Concerning Gerald and Reincarnation

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Humor  |  House: Booksie Classic
Caroline takes great pride in tormenting her cousin, Gerald, about the 'lives he will be reborn into after death'. And then he dies, and that is the end of it.

...or is it?

Submitted: August 10, 2012

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Submitted: August 10, 2012

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"You have only three more weeks?!?" Gerald's Aunt Partridge was upset. Of course, she did have a good reason, being as how Gerald had just come home from the doctor's with grave news.

"That's what the doctor said" Gerald answered, "He said I got some virus. I can't remember its name, but it kills quickly"

"It kills quickly?" Aunt Partridge repeated, "Is it contagious?" Gerald shrugged.

"I asked and he doesn't know" he said, "I'm only the second case in the world" Seeming unconcerned, he pulled his GameBoy out of his back pocket and inserted his favorite game.

"Why are you so calm?" Aunt Partridge asked. She was acting as if she was about to have a heart attack, not that that wasn't likely. She loved Gerald dearly. Ever since his mother had died, Gerald had been put in her care. The father had never been found, but Aunt Partridge didn't care. She loved having Gerald around. He was always so happy and lit up the house with his jokes.

Her own daughter, however, did not share her mother's views. Caroline lived in a constant state of depression. Gerald irritated her, constantly trying to cheer her up, never once considering that she might actually like being depressed.

Hearing commotion, she had walked downstairs, and into the kitchen where her mother was hyperventilating. "Three weeks?" she asked, her lips curling into a smirk, "That much?" Her mother looked at her, shocked. "Why don't you die today and be done with it?"

"Caroline!" Aunt Partridge gasped.

Gerald just shrugged, "It doesn't matter" his aunt's wide eyes moved over to him, her mouth opening even more.

"How can you say that?" she asked. Gerald took a moment to answer, most of his focus on the game in his hands.

"I'll probably come back" he said, "you know, where the person dies, and depending on how they acted during their lives, they come back as different things?"

"Reincarnation?" Aunt Partridge asked. Her daughter scoffed, and she shot her a warning look. She figured the look probably wouldn't work, but she did it anyways. It didn't work.

"Pu-leeze" Caroline said flatly, "you actually believe it that?" her rolled eyes expressed more than her words could. Gerald shrugged again.

"I don't know. I mean, I've always believed in heaven, but it could be something else, right?" he shut the GameBoy and put it back in his pocket. He looked at her as if expecting a reply, but she only scoffed again with another roll of her eyes.

His aunt however, was not so tight-lipped, "What do you think you would come back as?" her immediate warning look wasn't fast enough, evidently, as Caroline spoke up.

"A worm? It'd be an improvement" she said, tossing her straight black hair out of her face. Gerald leaned on the table.

"I don't know. I guess I'd probably be an animal" he looked up at his aunt, "After all, I haven't been all that good"

She gasped, "Gerald, don't say that! You've been wonderful"

"Says you" her daughter blurted out. Gerald shook his head.

"Not all that much. I suspect my pranks will catch up with me eventually. I mean, what about the baking soda in the salt shaker? Or the toothpaste in your slippers? Or the frosting in your pillow?"

His aunt shook her head; "Gerald, I may not have been happy with you at the time, but I actually enjoyed them" Gerald smiled.

"Thanks, but I don't know if that'll help" he said. Caroline opened her mouth and took a deep breath, as if to say something, but then shut it.

"But you've done quite a bit of good, too" Aunt Partridge pointed out. Gerald raised an eyebrow thoughtfully.

"That's true. Maybe I'll be a smarter animal. Like a cat." Caroline laughed out loud, mockingly, but Gerald pushed on, "No, seriously. I'll come back as a cat, orange with white stripes. And a jet-black tail" His eyes shone with excitement, and his aunt had to laugh, but kindly.

"Gerald, lots of cats are orange with white stripes" she said, "But I have never heard of any with a black tail"

"I'll be the first!" Gerald announced happily. His cousin rolled her eyes.

"I think I'll head upstairs before I get any sicker and puke" she said without moving.

Her mother ignored her, "A lot of stray cats die from starvation, you know" she said, "Or they get hit by cars" Gerald rubbed his hand through his hair.

"That's true. I'd probably come back as a burglar, then" he said. He pulled his hand out of his hair, and looked at it before brightening, "A burglar with silver hair" His aunt laughed.

Caroline rolled her eyes again, and left the room for good, hearing only her mother and cousin laughing.

Two weeks later, Gerald died. The service was that weekend. The burial was dismal, rain pummeling the mourners. Aunt Partridge dragged Caroline there, and she was practically pouting, sitting on one of the tombstones, watching the service from a distance. She listened to the talking for a while, rolling her eyes whenever someone blew their nose or cried loudly.

"Blah, blah, blah" she muttered under her breath. Being in the graveyard was cool, but having to listen to this was boring. All of a sudden, she felt a sharp pain on her backside. Standing up and spinning around, she faced the perpetrator. An orange cat with white stripes, completely dry in the downpour was standing there on the tombstone glaring at her.

"Scat, cat" she said, looked directly into the cat's eyes, hoping to scare it. Then she froze. The cat had brown eyes. Eyes that looked exactly like a human's eyes. Transfixed, she stood there for a moment before the cat launched itself at her.

"Ow! Get off me!" she said, brushing the cat away. It landed a short distance away, hissing before running off. She shook her head and inspected herself. Her arm was bleeding, the front of her shirt was torn, and there was a scratch on her neck. Then she felt a breeze. Face red, she ran to the car and waited there until her mother walked over. Of course, she didn't share any details about what had happened, other than the fact that the cat had attacked her.

Glancing out the window, her eyes caught the cat standing on the trunk of another car. She glared at it as her mother drove away, and the cat glared back. Then it jumped off and disappeared with a flick of its tail; its jet-black tail.

She tried to laugh, but it came out more of a croak. It couldn't have been, could it? She frowned and settled down deeper into the seat.

Three weeks later, Caroline was watching TV when her mother came in. "Well, guess what I saw outside" she said

Caroline rolled her eyes and changed the channel, "What did you see outside?"

"A dead cat" her mother answered simply.

"That's it? A cat? No big deal" she said

"It was orange with white stripes" Caroline froze as her mother continued, "With a jet-black tail. I guess Gerald did come back. Too bad he died again, so soon" She walked over to her daughter, "Now I guess the world will be attacked by a silver-haired burglar"

She caught a glimpse of her daughter's face and frowned, "Are you all right, Caroline?" she asked, "You look as if you've seen a ghost"

Caroline looked up at her mother, "Not funny, mom. Not funny at all" There was a crash from her room, and she looked up, and then at her mother.

Her mother shrugged; "Maybe you stacked something wrong?" Caroline bolted out of her seat, and charged upstairs. Aunt Partridge shook her head "I swear, that girl had been on edge ever since the death of-"

Her sentence was cut short as a scream came from Caroline's room, followed by a thump. "Caroline?" her mother asked. When no answer came, she called again, "Caroline?" When she didn't answer again, Aunt Partridge ran upstairs to find her daughter unconscious on her floor.

A hour later found Caroline at the hospital, conscious, but rambling on and on madly about a mysterious 'silver-haired thief'


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