I Wrote a Thing!

I wrote this. I’m incredibly proud of it, and would love some feedback. It’s just part one of a story I’m working on. It’s completely unedited and is definitely a first draft, but it may be one of the most fun starts to a story I’ve ever done. 😀

Stuck in Neutral   <- working title

Dying was uncomfortable. Not uncomfortable like sitting in the backseat of a Chevy Camaro. More like hearing your dad tell a racist joke in front of your one black friend. That kind of uncomfortable.

I mean, imagine yourself just hanging out, doing whatever it is you do. Now insert a sharp pain somewhere, and a sudden realization that you’re staring at your cold dead self on the ground. No one is around and you’re definitely not looking at a mirror. You’re dead. You might try to get back into that shell of a thing you just got unceremoniously kicked out of, but it’s just not working.

My name is Dave. I died just a few minutes ago. It was uncomfortable.

I stood over the lifeless meatbag that I used to call home wondering where my flurry of lights and flashbacks were. I was only thirty, but somehow I expected there to be some awesome movie that gets played where I watch myself at Christmas, or see my parents, or even the first time I kissed a girl. None of that happened. I just got to stand up and look at the mess of a person I left behind. I mean, I wasn’t that much of a mess. I had nice hair, and I was only slightly overweight. Speaking of, why wasn’t I glamorous now that I’d reached the afterlife? Looking down at my small gut, I realized that my spirit self looked just like my physical self. Now I’d like to have a discussion with all the pastors who said I’d get a “glorified body.” What gives?

While standing around being mopey, a light glowed in front of me. Finally, I thought to myself. I’d been standing there for a good five minutes and nobody had come to get me yet. I was starting to worry whether I’d be able to go anywhere, or if I’d be stuck staring at myself on the floor of Wal-Mart for all eterinity. I guess by now a lot of people had seen the thirty year old, somewhat healthy man fall down and die. I’m sure the ambulance will be here soon and maybe they’ll let me get back in. For now, I better just go to the light. It worked in Poltergeist, so maybe it was what I was supposed to do.

I stepped over myself and went through the glowing portal. It had no defined edges to speak of, but I call it a portal nonetheless. It took me into another world, completely white. As far as I could tell, there was nothing. Just a big white room. There was hardly a sound either. I tried tapping my feet, but despite my hope for a huge echo and glorious tapping sound, there was nothing. I may as well have been tapping my feet on a cloud.

Dave Johnson!” A loud voice bellowed all around me.

God?” I asked, hopefully. I had a ton of questions and I was seriously hoping this was my opportunity to have them all answered.

No, this is Peter. Turn around.”

I spun around to see a small double panel white door in the wall. Or at least seemed to be a wall. It was really hard to tell in a place with no shadows. There was a man sitting at a desk near the wall, clothed in white. He had a badge on though, so he was probably important. I’m guessing this was the Saint Peter that everyone is supposed to meet. I was hoping he had some good news and I would get to wander through those doors. I’d always wondered what heaven looked like, and I was finally going to get a peak.

Hey, man,” I said awkwardly, not knowing how to address him. He just looked at me with squinty eyes. “So, what’s next?”

You’re not supposed to be here.” He said, no humor in his eyes at all.

Wait, what?” I was shocked. “Please tell me I don’t have to go downstairs! I did all the stuff and things!”

What?” His eyes got wide. “Oh no! No, it’s not that you’re not supposed to be here at all. You’re just not supposed to be here now.” He smiled a bit. “Sorry. I hope I didn’t give you a heart attack. It’s been a long day.”

I immediately let out a sigh of relief. “Oh good! That was awful, Pete. You need to work on your delivery.”

I know. It’s in my performance improvement plan every year. I’m working on it,” Peter said as his grimace returned.

So how do I go where I’m supposed to go if I’m not supposed to be here.”

Give me your hand.”

I reached out my hand as Peter dug through his desk. He pulled out a large stamp and pushed it onto the back of my hand.

Rescheduled,” I read the stamp aloud. “Okay, so when am I supposed to be here.”

That’s classified, Dave. No one gets to know that information.” Peter pointed to the right, “Head out that door and you’ll find yourself back where we found you. Just get back in your body and everything will be fine. We’ll see you in a while.”

I started walking over to the door then looked back to Peter, “So, I guess I’ll see you in about forty years then?”

Nice try. Goodbye, Dave.”

It was clear to me I was going to get nothing out of him, so I went toward the exit door and down the stairs. Another white portal met me a few flights down. I was convinced at this point that this must all be a big joke. If I was going to walk through a portal anyway, why make me go down any stairs at all. I guess the folks in Heaven were Zeppelin fans. It’s the only thing that made sense. It kind of made me curious to know if the maintenance people in Hell were fans of AC/DC. That would all make perfect sense to me.

After my short jaunt in the afterlife, I found myself. Literally. I was back in front of my body, but this time I was in a hospital. The nurses and doctors were all poking me with instruments. I thought for a second about actually getting back into the body. I mean, I didn’t want to wake up with them jabbing me with sharp utensils. I’m not into the pain thing like some folks. I watched myself for a minute before I felt the sudden need to go ahead and just take my body back over.

I went over to my body to touch it and my hand was zapped. A red shieldy looking thing covered my body. It faded as quickly as it appeared. Must have done something wrong, so I tried again. ZAP! It hit me again. There was some sort of forcefield on my body not letting me in. Peter didn’t say anything about it. He didnt’ send me off with a guidebook or instructions on how to get back in. Panic started to set in.

That’s when I saw my eyes pop open.

They weren’t my eyes though. They were bloodshot beyond anything I’d ever seen. It would be safe to say that they were just entirely red. My body started moving and all the nurses and doctors looked to be relieved as they began setting their stuff down. How could they be relieved if I was still standing here very much dead? I reached out to touch the now awake body again. ZAP! Still no way to get in. I picked my foot up and kicked myself in the head. ZAP! Again and again. ZAP! ZAP! ZAP! Nothing. I had a feeling I was about to have a very rough day.

Then my body did something that I know I would never do. It lashed out maniacally at the doctor standing over it checking its heart. It grabbed him and pulled him close biting a giant hole in his neck. Blood went everywhere. I tried to throw up and quickly learned that ghosts can’t throw up. Good to know.

My body hurled itself off the table lunging at everyone nearby biting and swinging at them. There was blood everywhere and people screaming. It was awful. I tried to tackle myself to make the whole thing stop, but it just kept blocking me. Whatever shell was on this thing was powerful. I wanted my body back to stop all the crazy that was going on. Likely I would spend a lifetime in jail for killing an operating room full of nurses and doctors, but at least I would stop it.

I watched helplessly as my body peered around the room at the carnage it had just inflicted. I crouched down and slowly leaned into one of the nurses still convulsing on the floor. I watched in horror as my body started eating her. Just gnawing on her like a hungry guy eats a steak. I had to look away. I mean, I had tried to save these people, but there was nothing I could do. I had to find some way to remove this weird shield off of this guy. I quickly decided I couldn’t refer to this beast as “me” or “mine.” Whatever accountability I had for this needed to be removed quickly.

I heard shouting outside of the operating room, and so did the thing I used to drive around in. The monster wheeled around to face the door and ran full tilt at it. It burst out the door and out into the world. I stood in shock at what I had just seen and considered what I was going to do about it. I couldn’t go to Heaven, and I couldn’t get back in my own body. I was stuck. Nothing to do now but figure out what was going on and how to set things right.

Then I heard the growling noises behind me. Oh crap.

 

Comments

  1. Brad Benkart ツ

    This is pretty great. I like the way you introduced the mechanics of the story’s world in such a small space. Is this a short story, or a preface?

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