A Deal With Death

by Denny

          “I'm here! Please! Can’t you hear me?!” I swung at the head of a man looking over my dead body, I looked so pale and scared, lying there lifeless, stained with blood from my neck and chest. “Listen to me! I'm right here! Please!” My voice cracked as tears fell down my face. “Please….” The blue and red lights from the police cruisers illuminated the room, my shadow was nowhere to be seen. Paramedics arrived shortly after and carried my body away, I followed in pursuit. They loaded me into an ambulance, the tools and machinery in the vehicle jingled and jolted. I held my body’s hand the entire way, sobbing until I fell unconscious.

          I woke up in the vehicle outside the hospital. I looked around and down at my hands, they were partially transparent. Shit, so it wasn’t a dream. I wandered into the hospital, shuffling around and peeking into each room. In the distance I heard sobbing, I wandered into the room. A man was hunched over a bed, clutching the hand of someone, his wavy dark hair stuck to his face. Dad. I walked over to him, he sat there sobbing. “Why, why lord?!” He blubbered. I hugged him as best I could. “I love you dad.” Tears filled my eyes as I clutched onto him. My mother walked into the room with a cup of coffee, her mascara was smudged and messy. She sat down next to my father and rubbed his back. He turned to her and gently took the cup. “I can’t believe she’s gone.” My mom gently kissed him on the cheek. “I know…” I sat on the bed and watched them as they sat in silence. They didn’t leave for another two hours.

          Shortly after they left, my body was transported away to the morgue. They placed me in a large metal drawer near the incinerator. I walked down the hallway leading to the waiting room. A monotone voice filled the room as I felt myself shiver. “You move quite quickly.” I turned and saw a hooded figure. Their dark black robe covered their face, they extended a hand out to me, it was simply bone. It was death. “No I-I can't, I'm not ready.” They nodded. “I understand but it's time.” I pushed their hand away. “No!” I shouted. “I want- no, I need to find the person that killed me, I can’t let her walk the streets freely.” Death sighed as they took a seat on one of the couches. “I can’t tell you how many people have told me that.” They looked up at me with their hollow eye sockets. “But I don’t make acceptions, I have a strict schedule and it's your time.” They began to rise and grab their scythe, they held it over their head. “What if I make you a deal?!” I shielded my head with my hands. Death lifted me up by the back of my shirt and stared at me. “What kind of deal?” I gulped. “My funeral, until my funeral is finished I can attempt to find my murderer and have closure.” Death pulled me closer. “And if you don’t?” I grabbed death by the collar of their robe, still in the air. “You can trap my soul in whatever hellbent reality or torture chamber you want.” Death looked down at the floor, thinking. “That’s more of a Satan thing, but I’m sure someone would appreciate a soul…fine, but you're really cutting into my schedule so let's make this quick.” They snapped their fingers as dark smoke engulfed their hand. “We’ll shake on it.” I firmly grasped death by their hand as the dark smoke filled my lungs, I coughed and gagged. When I opened my eyes, death was gone, rather replaced with a note, Three days, two hours, and 14 minutes. Clocks ticking.

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