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Dying hurts, and don't let anyone tell you any different. People bang on about how, "Oh, he died peacefully in his sleep" and shit like that but don't believe a word of it. OK, my death was violent anyway – nothing prepares you for being catapulted through a windscreen – but I've spoken to people up here who've died in their sleep and apparently it's no less painful. It's something to do with the soul having to be ripped from the body – "ripped" being the key word here.

On the whole though, once you've gone through that, it's actually quite peaceful. I thought I'd be worrying non-stop about the people I've left behind but as it turns out, I'm not. That's not to sound selfish, it's just that once I'm up here, there's nothing I can do about them. Well, OK, so I can help one person, but you don't get any choice in the matter.

Everyone's a guardian angel up here, see. You die, you cover someone's back until the time they're destined to die, making sure they don't pop it first. Every time you've stuck a fork in a toaster or stepped out in front of a car or choked on a Quality Street, it's been your guardian angel whose made sure it didn't kill you. You have a date of death stamped on you from birth and you can't change it, save for bargaining with the Grim Reaper, who I've met and is actually a top guy with a keen interest in botany and chess.

However, because of all the latest advances in technology, you don't need to watch over your assignment constantly. The computer just beeps when danger is approaching and you swoop in and sort it out. The rest of the time you can spend watching what's going on in the world. You can even see things from the past – I've watched George Bush have a shoe thrown at him nearly seventeen hundred times now. It never gets old – it's like a great big heavenly YouTube.

I've also been keeping a close eye on my family and the things going on in my old school. There's the usual gossip bandying about the common room and corridors. Someone has hung black paper chains up through common room. It's all for me. It's enough to give a guy an ego.

I've also been watching Becky. It's her I feel the most sorry for – she had to see my dead body and I hate that I've caused her years of untold pain and horror because of it. It's not something you can ever get over. I remember seeing my granddad's body after he died – there's something so unnatural about that. But I've seen him since I died – he was part of my welcoming committee – and it turns out he's happy here. He's taken up judo.

All in all, death isn't as bad as they make out. The pain is momentary and worth it for what comes after. I know I will be united with everyone else very soon. It's worth noting too that revenge is sweet even after death, and I happen to know that that gossipy cow who was spreading all the rumours about Becky and me will be dead before the year is out. Long live death!
The third of three short stories on the same event.

See also,

Grapevine: [link]
Painter: [link]
CabbyHat Featured By Owner Sep 1, 2010
Very interesting. This was a cool idea, though I'd love to have seen more depth in the different stories. :)
BENSLAYER Featured By Owner Aug 30, 2010
I appreciated the little touches, such as the black paper-chains and the personification of Death. :) I also liked your implied concept of time in the afterlife, that whilst you can view the past, time ticks along at the same point as in the living world, so that you have to monitor your ward rather than undo any mistakes.
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