothing, keep walking,” he says evidently use to blood.
“Hey, I don’t know what kind of c*** is going on and I want to know,” I breath. “Now.”
“It’s not my job to tell you. Just follow me and all will become clear,” the man appears to be becoming annoyed now.
What is this, some kind of sci-fi c***? “No!”
“If you don’t follow me, you little brat, I swear I’ll carry you over my shoulder.”
“DO IT,” I said, bracing myself.
He charges right at me, “Waah,” and before I get a chance to react, he tackles me.
“You made me do this,” he says throwing me over his shoulder. I squirm, but I can’t get away, and I just yell at the top of my lungs for help, but it’s like nobody’s here.
Then, I hear a voice, but I can just barely hear it; it’s too muffled to make out what it’s saying.
Then, another voice, and then another. I hear the voices say things like “Help me,” and “Leave him alone,” and select cuss words directed at the man.
“What’s going on?” I am really freaked out now.
“You’ve heard too much,” he says and throws me down.
“…Kid,” says the voice.
“Hey, kid, wake up,”
What-what’s going on? “You come around yet?” Where’d he go?
“Where am I?” I look up and try to get my bearings; my head stings.
“You’re on the roof of the asylum,” says the voice, which is coming from a mostly bald man with some gray hairs for what’s left; he’s also disgustingly pale. He’s wearing a faded red shirt and faded blue jeans; he has no shoes, but he has socks on at least. “You’re a hostage.”
“What!” I look around and realize that I’m tied to a chair near the edge of the roof. How’d I not notice that? “What’re you doing?” I wobble around in the chair, but I can’t get loose, but I nearly slide off the roof.
“Whoa, slow down there, champ!” he says, grabbing my chair and scooting me away from the ledge. He laughs and through a smile full of really yellow teeth he says, “Believe it or not, I’m saving your life.”
I stare at him with a look of anxiety, “What? How can you be saving my life? If I’m a hostage, then that means my life is at stake, right?”
“Yes it does… but I really am saving your life, trust me.”
Oh, gawd, I’m trapped by a crazy; he’s probably responsible for those people in the asylum.
“If you’re going to save me, just let me go.”
The man just stares at me and he just keeps staring. It makes me mad so I stare back, but he says nothing. Then, I don’t want to look at him so I look down at my feet.
“Now why would I go through the trouble of all this just to let you go?” he asks.
“I don’t know. Let me go.”
“I already told you I’m not gonna,” he says, emphasizing the ‘gonna.’
I try to move my chair again, but he’s holding onto it, so I can’t. “Help! I’m being held agai-” I start to yell, but he covers my mouth with his hand. “Mmhh.”
“Now we can do this the easy way, or I’ve got duct tape somewhere,” he states, starting to look around for duct tape.
He takes his hand off my mouth. “Good.” He smiles, “Do you know why you’re here?”
“No,” my body is shaking a little bit.
“Have you ever been sick?”
I just stare at him, really hard. He waits for an answer, but I don’t give him one. What do you want? “Have YOU ever been sick?” he asks again.
“…No,” I roll my eyes. Where are you going with this?
“Well, chances are you’re going to get sick eventually, and then what?”
Is this a trick question? “I go to the doctor, right?”
“Yes, and then that doctor’ll say, ‘Oh this boy is sick,’ and he sends you to a room where you’ll wait until you get better.” He gives me a ‘do you get what I’m saying face.’
“So?” Once again, your words have no meaning to me.
“So, what if you don’t get better? In fact, let’s say you get sicker. They’re going to keep you locked up in that room, or you may get moved to some other-”
“Hold on, just hold on a moment! You’re crazy and you’re not making any sense.” I start to wobble in my chair again, but I move closer to the edge again, so I stop.
He looks at me with a serious face, “I’ve been locked away in a dark room for many years; I guess that could’ve driven me crazy,” he says without even busting a smile.
What is wrong with you? You’re not actually serious… are you? “You’re lying,” I move my head dramatically, “you were ‘locked away in a dark room for MANY years’ how-why should I believe this? This is like the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard!”
“Where’d your grandparents go? Hmmm?”
Very good argument. “They died when I was, like, six. Thanks for bringing back a painful memory.” I force my eyebrows down as far as I can. I truly am mad, just not as mad as I need to be to bust out of these damn ropes.
“Oh, I’m sorry,” he crouches down to my eye level and looks at me right in the eyes. “I’m sorry you could believe such a thing.”
“What! Are you calling me a liar? What gives you the right to say my grandparents didn’t die, huh? What gives you the right?” My voice is getting raspy and I’m almost in tears now. “If I wasn’t tied here, I’d be kicking some serious-”
“If you weren’t tied here, you wouldn’t be here,” the man smiles. Oh, you’ve made a funny! “You’ve been told what everyone thinks is true. Or, what they think is true until they get thrown away in a dark room, left to rot.”
“I hate you,” a tear trickles down my cheek.
“Well, think what you will, you’re stuck with me,” he smiles yet again. “I guess… that is until I kill you.”
“What!” What?! “I thought you said you were saving me!!” I start to wobble the chair again, but he stops me.
“Well… yes, but to save you, I have to kill you. I’m sure you’ve heard of the whole drink the punch and your soul is saved though it probably isn’t and you’re lying in a room full of dead teenagers and an old sweaty guy, routine.” The man sighs, “But alas, I have no punch and I’m actually saving you.”
You can’t be serious. You can’t. No freaking way. “I’m going to die?” I sort of try to laugh it off, more tears coming out though.
I choke on my breath. I actually believe him this time. “I-”
“I have to.” He let’s out a deep breath, “What I’m about to tell you is even crazier than everything that’s already been said.” How so…how could it possibly be worse? I give him a look to just go on with it. “There’s a dormant illness that’s in the air that is in every human being. When you die the illness becomes active and will make you a monster.”
My mouth quivers, “So… are people locked up because they become? Monsters?”
“What,” I sniff, “what kind of monsters?”
He rolls his eyes, “Like zombies.”
“Oh,” weird, “so why do I have to die?”
“Well, if one of us dies, then we’ll turn into zombies, right?”
“Sure… I guess…” Just tell me why I have to die!
“That’s why people about to die get locked up.” Which I just learned, get on with it. “And I personally don’t like to be locked up, and I’m sure no one else does either. So, if I kill both of us, then we’ll both become monsters and wreak havoc on the people that lock everyone up,” he looks at me like he’s sorry, but it won’t work now.
“So you’re just going to kill everyone? Isn’t that worse than letting those people be locked away; and why me? Why not someone else?” Gawd, you’re making me cry.
“Nah, I believe people will survive. There was an epidemic before, and people survived… well obviously not everyone, but there will be survivors. I believe another epidemic was going to happen anyways, it was just a matter of time before someone like me did something. The town council can’t keep the virus in check forever; people will find out. The only way to prevent this is to make a cure, but nobody has dealt with this virus and almost no one knows about it. This is the best way…
“As for why I chose you, that was all up to chance.” He smiles down at me.
Could this be any worse? Tears are now flowing down my face like a waterfall and snot is dripping onto the ropes that are tying me up. I hate this world, I hate this situation, I hate people. “Choose someone else, please. I’m begging you!”
“Why should I choose someone else, huh? I’ve already told you everything and I’d have to snatch up another kid.”
“Please, you d-don’t have to do th-this.”
“Shhh,” he lowers his voice and puts a finger to my mouth, and then wipes my tears and snot off my face with his sleeve.
His eyes are shining in the sun and his voice is slightly comforting now. “The sun sure is shining bright today.” He pauses, “I don’t even know your name! How rude of me! How can I not know the name of this world’s other savior?”
“…My name’s,” I take a big gulp, “Chr-Chris,”
“Thank you Chris,” he says and extends his leg against the chair. “I’m glad you understand what must be done.”
Not enough knew