The wind blew gently, yet her hair danced like a stream of angels. Nancy was so beautiful, riding her bike, my breath was nearly taken away as our eyes connected. Suddenly Hell broke loose before my eyes as the Devil's car, a red 1969 Dodge charger Daytona, rammed into Nancy at full speed. Time slowed to a crawl as her body was crushed and tossed into the air. She slammed into the ground and her head bobbed and twisted like she was some collector's toy. She lay motionless as the vehicle sped away.
I lurched awake covered in a cold sweat. This was the third time this week I'd had the same nightmare. I got up and washed up in the bathroom down the hall. I couldn't possible go back to sleep yet, so I went to my barely furnished living room, and picked a favorite book off the shelf. A sharp pain cut into my back, and my eyes flood with white as my heart is cut in half. I collapse into a pool of my own blood, and lie there dying. I am weightless, yet I feel as if a mountain were being carried on my back. As I begin to realize what happened I stop to ask Who killed me?
There were people who had disliked me, but I couldn't think who would have done this in cold blood. I had been alone, and it had been at least a month since I had had an argument of any type. Was I killed to benefit someone? Who had the most to gain from my death?
“Welcome, how may I help you?” the girl behind the counter asked.
“My name is Greg,” I'm here for an interview.
“Please take a seat, Greg, it'll only be a moment.”
I had just applied for a new job today, perhaps someone wanted me dead so they could get the job? That felt wrong. I was overwhelmed with confusion, how could anyone who met me today have planned my death? Perhaps it was a criminal..
Just another crack addict looking for another quick buck to score some blow happened across my apartment. Maybe that place has enough stuff to sell to get me high, the thief thought to himself. Then the person woke up, fearing his capture the thief hid in the shadows awaiting an opportunity. As silent as the night, the man shrouded in black glided behind me and pierced my heart. No, not even a desperate thief would have targeted me. A quick glance at my possessions, or lack thereof, would have had them looking for a better target.
So who then? Then I stopped to think, I'm dead now, why can't I just look and see who killed me. Where is this heaven, where is hell? Where is the meaningless end to my existence? Why am I not being reincarnated as a dog? Of all the things that could happen to a dead person, why am I stuck morosing over the circumstances of my death?
I try to float freely and look about me, and realize I can't see anymore. Is my body still dying? Could these be the final moments before I know the truth? The human brain takes at least 5 minutes to die, longer if it's colder. How long since my heart stopped beating? I can't tell, but shouldn't something be happening soon?
No matter what I try I am trapped, there is no certainty of what comes next. I can't even wrap myself up in concerns for how I died anymore, the fear of what's going to happen next is all consuming. Will I meet God? Will an Angel guide me to my final rest? Can't my body just just finish dying already, so I can get past this phase?
I am alone, all alone, the darkness engulfs my soul. I try to relax, and then it hits, like a bolt of lighting setting every muscle in my body afire, I am free. I can see The room I died in, is empty, except my corpse. My blood is as black as an over ripe cherry. I notice the knife that was in my back is gone. The room was almost untouched, there was a meticulous care to not leave evidence.
Whoever killed me was good, would they get away with my murder? Modern forensics could find a hundred useful clues, but if the person who killed me had no link to me those clues would be useless. This case would be impossible to solve, unless someone had witnessed my death.
I floated freely through the room, wondering in awe what it was like to be free of my body. I still had no answers, my existence had changed. I do not know by what means I could still perceive existence. There had to be some reason, why my soul could still exist. Thoughts are just weak electromagnetic pulses, could I have transferred from my body to the earth's magnetic field? I wondered for a moment, but sitting here was doing no good.
I need to do something, what can I do besides see? I went to my bookshelf. there were some valuables I kept there. A snow globe paperweight. My favorite books, and some letters I had collected over the years. I reached out with my hand to try and touch them. My hand passed through them without so much as stopping. Wait, was it my imagination or had a fleck of snow in the globe stirred? I tried to hold the globe, I thought harder about it. I watched it intently, and a single flake moved. I gasped and sank to
the floor. I felt weak, I clearly couldn't interact with the solid world easily.
Wait, I can see and move, there are people who believe they can see the dead. Maybe one of them can, and I can find out who killed me. Then I could tell one of those 'psychics' about it. I might find rest, if I did that. At the very least it would give me something to do.
It could have been weeks before anyone realized I was dead, fortunately though I hadn't pair rent yet. It was already a week overdue, so my landlord Jon came bright an early to check if I had the money. When I didn't answer, he unlocked the door to see why I wasn't at work yet. He found my corpse almost immediately, and ran from the scene nearly loosing his breakfast. The cops came pretty quickly, they must have been at the McDonald's down the block eating breakfast.
It took the cops the better part of the morning to find all the clues they wanted, from overhearing their conversations I knew they felt like this was going to go unsolved. The suspect list they had made up was pathetic, I already knew that none of those people could have killed me. In frustration I tried to pound my head into the wall, and flew outside the building and onto the street below. Woah, I can fly, I suddenly realized. This would make finding the suspect a lot easier, I thought but where to start?
If I were an evil serial killer what car would I drive? The answer came surging forward like a freight train and drove me to my knees. A Red 1969 Dodge Charger Daytona, that would be the car an evil serial killer would drive, I told myself. There couldn't be many in this town, and it might be a crazy hunch, but if I was right, it would make finding the sleaze bag killer as easy as pie.
Even with my ability to fly, it took a long time to find an owner of a Red 1969 Dodge Charger Daytona. Dan seemed like an ordinary guy, he had a wife, and kids. He lived in the suburbs, I almost moved on. Until I saw a slight dent in his hood. It was obvious he'd tried to take the body damage out by himself. He'd done a pretty good job, but I could tell, this sleaze bag had killed Nancy.
I was so Angry I tried with all my might to beat the crap out of Dan. All I did was make him look around the room funny, while I was lying exhausted on the floor. I decided to shadow his every move, this guy had a blood lust, it wouldn't take long. Once I found where he got rid of the evidence I could nail this bastard. Sure enough within the week he was going to 'stay late at the office.'
I watched Dan prepare, he had a storage garage that he kept all his gear in. Safe from the prying eyes of the wife and kids, but not safe from mine. He went to a different part of town, found a run down apartment building, and stalked around until he found his opportunity. His knife smiled with a wicked grin as he plunged it into the heart of another unsuspecting victim. I watched in shock as the soul departed the body, nearly instantly. and faded from my eyes. What the hell, why didn't they stay here?
I knew enough though, it was time to find a psychic. Finding a reputable one was easy enough, but not even Desire The Delightful could truly detect my presence. There had to be a way to reach her though. I flew to her home, and she was sleeping peacefully. There must be a way to let her know. Frustrated, I tried shouting into her ears, but she didn't even mumble a reply. I sunk down in despair, and the world around me dissolved.
Where am I? I asked myself. Looking around it was nowhere I had ever been before. Was I somehow in Desire's dream?
I saw her nearby, and was convinced, I had somehow entered her dream. I walked up to her and she looked shocked, shouting, “You don't belong here! you're not part of this dream! Begone evil spirit!”
I calmly spoke, “Do you want to know who died tonight? Do you want to know who murdered him? Do you want to know where he hides the evidence? Just think of what it will do to your reputation as a psychic, if you can solve a case the cops haven't got a clue on who the killer is.”
Desire's eyes glossed over, and the world shifted around us. Suddenly she was on Oprah, in a gaudy outfit, giving her psychic advice. I interrupted her dream, “Remember this well, the man who killed tonight is named Dan Ostwile, he has a storage garage on 616, Diablo street. He drives a Red 1969 Dodge Charger Daytona, License plate 3V1LM4N. He's killed at least 2 men in the past 2 weeks, and the knife that matches the stab wounds on the unsolved murders is stored in that garage. Do you understand? Can you remember that and tell cops right away?”
“yeah I can remember,” Desire replied, as the world around us began to shake and crumble. I blacked out, and awoke lying on her floor. She was on the phone with police, trying to convince them that her grand psychic powers had predicted an end to the mysterious killings. It seemed like the cops weren't buying her story, but she persisted, insisting that all they had to do was look in the rental garage. I was convinced she'd get them to try and look there eventually, but something was wrong.
I wasn't going to Heaven yet. What was it this time? Why does it have to be this way? An idea hits me suddenly, if I find someone who's about to die, maybe I can figure out what happens. The other guy crossed over so fast, I didn't have a chance to see what happened. I fly through the air, there is a hospital nearby, people die there every day.
Flying through the sky is a different feeling from flying in a plane. It is a serene and surreal feeling to see everything a bird can, and not have the jarring vibrations of a jet engine underneath you. I spot the hospital, and fly towards it. There are a lot of people there, many are dying. It reminds me of what it was like when I was still alive and had no idea what death would bring.
I float through the walls and follow the signs to find the ICU. Surely someone there is about to die, perhaps I can even bring it about a bit faster. The sight in the first room I come to freezes me in my tracks. No, I can't do that. It's a little girl, I read her name from her chart.
Sarah, a fairly common name, but it doesn't matter I'm about to cry. I just wanted to know, and I was going to take a life to satisfy my curiosity.
After a moment I regain my strength, what tragedy befell this little girl? I try to read her chart, but my tears blur my vision. I wipe my eyes, and try again. One word pops out at me 'Coma.' I don't know what happened, but she's not dying, and she's not coming back to life again either. I pause to consider, and think perhaps I can reach her soul. I lie on her bed, wrapping my hands around her head, and concentrate. Reality begins to slip away, and I step into a dream world. There is a house on a hill, surrounded by flowers and trees, one tree has a swing. Alone sits a little girl, crying. I call out 'Sarah?'
She stops crying and looks at me immediately. 'w-who's there?' she stutters. 'You don't know me, but my name is Greg,' I begin to explain to her, 'I died last week, I wanted to find other dying people, so I found you at the hospital.' Sarah looks at me confused, 'what hospital? mommy and daddy never came home. No friends come over to play. daddy said not to talk to strangers.'
I stop to think, “This is a dream, if - when you wake up, you'll be in a hospital bed. You won't be able to see me or talk to me there though. I'm a ghost. Talking to ghosts is different from talking to strangers.”
“How do I know you're a ghost?” she asks.
“Simple,” I say, as I become vapor like, and float into the air, “only ghosts can fly.” Sarah's eyes open wide with shock.
“How do I wake up?” she asks.
“I don't know, but maybe if you think of this as a dream, and think of yourself waking up in the morning.”
The world around me swirled colorfully, and I was inside the bedroom of a young girl, Sarah's room. She stirred from her covers, “did it work?” she asked.
“I guess not,” I tell her, disappointed in myself for being powerless to help her. Then a thought occurs, “Try and keep up with me. This is a dream, you can fly just like you were a ghost here, if you believe in it.” I fly through the wall and watch for Sarah, she flies slowly after me. I lead her to a place in the sky that feels like it leads to the real world. I fly into the spot and then I wake up. I'm still a ghost Sarah still lies helplessly in her bed. I notice I'm not alone in the room, it's another Sarah. One from the dream world. She stirs and looks up at me. “Am I awake?, Mr. ghost?”
“No, but you are in the real world, but as if you were a ghost like me.”
“I'm a ghost?”
“No,” I point to her body on the bed, “You're just outside your body. I didn't know people who are alive could do this. I thought you'd wake up”
“Can I see mommy?”
“If she comes to visit you, you'll be able to see her. I'm sure she comes every day, so let's wait,” I said as I looked at the fresh flowers and cards at her bedside. Someone came here daily, anyways.
I felt good, even though I hadn't done much for Sarah, but she wasn't crying anymore. She opened up to me and talked to me about her all her friends, and how much fun she had with them. She talked about her parents, and her grandma, and her last birthday party, I kept her company, and her smiles and laughs made me realize what I had been missing for so long.
Before I was even dead, I had been missing something, it made life nearly impossible. I managed through though, sure that someday the emptiness and pain in my heart would be filled. I was missing love -- this little girl from the coma had so much it was overflowing and filling the void in my heart. That's when it happened.
There were footsteps in the hallway, and then the door opened, revealing a man. “Daddy!” Sarah cried out and leaped right through arms and came out behind him. She looked confused, but I tried to explain, “You're like a ghost until we can figure out how to make you wake up..” I started to say, as her daddy sat down besides Sarah's body and began to talk to himself.
“I'm sorry Anna, I wish I had been there.. I wish you hadn't died.. I am sad to have Sarah in this bed like this, but at least I don't have to see her crying over you.”
I was stunned into silence, Anna was the name of Sarah's mother. Sarah didn't seem to comprehend yet, perhaps she was still dazed and hadn't heard. I dreaded to face Sarah with the truth, she would demand that I take her to see her mother, because I am a ghost. Then I would have to break her heart, by telling her that normally ghosts don't stay in this world. I was trapped here, just as Sarah was trapped in her dream world, and couldn't wake up.
Sarah walked over to me, looking concerned. “Is something wrong, Mr. Greg?,” she asked. “If daddy is alone, I need to wake up and stop his crying. Mommy must have gone to heaven, like grandpa did.”
Sarah's words lifted the burden from me. I got up and said with new determination, “Let's go back and find out how to make you wake up, before your daddy leaves.” I then explained to Sarah how to enter her body. Again the world faded from my view as I returned to her dream world.
I stood next to the tree-swing, and Sarah sat on top of it.
“There is always a way to wake up from a dream, or a nightmare. We just need to figure out how to make this dream end. This dream is about you crying, and waiting for mommy and daddy to come home. Maybe if we imagine them coming home the dream will end..”
Sarah looked at me and smiled, “But they're already home Mr. Greg,” she said pointing to a beautiful woman standing next to the man I had seen in the hospital only moments ago.. The world around me began to dissolve and fade away, and I was gripped with pain. Perhaps staying in this dream was too dangerous for a ghost like me, so I tried to leave, but my head exploded in a searing white hot pain, and I fell unconscious.
When I awoke, there was nothing but white surrounding me.. I closed my eyes, and heard a voice that was strangely familiar. “Welcome Greg, you've finally made it here, I see. I was wondering how long you were going to be stuck on earth, but now I see it was all part of His plan” Then I realized where I'd heard this voice before.. “Nancy, is that you, how could it be... it's been 15 years.. since the accident.”
“Don't be silly, We're in heaven now, Greg, all that is long past, but we can finally be together again.” Nancy smiled at me, and gave me a big kiss on my cheek.
“What about Sarah? What happened to her?,” I asked still in shock from everything that had happened to me so suddenly.
“She woke up, here let me show you,” Nancy waved her hand over a cloud, and it became a reflection, that showed Sarah hugging her father in the hospital room.
I finally recovered and spoke from my heart, “I never got over loosing you, I wish I had been able to tell you when you were alive, but I couldn't manage to tell my best friend I was in love with her. It's been so hard without you I wanted to just die, but I just couldn't.”
Nancy leans up to me and whispers in my ear, “I have a secret too, I was so in love with you that I couldn't think... I've been watching you, and blaming myself for not being more careful at the intersection I was run over at. We might have had a wonderful family together, but forget about all that now we can be together forever up here.”