Where Dead – A Short Story

Hi, I thought I would share this story. Again, it’s one of my early ones. I feel my story writing has evolved a lot since this time but still, I believe this story gives a little into insight to what “Belief” truly is and how strong those convictions can be. In spite of everything, this girl never lets go. I hope you enjoy this.

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Where Dead

By

Deborah Anderson

I was twenty-six years old when I died. I don’t recall how it happened, all I know is that one minute I was driving along, singing away to my favourite song, and the next I was in the worst pain imaginable. Then I blacked out. That’s it. I can only conclude I was in a car wreck, you know, duh, what with being in my car at the time.

Death couldn’t really have come at a worse time for me. My life had just started to get interesting. I had only been married six-months. I’d not long had a big promotion at work – so much more responsibility, I was finally getting somewhere. I loved my job. I loved my life. I planned on a family of my own someday.

I miss my home and my husband.

He’s with someone else now. I guess he must’ve met her within a couple of weeks of my passing. He couldn’t have loved me that much, I guess. Still, I’m glad he’s not alone because, in spite of everything, I still love him. I want him to be happy. Mercifully, I no longer hear anything of him or his new relationship. It appears to me, death somehow dilutes relationships and the love, on the part of the living partner, begins to perish. On my passing, my husband’s connection to me grew distant, and then he was gone. Shouldn’t the love in my “heart” have died too? I mean, I died, so why do I still feel such loss? It’s a good thing I can no longer cry, or I’d never stop.

I wish I could tell you where I am, but I don’t know. It seems that I am nowhere. I hear my mother cry. The sound rings in my ears and haunts my hours. It’s not right for a daughter to hear that. I feel my father’s silence and that sound is even more intolerable. I sense the weight of their grief so terribly. It’s unbearable. I know it’s selfish of me to think of myself in their time of suffering but I can’t help it, I am sad too. Maybe this is why I am not in Heaven. I don’t deserve to be because I am selfish, perhaps I have always been this way. I don’t recall myself being so but then, we never see our true selves, do we? Maybe only death can bring such vile revelations to light.

I deserved to die, I must have done. As the voices say, it was my time. I wonder why I am not in hell. I was raised up in the belief that evil people went to hell. My family accepted this and so did our church. As I grew into an adult, my belief in this became stronger. I saw myself as being one of the good guys. How wrong I had been… but… I am sure I tried to be a good person, I really am.

So why am I nowhere? Or is nowhere hell? It sure feels like it at times, and what about Purgatory? Is that where I am? If so, then my despicable self-pity in the face of my family’s misery has probably made several down payments on a one-way ticket to the abyss. I never believed in Purgatory, I mean, I always figured we were saved, and so what was the point. I feel silly for believing that now, especially when it is quite possible that I am in purgatory. One by one, my beliefs are shattered by this state of nothingness.

So, I made this list, as silly as it seems. Of course, I made it in my mind as I have no hands. The only thing I have is sound and I hear silence most of the time. My own thoughts are little compensation for real conversation. I hear voices and sense the feelings of others, but it brings me little comfort. I even heard my sister apologize for “all the bad things she did to me as a child”. I mean, really, cutting off my doll’s head and locking me in the closet so she could spend time with her boyfriend instead of babysitting, were hardly crimes of the century, and nothing compared to the stuff I pulled on her. I was far from sweet and innocent. We used to laugh about that kind of stuff, well, not anymore. As sad as I am to say it, the relationship we shared has long gone. She’s forgotten who I was. I am now St. Serena, perfect in every way. It just makes me so mad!

As it goes, I know that I am telepathic, or at least I think I am, depending on where my latest deductions deem my whereabouts to be. I feel people’s feelings and think their thoughts, sort of. Anyway, as I was saying… I mean… hallucinating… I am dead, but I don’t actually know that for sure, so I have considered alternatives. Have I actually ever existed at all, am I trapped in some type of life machine that creates a reality all of its own and it isn’t working properly. Perhaps there is a bunch of people stood around my naked body, while my skull sits open and they probe my brain in a vain attempt to get it operational again. I mean… where the am I, am I anywhere. I once read this book about this guy who got all his limbs blown off in the war and went deaf, dumb and blind. He imagined that a rat was chewing on his open sores. It scared the shit out of me for ages. I think the book was called “Johnny Got His Gun”. I’m not very good at remembering names of stuff. Well, maybe I’m just like Joe, the guy in that book, lying in bed with a rat chewing on my stump and I don’t even know it because I’ve lost the ability to feel. Please, oh, please, God, don’t let there be rat near me. I suppose really shouldn’t give away my fears, just in case Satan is already busy creating my own special room 101, that’s if I’m not already in it.

I want to go home now. I mean to Heaven. I call out for GOD all the time. I beg him to come and save me, just as he promised he would do, but he doesn’t come. He just leaves me here to rot with this rat chewing my tongue out my head, or maybe it’s maggots and I’m in my coffin in one of those bee sting stupors that can’t be picked up on an autopsy or something. Even if they had the bells these days, I couldn’t be a dead ringer because I have no body. What am I?

I managed to dwindle my list down. I’m a spirit, right? Then why doesn’t God save me? It must be because I’m bad. I never believed there were a special group who were entitled to get into Heaven, and the rest of us were left out in the cold. I thought we all went – if we were good and believed in Jesus. Did I have that wrong too? I don’t think anyone goes anymore. Spirit is consciousness and that’s all that remains. Maybe some people “feel” a lot less than I do in death, and talking from personal experience, death is easier the less you feel. Perhaps what you feel is directly proportionate to how bad you were in life and the less you feel the better person you were. Silence is preferable to hearing and sensing the pain of those you leave behind, that’s for sure. I guess that’ll diminish in like 30 years or so, when people start dying off, or even sooner if they’re like my husband and just stop caring about me and sever ties. So, erm, duh, not long to go, it’s only been like two months already! I find it hard to tell how long it’s been exactly, it’s not like I have a wrist watch or even the sun or moon. All I have are my Mommy’s tears. They change depth depending on what day it is. I’m not even sure whether it’s every day her sobs torture me, for all I know, it could be every hour or every week. I believe it is most probably daily, as there seems to be long gaps, and this is how I measure time, fresh levels of grief. New tears equals new day.

Well, three “days” ago, something terrible happened. I couldn’t bear to listen, and so I said the Lord’s Prayer repeatedly in my mind. I didn’t want to know what was going on. It was harrowing. I know they weren’t talking about my funeral because that happened a few weeks ago and I quite enjoyed that, it was so funny listening to all kinds of crap that people never really thought of me in life. How strange it is to be unable to laugh or even smile. I pray a lot, I don’t know why because I’m really starting to doubt God exists. If he did, surely he’d help me. I’ve begged him with all my heart, even the most mean spirited of folk would come to my rescue and so I know God would too, if he were there. The only other thing I have is song, and I sing. I use music to drown out sounds and stifle feelings I can’t stand. I sing to amuse myself too. Well, Death, you couldn’t steal that now could you!

How do I feel “today”? I don’t know. Things are a little creepy today to be honest, most days skip along uneventfully. Miserably. I know I said the weight of my Mother’s pain breaks my heart, but somehow today her lack of sorrow hurts even more. I knew it would happen, and don’t get me wrong, I don’t want her to be sad; I just want her to keep loving me. I call out to her, please, Mom, please love me. She does not hear me. I turn my attention to my Dad. He is talking. He never talks. Something has changed. Wait. He is talking to me. They both are. They are talking to me. I find it so difficult to hear at times, I’m not hearing, I’m reading their thoughts and I’m not a good at it. They’re saying something about twenty seven. I guess it’s my birthday, but, surely, it can’t have been nine months since my passing. It just can’t have been that long.

I freeze, waiting for the truth. Suddenly, I realise there are several people around me. It’s as if I am in the room with them, except, I can’t see, hear or touch them. I feel something, I feel alive. Something is suddenly different, and then for a second I feel my Mother kiss my cheek and hold my hand. I hear her tell me she loves me and then she says goodbye. I instantly realize what’s happening, and as I feel my life drain away from my physical body, I flick open my eyes to see my family sat around me. They are all so much older, so very many years have passed by. I close my eyes again and with my bodily voice, I call out to Jesus Christ.

He comes, he saves me, and I live.

 

Thanks for reading

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