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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Flash Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
A man wakes up one morning and there is no-one around. He seems to be all alone and there is nothing moving except for himself and some balloons, oh yes, and an Angel.

Submitted: November 04, 2016

A A A | A A A

Submitted: November 04, 2016




Nate woke up in a fright; he had a terrible dream. 

Nate headed to the bathroom and turned on the water in the bathroom sink, nothing happened, from the hot and cold fascists, not a drop. So he flushed the toilet, that didn't work either. 

"The Superintendent must be on vacation again," Nate mumbled, "nothing around here works right anymore. It's a good thing that I do not have to GO right now.

I guess that I could wash up at work, I have stuff in my locker."

So Nate got dressed and left his apartment, and as he headed down the hall to the elevator he happened to glance out of the window that leads to the fire escape.

What caught Nate's eye was a red party balloon floating in the sky.

"Ah, some kid lost their balloon," he thought as he pushed the elevator button.

"What the?" Nate said in a questioning manner as he pushed and pushed the button. "The water's out, now the elevator, thank God I don't live up on the top floor!"

Nate made his way down the six flights of stairs and when he entered the lobby he found no one to complain to, not a soul was to be found. Even the doorman was not at his post.

"Where is everybody," Nate wondered out loud. "Hello!" He hollered quite loudly, but no one replied.

As Nate wandered out to the sidewalk, and in front of the building, he looked around and said, "Where is all the cars, the delivery vans, the cabs? And where are all the people?"

Another balloon drifted by, a blue one this time. "Where are those balloons coming from?" Nate wondered.

Then another one, green this time, floated between two tall buildings and drifted in the same general direction as the others.

Nate walked in the direction that he thought that the balloons were coming from; it was on the way towards Nate's place of employment anyway. It was hard to tell for sure, but he thought that whoever was letting the balloons go could tell him why no-one was around. Or someone at work might know if he got there first.

Another red one floated between two buildings and drifted in the same general direction as the others.

Nate turned the corner and went east for a few blocks; he was getting very near Rockefeller Center and his job.

"There is another one, yuck, that is not purple, it's Burple," Nate said as he noted his displeasure with its color.

Nate turned the corner again and traveled for a few more blocks, arriving very near the Center.

Nate saw a Angel standing on the front steps of the old church. The Angel was about eight feet tall and had two wings that would make any eagle envious.

Every so often this Angel would click its fingers and a balloon appears; then the balloon would float away.

Hesitantly Nate approached the Angel and asked, "Are you Gabriel?"

The Angel looked down at Nate and roared with laughter. After a goodly laugh he replied, "No my good fellow, I am called Earl. Gabriel is upper management, if you know what I mean."

"Where is everybody, is this judgment day or something?" Nate cautiously asked.

Earl stopped what he was doing and looked at Nate with a stern look and said, "Everyday is judgment day." Then Earl went back to snapping his fingers and producing balloons.

Then Nate asked, being very concerned, "But where is everyone, where is all the cars, buses, trucks, the airplanes? This is Rockefeller Center, where are all the people?"

"They are all around us, SEE THEM," Earl said.

And as Earl said those words, Nate could see everything clearly, just as he thought it should be."

Well that moment of clarity only lasted a moment, and then it was gone again.

Nate cried out, "Where did they all go?"

"Only those that are among the living can see them, Earl replied.”You no longer see anything that moves, no running water, not clouds in the sky, no cars, buses, not even people."

Nate shook his head in disbelief and asked, "Wait, no way! Do you mean that I am dead?"

Earl smiled and asked Nate, "What do you remember about last night?"

Nate replied, "Ah, I came home from work, took a shower, ate dinner, watched TV, and went to bed. Then this morning I woke up to a terrible dream about falling ..."

Earl cut Nate off and asked, "During the fall, did you wake up before or after you hit the ground, you know, in the dream?"

Nate thought for a second and replied, "Well that is what woke me up, just as I ... Oh, my, gosh, so it's true what they say about dreams and falling. ... Who would have guessed it?

Why didn't I see a bright light or something like that?" Nate questioned, almost to himself.

"Some do, some do. not Some seem to want to hang around for a while and then there are those that seem to want to hang around this earth for a very long while. It's almost as if they refuse to acknowledge their own demise, or the strange and stagnant world around them, "Earl said.

"Why are you making balloons, shouldn't you be doing something more angle-like, like saving some poor soul?" Nate shyly asked.

"My task is to gatherer souls, not to save them from themselves. When someone dies, I dispatch them skyward," Earl replied rather proudly. 

Nate got an odd look on his face and then asked, "Then what are the balloons for?"

Earl answered by saying, "Souls go through a purification process while in route to that great beyond. What looks like a balloon to you is actually the protective chamber that they are placed in to complete that process. But each soul is unable to enter their chamber until they have relinquished a need for those bonds that keep them here on earth."

Nate scratched his head and then asked, “How many angels do your kind of work? There must be thousands."

Earl replied, "There are four of us. But what you see is what you believe that I should be. And this place that I am with you, I am in a thousand other places at the same time, talking to a thousand other earthbound souls.

That body that you think that you are in, that is just a memory, of sorts. You are spirit now."

"Hmm, so what color balloon do I get?" Nate asked Earl.

To which Earl replied, "What color would you like?"

"Roman Red is my favorite," Nate said.

"Roman Red it is," Earl said with a smile... CLICK!"


D. Thurmond / JEF  ---  11-01-2016

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