Stuck In Neutral - Part 2
I turned around to see two more people standing up, frothing at the mouth. They ran past me and out the door of the operating room. They flung their hands wildly like they didn’t have control over them. I wasn’t very surprised considering I know wasn’t in the shell of a body that ran past me and out into the wild blue. What was even more disconcerting was that whatever I seemed to have was contagious. I was patient zero. I was the plague. I very well could be the end times. If I was going to be one of the four horsemen of the apocolypse, I should have had a horse.
I walked out of the door of the operating room and looked left and right down the hallways of the hospital. There was blood everywhere. The walls and floors were painted red with the stuff and people were screaming. Whatever was happening, it was happening fast, and I was going to need some way to stop it. I ran over to a nearby phone to call for help. I tried to grip it but my hand just went through the reciever. I tried again and again but nothing worked. I was Patrick Swayze in Ghost. As a matter of fact it had finally occured to me that I was a ghost. This wasn’t going well.
Down the hall I noticed a bright light. It looked a lot like the bright light that I saw when I initially collapsed in Wal-Mart. There was an impressive contrast against the blood everywhere, but I tried to reign in my aww since people died to create this particular “art piece.” I ran over to it and was quickly teleported to the same white room that I had found when I first died. It was crowded.
There were people everywhere and more popping in every few seconds. Whatever was going on down there, was not good. I saw Peter talking to a couple other guys with badges by the door. I shoved my way through the crowd of lost souls. Peter and I had a thing since we talked earlier. He would definitely know what to do to fix the problem.
“Pete!” I yelled over the crowd of people. He looked over to me with a very stern face.
“That’s the one. Get him. Bring him to my office.” Pete’s words were muffled, but I knew what he said. The two guys in white came over to me. They looked more concerned than I felt like angels should look.
“You Dave?” One asked.
“Yeah, I’m Dave. I was here earlier.”
“We know. Why don’t you come with us.”
They walked me over to the white wall and a door appeared. It was solid white but it had a nice glowy border to it. It must be hidden until someone needs to get into it. I walked through and I was in what looked like a standard office. There were some trophies on a bookshelf in the corner that said things like “Employee of the Month,” “Excellence Award AD 100,” and some crayon art pictures I’m assuming were drawn by kids who liked him.
Peter was sitting at a huge mahogany desk. It looked like something Winston Churchill would have in his office.
“Nice desk, Pete,” I said trying to break the ice.
“You like it? Winston Churchill made it for me,” he rubbed the surface and smiled as he said it.
“Would have never guessed,” I lied.
“Yes you would have. Don’t like to me, Dave.”
I coughed and looked around. I was clearly in the presence of a professional.
“Here’s the thing, Dave,” he started. “Do you see all those people out there? Those people aren’t supposed to be here today. Well, most of them aren’t. Do you know who they’re here?”
I figured I shouldn’t try to make anything up again. “Yeah. My body got up in a hospital and started attacking people. I don’t know why. I was hoping you could tell me.”
Peter sighed, “That’s what I was afraid of.”
He got up from his desk and walked over to his book shelf. He pulled down a huge volume that said, “Rules and Regulations for Admittance into Heaven.” He slammed the book down on his desk and started rifling through the pages.
“There is an appendix in the rulebook regarding these types of events. We don’t deal with them very often. Most people who die are supposed to be here, but occasionally we have people that haven’t finished their job. We fill their memory with weird stuff and send them home.”
“Is that why people think Heaven is some kind of spacey white place?”
“Yeah. We don’t want people going back thinking that it’s some bland office building. Trust me though, it’s way more fun once you get through the gate. We handle rejections here too so we have to be pretty standard with everything.”
Peter appeared to find the page he was looking for.
“Here it is! Necromancy. Close enough, right?” He seemed to be asking me.
“Sure. I guess raising from the dead is almost the same.” “Undead, Dave. You’re not raised from the dead until the boss says so. Bodies that get started up without souls in them, that’s a whole different animal. You people keep finding new ways to confuse me.”
“Well, if it makes you feel better, I didn’t set out to watch my body go on a rampage without me.” I thought about how that sounded as soon as it came out of my mouth. “I mean, I wouldn’t want to see it go on a rampage with me either, just so we’re clear.”
“It’s fine, Dave.” He kept his head down in the pages. “Aha! Here’s what you have to do.”
“Me?” I asked concerned. “You don’t have some sort of angel clean up crew that handles this kind of thing?”
“Budget cuts,” he said dryly. “We only bring out those guys when really bad things happen.”
“Is this not a really bad thing?”
“It’s pretty bad, but it only gets really bad if you don’t do what you’re supposed to do.”
“What am I supposed to do?”
Peter looked at me seriously, “You need to go get your body back.”
“It wouldn’t let me in! I tried that, then it went crazy. Some shield was keeping me out.”
“That’s because it wasn’t yours anymore,” Peter sat back down in the chair behind his desk. “You can’t just inhabit something that doesn’t belong to you. At least not when you work for us. You need this,” he pulled a badge out of his drawer and sat it on his desk. It looked like a sherrif’s badge blended with the star of David.
I picked it up, “What is this?”
“It’s a license to possess, Dave. You have a job to do and you’re not going to be able to do it without getting your hands on some stuff. That badge will let you inhabit most people for a temporary time, as well as move stuff around and interact with real world objects.”
“So I’m a poltergeist now?”
“Well, you’re a sanctioned poltergeist. Consider yourself one of our agents. At least while you clean up this mess. You need to go find your body and repossess it. Once you’re back in, the rest of the situation should clear itself back up. It’ll cause a chain reaction that will cause the rest of the bodies out there to drop and all of these people in my waiting room can go back. Since you were the first one, it all lands on you to handle it.”
“But most of those bodies have hole and bite marks in them. Won’t it hurt?”
“Geez, you are just full of questions,” Peter was visibly irritated. “They’ll forget the whole thing and their bodies will be whole again. We can handle it. You do your job and we’ll do ours. Now get out there and fix it.”
I looked down at the star in my hand and then pinned it to my shirt. I didn’t feel any different, but it may at least make things easier when I get back down to earth. I did feel a little bit more sure of myself, but I think that was just the badge. Dudes with badges are cool. I was now a cool dude. I started to leave Peter’s office.
“Oh, and Dave,” he said not looking up, “Don’t trust anybody, okay?”
“Okay,” I said. Not sure who I was going to run into, but that was good enough advice for me.
I walked back to the lobby, through the larger crowd of people, and back down the stairs the same way that I had come the first time.