The lights passed by from the view of the car. Veronica stayed looking out the window as her boyfriend drove along the street. He stayed focused and he ignored the low sound of his phone ringing. But she could hear it. "Your phone's ringing." she said.
"I know. I'll just call back." He hesitated, she would find out soon. As he drove along, he got distracted by a passing car, it was Sheryline.
He turned away from the road as soon as she began to wave and out of nowhere, a semi truck carrying crates of products came along. As soon as he turned to face the road again, it was already too late. He swirved and the semi also turned, he hit another car and the trailer hooked to the semi came undone and went straight for the two cars. Josh yelled and Veronica, of course, screamed right at that very moment. Like in movies and stories, memoirs, and biographies, life flashed before their eyes. The moment it ended, they were covered in darkness.
Veronica walked into a dark hallway, it smelled like someone was cooking upstairs and downstairs, was probably a freezer. She looked around and came to a door. It was embroidered with neat gold designs. They represented random things: beasts, people, animals, demons. She opened the door and looked in to see other people, three girls and eight guys. Everyone turned to look and at that moment she felt like she was intruding on a business meeting. Then one guy, with long hair and a beard, spoke.
" Well, it is about time you got here! We've been waiting for a year. So it seems, but really, it's just been two minutes." She just looked at them. The room was lit with a few lights and some candles. The ceiling was up high and the floor was covered with a red carpet. And a few tables were along the wall with space between them that contained gargoyle statues older than time itself. " Stand over here with everyone else."
After joining everyone else, began the speech," Now. Welcome everyone young and older than 30. Any questions before we begin here?"
"Yeah," yelled one," who are you and what is this place?" This man was wearing a red shirt with a white collar, blue jeans, and was named Ronny Stevens.
" Good question. I am the Devil. I also work both good and evil so technically I can't be classified as the Devil. And you are all here in the fifth level of Hell. You are all here because you each have been classified as dead." Everyone loked at one another and out of all of them, only one pannicked.
" No, I can't be dead. I have two kids." said one of the girls. This one was a brunette with blonde highlights, wearing a pink jacket and blue sweatpants and purple and black running shoes. And a light grey shirt.
"I am sure your boyfriend can take care of them." he said. Then another guy who looked about 17 raised his hand," Yes?"
"How did we die and end up here?"
" Ah, another good question accompanied by another good one. Each of you are dead and here. That's a fact. You see, half of you are dead, and half of you are still somewhat alive and dead, in a coma. I'll even let you know who's what," the guy standing beside the man's chair handed him a paper," Janette Houlster, mother of two- a three year old boy and five year old girl- are in a coma. You were jogging and someone shot at you and others. Ambulance showed up on time to take you and the others to the hospital and put you and only you, in a coma. Robert Ahdapadil, you are officially dead. You were killed by a gang who tried to break into your home late last night. Vivia A'Latra, you are in a coma, you drowned but was saved by a priest who took you to the hospital. Welcome! George Right, 17 and in a deep grave that no one'll find you anytime soon. You were on a school bus and due to ice on the roads, went off the bridge to Albany and now you and others are still there. So you'd be considered in a deep dark coma. Tony Reardon, you are on the same bus, and you too are in the same state as your classmate whom you've never spoken to. Get to know each other now because chances are you'll be doing so for eternity. Jonie Jones, you are also on the bus with them. And once again, never spoke with either guy. Kevin Velder, 20 and use to work as a waiter. You are also dead, you died from a car crash with your dad. He made it however. At least you was brave enough to try to save him. And Veronica Hendricks, 20 and dead. You and your boyfriend were also in a car accident, you died and he was spared. Distraction from the road really messes people up."
"How come we- certain ones, were brought here?" asked Tony.
" This is the next thing I have for each of you. You were chosen to be here, for an assignment. Each of you are being given an opportunity that you'll remember forever, dead or alive. You are to go on Earth, blend in and exist both in life and death."
" That sounds simple." said Vivia.
"But, in order to go back to life, you must first follow directions, do as you are told. And you are to go around and terrorize and help others. Most of you will be returned to your normal life and others can't and some may not be able to even return to life or restart. it's the rules. So, those in a coma will awaken and go back to their families. Those that wish to can go back but restart or choose to remain dead." Everyone remained silent and considered the offer. And like anyone else, took the offer.
Before they had arrived on earth, funerals and search parties were on the move. in newspapers it had listed those who's funerals were in that month: Robert Ahdapadil, Veronica Hendricks, and Kevin Velder. Search parties for an Albany school bus that was carrying 17 kids and 9 high schoolers. And those who were in an accident and now in a coma: Janette Houlster and Vivia A'Latra. People mourned. Janette's boyfriend spent time at the hospital beside his loved one's bed, and going to the elementary to pick up Darla and also picking up Jeremy from his mother's house. In Manhattan, stylists and famous designers became depressed due to the loss of the world famous model Vivia. A whole show was to be dedicated to her in a week.
As for Veronica's boyfriend, Josh Veraos, he wasn't mourning nor becoming drenched with depression and alcohol. He was more happy and less worried than the rest of the world who mourned for others.His wishes came true, he also had gone up more in life so to speak. He now was living in New York City, in an expensive two story house, now owned a Lexus, and even had a large sum of money along with a new girlfriend(which we know is Sheryline). He was more happier now than before. the death of his girlfriend just made him richer and powerful.
They arrived in the world, ready to get the opportunity into there hands and to never let go. They were given new clothes and a place to stay at for one day before they could begin their voyage or terror and helping. Resting at a parking lot, the first to speak was Tony.
"... Are we allowed to eat? Or drink? I feel hungry."
"Yeah, my throat feels like it's on fire," said Veronica, rubbing her throat.
"Well, we can try it, but if we can't then just pretend like we weren't really hungry or thirsty anyways." responded Robert. Each of them walked into a restaurant. People were enjoying coffee and burgers. Before they left the 5th level, they were each given money which would multiply each time half the money was spent. "Money's an evil product", he had said when he presented it to them. They selected a corner table and sat.
While looking around to see if anyone noticed them or even seen them, Tony leaned to the other seat and asked the old woman," Can you really see us?"
"Well," she said, adjusting her glasses," it depends if I got my glasses on or not."
"Just checking," and before turning back he added," Madam." And he let her continue enjoying her soft boiled eggs which would create a gas that even the underworld couldn't handle. After a while they were enjoying eggs, bacon, sausage, waffles, doughnuts, and coffee with both sugar, cream, or black coffee with sugar or just plain coffee. They could eat and drink, that's for sure. After finishing up breakfast, they decided to hang around a bit to enjoy more coffee, but the reason wasn't because they were enjoying real coffee, but that they didn't know what to do either.
"We can't sit here expecting the work to come to us." said Ronny.
"He's right," agreed Janette,"We gotta go out there and do this." she paused," Just do this job so we can go back to life. Everyone can wait to see their loved ones. I mean... I can wait to see everyone I once knew." Each of them stayed silent, knowing she was about to crack. When it didn't happen right away, Robert continued the plan.
"We can go-," before he could finish, Janette slammed her hands down on the table making it seem like a chain reaction which made the other tables respond.
"I want to see my family!" she screamed, only a handful of people turned to stare.
"Calm down Janette," George said, trying to keep his voice at a reasonable level," calm down. Everyone wants to return to normal but first we have to keep calm and do as we're told to do."
"Okay," she nodded. Everyone else agreed, she then added," Alright, yeah. But first, I want to see my kids and boyfriend," silence," now."
"Will you shut up if we do?" asked Veronica.
"Maybe." she responded.
The group came to the nearest hospital in New York City. They walked into the halls, no one even noticing them. People didn't bother to turn or even glance. They went unseen. Janette noticed him, her boyfriend Jacob Dawson. He was beside the bed at which she, and everyone else, seen her lying on. Her breathing was controlled by a machine, eyes shut and no movements.
Jacob was sitting quietly and talking to his forever sleeping girlfriend. They stood there in the room around the bed. and Janette stood by her brokenhearted prince. And they listened to him. "Janette," he said," we've been missing you now and... the kids are wondering when you're gonna wake up. Don't worry about them, they're in school and doing good. staying at your mother's tonight."
Tony looked at Jonie, who apparently just wanted to cry. Emotional teen. Janette started to tear up and everyone else just remained silent.
" I have been keeping the house clean and been feeding the puppy. You know, I was going to ask you something that day," he dug in his pocket," and I didn't have the guts to. But now, I wish I had done so earlier." And they witnessed him getting an engagement ring out of a velvet box. Janette cried and Vivia became impatient. While admiring the 14 carat diamond, he closed the ring box and Janette rushed out. They followed with Vivia talking.
"Drama-queen." she said. After leaving the hospital and going a few blocks away, they sat at the nearest park and just stayed silent about anything. Then while Ronny and Robert was trying to talk to Janette, Veronica noticed something. A white Lexus went by and in it contained her boyfriend, and another person.
"Excuse me everyone." She said and went in the same direction as the car which just parked a block away. She left the area and Kevin and Vivia followed her.
With night comes mystics and with true love comes heartbreak. It was a sad scene at the hospital for Janette's would be fiance. But for Josh, it didn't apply. Veronica walked up to the house which looked expensive. Kevin and Vivia followed. "I don't think I can get in," she said and she turned around and jumped after bumping into Kevin," You scared me! What are you two doing here?"
"Making sure you don't do anything stupid." replied Kevin. " I have got to see how everyone's handling my death." Vivia proclaimed.
"I need to find a way in here. I walked up here and he didn't see me." Veronica said. Reluctantly enough, they came to the back door which was unlocked. The trio walked in and was just as surprised as the woman they seen him walking around with, Sheryline.
"Son of a-" said Veronica. Her boyfriend was with her best friend. A devastating sight, really.
"Wow, you are really living it up after she died." said Sheryline.
"Well, she's the one that had the money, and I talked her into putting both our names on the bank statement. Well, there was also the life insurance that I took out on her last week."
"Seems like he meant to wreck the car." whispered Kevin. Veronica was too upset to even think. This was the scene she wished she didn't have to witness. He was cheating on her with her friend since they've been together.
"When's the funeral?" asked Sheryline, taking a sip of champagne. "In a few days, but I just told people I was too upset to even want to go."
"Is this the best thing that's happened for you, honey?" she said.
"It is. I got money out of it." And they smiled. Sheryline held up her glass.
"To Veronica's death?" she offered. And he also raised his glass; together, they said it outloud. "TO VERONICA'S DEATH!" And they clinked their glasses. Kevin looked at Veronica, and just to egg her on, Vivia handed her the nearest book( also the biggest book).
"Here, throw it and feel better." she said. Veronica took the book and threw it, hitting her now ex right in the face. He dropped his glass and Sheryline screamed. Kevin handed her another.
"Wait, throw this one too, you missed the bit of cheat on his face." And she threw it again and felt a little better. But not that good. They walked out.
"At least that counts as your evil percentage, now just try to help people. What are you gonna do now?" asked Kevin.
"I'm gonna help people alright." She walked up to the new Lexus and looked around. Just at that moment the others ran up.
"What are you doing?" asked Robert.
While still searching, she responded, "Helping others and getting out my feelings towards my ex." Robert looked at Kevin.
"Just gettin' anger out. That's all." And he shrugged. Ronny brought a baseball bat from the yard over.
"Here, do what you got to do." He stood back, and she prepared to swing the bat. Robert and the rest decided to go ahead and help by going to the shed next door and getting anything that they found: rakes, shovels, hoes, boards, and whatever else you could possably find in a shed. She took the first swing and busted the front lights with one swing. And everyone else joined in. They busted out each window, dented in the car doors, tore up the seats, bashed in the hood, scratched the car doors, slashed the tires in nine different places, and managed to beat the steering wheel to the ground. Throughout the noise that could be heard across New York City, no one bothered to check. They soon left the car to pieces. And they decided to rest for awhile. Then the silence was broken with George speaking.
"Take the money out of the bank and give it away." he told her. And before they could realize it, she was already going to retrieve the money. Wondering around in the city, they decided to change clothes and looks and do as intended. Janette was now a red haired girl with a diamond dress on. George had not really changed his look except now he wore a long sleeve shirt and blue jeans. The other guys wore suits and Vivia was now blond and had on a dress she once wore to a modeling show she attended in France. Jonie wore a baby blue shirt, blue skirt, and had now highlighted hair. Veronica wore a light grey shirt and a black skirt with her hair dark still but with blue and red in. Now here's what surprised many people there who noticed them. Not only was it their appearances but the fact that they walked right up to anyone who was sitting on the sidewalk, in the alley, or holding a damp or dirt covered sign and gave them five one-hundred bills. People watched in surprised or shocked features. Ronny and Tony went to an old woman sitting with her four grandchildren in the alley and gave her ten of those bills. They went to local orphanages and left piles of money on the tables, they went to homeless shelters and left money on each table available. With still enough left over, they dropped it off at any local place that helped other countries. Leaving it all where they wanted, they soon rested at an abandoned factory. Rest overtook them and they were grateful.
"Good deed done after bad deed." said Robert. Silence fell over them, and just resting, they got hungry. But they would soon find out what comes next for them.
Sirens were sounding all that day and night. Josh apparently got so worked up about his car that he called every police station far and near and had them set out to find who did it. What made him even more worse, say depressed and sobbing like a little baby, was the disappearance of the money in the bank. Veronica found it to be so humorous to see him crying. That brightened her day. But now the group resides in a hotel on the 18th floor. The view was interesting. They focused on the flashing lights and cops searching every person on the street either walking or just about to get in their cars or trucks.Vivia sipped her red wine.
"Today was eventful." she said out loud.
"I actually enjoy being both alive and yet dead," added Tony. Everyone else was still enjoying the view or having some wine or champagne. Except those that didn't drink. But there was also water and soda. Occasional juice boxes.
"Happy you got your revenge, Veronica?" asked Robert. She just smiled.
"Yeah. I think that'll stay with me whether I am still living or dead later." Kevin and Ronny were sitting on the ground and playing, for some reason, Battleship. It was Kevin's first time playing it so he lost five times already. Everyone enjoying themselves, the fun was broken.
"What was your life like before, Veronica?" asked Kevin. Everyone fell silent and looked around or looked down at the floor or their glasses containing either red or clear.
"It was like anyone- any persons life was like. I guess, that's what it was like." and then silence.
"But like what? Apparently you had a lot of money and you had a relationship and a friend. Tell us your life story." he said, probably just to get an excuse to quit playing Battleship since he kept losing.
"I wasn't from New York. I was born in Illinios and moved here when I was 18. Only had seventy-five dollars, saved that up and got a job. Saved up all the money I earned, put it in a bank account, met Josh a year later. Apparently he was with me for the money, but who isn't? Anyways, got a friend that same year and just this year, was in a car crash because he turned away from the freakin' road at the wrong time and here I am." No one spoke, except for Veronica." What about you Kevin, tell us how you got here then?"
"Fair enough... I was helping my dad pack up some things to take to a customer. And this was in Canada by the way. It was already icing and snowing so we setted out early and didn't get back until after twelve that night. While driving, my dad couldn't see anything so when he finally turned on the brights, there was a building that we were about to hit and he decided at that very moment to swerve. Thanks to ice, the tires lost control and we went sideways. First thing I did was tried to help my dad. Before I died, he was unconscious and I was stabbed in the right lung with a chunk of glass from the window. So I died immediately. But he lived." And Kevin grew silent and began to regret bringing up that and regretting even more about asking how Veronica's life was and how it ended so quickly.
"I was a model," spoke Vivia, everyone turned,"I had been modeling for nine years, starting at 14 and ending at age 22. I was the best out there. Modeled everywhere: Berlin, Egypt, France, New York, Los Angeles, Florida, Italy. Anywhere. People always gave me gifts and stuff. Dated actors and rich guys. Then at 22, I began to feel the strain of the glam and money, the lights and attention. While in New York, I was strolling through the park and came to a bridge. I thought of my life drifting away with the water. I looked up to the sky and closed my eyes and jumped. The water was freezing too! But sometime between death and being unconscious I was rescued and now am in a coma. I don't know of anyone who would have saved me."
" I was on the school bus," began Tony,"I always sat in the back and didn't want to talk with anyone. I would just sit there and wish I was in the popular crowd. While the bus was going across the bridge, I remembered someone yelled at me and threw a half eaten apple at me. Then all of a sudden the bus jerked and swerved to the right then left, we went off the bridge. I just remembered getting hit with an apple by someone-" At that moment George remembered exactly who threw the apple.
"It was me," he said," I was dared to throw an apple at someone. You were mentioned and became the target at that point. Sorry, Tony."
"I am so sorry too Tony," added Jonie," at that same moment before the bus went off the bridge, I was laughing at you and your reaction to the apple. Can you forgive me?" she asked. Tony shook his head.
"Just when I die, I get stuck with you two for eternity. I wish I could just go back down to the fifth level and stay there, maybe down to Hell." And he got up and left the room. Retreating to the back to sleep. If he could. Ronny began his story.
"Hey, I was brought there before any of you," he said and began,"a few months ago, I was a security guard at a big store. Me and my friends there were talking about what we're gonna do after work. A man walked in wearing a black trench coat, dark jeans, a hat, had a beard, and was just walking by. So we were suspicious and all. Then I was distracted when I heard a loud scream and that man pulled out a gun from his coat and kept pointing to people sayin', well, I don't remember what. But he began shootin' at random people. He shot men, women, children, the elderly. He shot at my friends and then he finally shot me about four times. I just laid there in pain and dyin'. I just remember it looking like a massacre." Ronny ended his story of how he got where he was at and where he is now.
"Can I tell you what I did before coming to this point in my world?" asked Janette. Then she began,"I worked as a fitness consultant. And I met Jacob before I started that job. We ended up with two kids, my daughter Darla and son Jeremy. I went for a jog one day with my fitness group and then a van was driving by. All I heard was screams and then sounds like loud doors slamming repeatedly. Or like dropping books on the floor. I felt the bullets hit me on the left side of my shoulder and legs. My arms and one close to my lungs. And then I fell to the ground. I also noticed to that before I went unconscious I dropped my necklace that Jacob got me. I got to find it!" And she hopped up and went to find the phone book to search for the place she could remember that she got shot around.
"Alright, everyone needs some rest," said Robert,"go to sleep and we'll continue on in the morning." With many agreements and disagreements, everyone-reluctantly- went to bed.