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Afterlife

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Being dead is not as easy as it looks. There is no sense of peace for the dead, only hectic preparation. Preparation for “what is to come” Regan supposed, whatever the hell that is. You also lose the right to own anything. It’s kind of like getting off a plane in some foreign country with no money or luggage or place to stay.

Regan wasn’t allowed to stay with Cinder. Apparently the “Chosen,” which are what the spirit twins are called, have important and secret rules to abide by. She was instead being shuffled around between outstanding dead community members who were too scared of Cinder and the Chosen to refuse.

Currently she was staying with an odd old couple in their mid-sixties. They didn’t act old though. They were reckless and indifferent to their surroundings. Regan was starting to notice that spontaneity was embraced here and repetition was not. She figured it was because doing the same things for all of eternity—or for as long as it takes you to get promoted to the big ol’ great beyond, or whatever— would suck.

Right now they were all crowded around the dinner table. Technically the dead didn’t have to actually eat anything but apparently old habits die harder than the actual person. The man, Horatio, was recounting the goings-on at his job, which happened to be as a ghost at a haunted house. He was one of the lucky few that got to commute into the real world for work. It was living the dream as far as Regan was concerned.

“Would you like some desert dear?” the old lady named Lynne asked her. She declined, to which Lynne said, “Come on! It’s not as if it’s gonna make you fat!” It was hard to argue with that logic.


After two slices of pie and a game of charades, Regan retired, leaving Lynne and Horatio free to do whatever it was frisky old people stayed up all night to do here in the armpit of the great beyond.

The room she was staying in was simple. There were no frills or defining characteristics, save for the blue ceiling. She crawled into bed thinking about how weird it was that the dead had their own little world and how the afterlife was just a slight variation on the regular one, only more permanent. That could be either good or bad depending on how you had expected it to be.

It was impossible to run from your past here, yet it was peaceful knowing that whenever their time came everyone you'd ever loved would join you here. Also there was no longer a fear of the unknown. Everything had a reason for happening and you just had to go with it. Other than that, the dynamics of this world were pretty much the same as the last, you went to work and did your thing and lived your afterlife until your judgment day came.

Even though being dead wasn’t half as bad as she’d envisioned it to be, she couldn’t help but miss her family. She missed her strange and funny father with his scruffy Santa Claus beard and her mother’s kind words and nervous twitch. She missed the way her little brother Austin would rub her neck in return for her tucking him in every night and keeping it a secret because their parents said he was too old.

Most of all she missed her boyfriend, Joey. He wasn’t the hunky vampire she’d always been hoping for, but he was real, and pretty damn perfect in every way imaginable. He was funny and smart and knew her well enough to guess her every thought. The best part was how he would go from sweet and funny best friend to strong and passionate boyfriend exactly when she needed him to. He could read her perfectly, so he never got the two personas confused.

On paper they didn’t make sense, but in real life there was no denying how perfect they were together. He was a jock, the classic all American soccer type and she was an artsy outcast and damn well proud of it. She would never have given him the time of day if she hadn’t seen a copy of The Hunger Games fall out of his locker. She immediately started mocking him for his love of teenage girl fiction and the rest is history.

They clicked in all the right ways and even though they were kind of out there, they were the ‘it’ couple, the one recognizable staple couple you’d find in any high school that had been together a few years and were never in danger of breaking up. One time her friend Tyler even threatened to nominate them for prom king and queen if she didn’t do his geometry homework for him. Tears came to Regan’s eyes; We were perfect and I loved him so much and now I’m dead. S***.

She knew that he’d join her here eventually, but she still missed him and knew that losing her was going to be unbearable for him. It was all like some sick and more complicated version of Romeo and Juliet.

Regan fell asleep with Joey’s angelic blond haired, blue eyed image cocooning her brain.





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