INT. DARKLY LIT ROOM (LATER REVEALED TO BE PURGATORY)
Well c'mon, I haven't got all day.
(Struggling to find his voice) N… name?
(Sarcastic) You have a name don't you?
Y-y-yeah… (Thinks a moment, then shakes his head)
(Gives an obnoxious sigh) You're a fountain of useful information. (Reads out of the folder) Vincent Toze, age 18. 5'7", 120lbs, eyes blue, hair brown. Time and date of departure: November 15, 2010 at 8:35pm. Time of arrival of the deceased: November-
Deceased. Passed on, gone to meet his maker, dead. They all mean the same thing kiddo.
You're kidding me right?
What kind of sick joke is this!
Suddenly you found your voice.
I'm not dead! I'm here living and breathing right in front of you! Where am I!
What an interesting creation the human soul is. The body can be mangled, cut, shot, burned, etc. But the soul… the soul cannot be touched. It is a pure object, incapable of being harmed. (Vincent looks at him quite confused at this point) You're not the first one I've had to convince. Here if you don't believe me. (The figure removes a bullet from the cylinder and tosses it towards Vincent on the table. Vincent examines it and concludes that it is a real bullet.) Better get used to it kiddo it only gets harder from here.
Who are you?
I was with Adam and Eve when they realized the extent of their mortality. I gathered up the lost from the fields of Gettysburg and brought as many as I could to their final place. I watched men bring each other down in a hail of bullets on the beaches of Normandy. I collected the unlucky innocents scorched by the flames of Vietnam. I was called when people were struck down in Afghanistan. They say… when you stare Death in the face, your life flashes before your eyes. So tell me Vincent Toze… what do you see?
You are Death…
I am YOU'RE Death, Vincent. At least, the closest thing your feeble human mind can come to realizing. I am one of an old few. Those who still remember called me… Azrael.
Azrael… why am I here? Or rather… where IS here?
Here is Purgatory Vincent. The Place of Waiting. Contrary to popular belief it is not Saint Peter who judges where people go, it is I. Normally I could just cycle through you humans faster than a census. However you, Vincent, are a very interesting case. "Why am I here?" I ask you the same question, why ARE you here kiddo?
Isn't it your job to tell me?
I could, but this is vastly more entertaining. Let's examine the facts. You were one of the most successful students in your school, friend to everyone. Even had a lover. (Mocking memory loss; he obviously knows the answer to this) What was her name?
(A sorrowful whisper) Ella…
Ah yes. Now it seemed you had everything great. But something happened, something someone missed. And thus, here you are, in the place where time means as little to me as it would to an insect.
How long do you plan on playing mind games with me Azrael?
How long do you wish to keep me entertained, Vincent? Oh perhaps I should mention one thing. (Azrael snaps his fingers and a small portal appears. Within it is a picture of ELLA, Vincent's beloved. She is kneeling at his grave and crying deeply.) Your dear beloved isn't fairing too well. Rumor Topside has it she's heading in a bad direction and is eager to join you… if you get my drift.
Are you threatening her!
Not at all. In fact I am slightly… sympathetic to your plight. I will answer the questions you have, if you shall answer mine. Come with me human, I have something to show you.
EXT. THE PATH
Where are we now Azrael?
The Path. The Road of Decision. I have taken many a soul down its length, had many a discussion with them. But no matter the outcome, the standing rule is a decision must be made. Walk with me Vincent Toze.
What decision is that?
To go forth with their final plans in the afterlife, or to return to the place of what you would perceive as the living world. (Vincent puts a hand on his shoulder to stop him)
You've let people go back…
Let me explain. I have given them the opportunity to go back… if they have a pure conscience. Many have gone back on their own, without my consent, and as a result… you mortals have what you call "ghosts", the poor few who never listened. So I give them an opportunity for a choice.
You give us a chance at redemption? Doesn't seem very profitable to one who deals in the dead.
(Laughs) Clever boy. Do you have a question or don't you?
How did I… die Azrael? I don't remember anything wrong.
Ah interesting answer. What is one of the leading causes of departure for human beings? (Vincent shakes his head) Cancer. (Sees his shocked face) It was undiagnosed, brain tumor. You didn't show any of the symptoms so no one noticed, until it was too late of course.
Why don't you wear any religious symbols?
Why should I? It doesn't matter if you're Catholic, Jewish, Buddhist, etc. Death is all the same to me. Now I pose one for you.
Azrael what is it going to take to let me go! Ella shouldn't be forced to go through this!
My dear, dear, Vincent I told you that time means nothing to me. You're precious Ella isn't going anywhere… immediately. But if you are so eager to find her well… (He pulls a silver half dollar out of his coat and flips it) Heads, you answer the one question that has plagued me for eternity and I'll let you go, tails you stay here.
You would put things like this to chance?
What does a doctor tell a family when a loved one is seriously injured? They have a 50/50 chance. Everything revolves around chance. The chance of winning an award, finding the love of your life, even cheating me. Chance rules life and death. (Looks at the coin, smiles, then back at Vincent) Why is it that humans value life so highly, when you know I'm only going to catch up with you in the end?
It's love. Love is what binds people together; the feeling when you look at someone and know you want to spend the rest of your life with them. Love is what keeps people alive, and what keeps them together, even after they have passed on to you. Love conquers all, even Death.
(Thinks a moment) Come with me.
A blank tombstone holds no purpose for me, once its… occupier has addressed their business. No one resides here, at least not anymore. (Vincent looks at him, surprised) I believe you have a young lady to go see. Hurry home Vincent.
"Love conquers all, even death." I will never understand human beings. (Opens his hand, to show the coin on tails) "Battle not with monsters lest ye become a monster, and if you gaze into the abyss, the abyss gazes into you." Cut to black.
Hello my friend.
And to think… I thought I'd gotten rid of you. (Laughs)
Ella is a lovely young women. She's waiting for you, if you are ready.