Among The Dead
“May I speak to Kristen Reynolds please?” Alex asks.
“I’m sorry but Mrs. Reynolds isn’t in right now”, the woman says.
“Do you know where she may be?”
“She’s attending a funeral right now”.
“What funeral?” Alex says. “She never told me about a funeral”.
“She doesn’t really like to talk about it, they were really close”.
“Uh, ok just tell her that her husband’s been in an accident”. “I’m ok, I just don’t want her to worry”.
“Um, sure ok”, the woman says, seemingly confused.
“Thanks”. Alex hangs up the phone.
“Ugh, what am I gonna do?” Alex says to himself, as he walks back to the police station.
“You all set to go?” The policeman asks.
“Yup, I’m all set”. Alex replies.
“So, I just drop you off at the near bus stop?”
“Yeah, that’ll be great”.
About 5 minutes later, they reach the bus stop.
“Ok this is the stop”. The policeman says. “The bus should be here in a few minutes”.
“Ok, thanks for the ride, I really appreciate it”. Alex replies.
Alex sits at the bus stop, waiting for the bus to arrive. It’s a dark night out, full moon is up and it’s really cold as well. About 10 minutes has passed, Alex sees a light coming toward him from afar, he realizes that it’s the bus. The bus stops directly in front of him and the door slowly opens. Alex puts coins inside the slot and finds a seat close to the middle but further back. Everyone seems to be staring at Alex, all grinning except for one, it’s making Alex feel really uncomfortable. There aren’t much people on the bus though, as a matter of fact there are only 5, including Alex. There’s a young boy who doesn’t really seem to be happy and a young girl who looks as if she’s on a plane that’s falling from the sky. There’s an old woman who looks as if she can die any second, and there’s one other person, a man who looks to be in his 30’s. This man is the only one who actually looks alive, the only one with a smile on his face. Alex seats across from him, he’s been on the bus for 5 minutes and yet everyone is still staring at him.
“Hello, I’m Martin”, the man across from Alex says.
“Hello, I’m Alex”.
“It’s nice to meet you”.
“It’s nice to meat you too”, Alex replies. “Is it always this dark outside?”
“Yeah, as you can see we don’t have any street lights here”.
“You’re not from around here are you?”
“No, I’m from the south”. “I’m not used to such cold weather”.
“You’ll get used to it”.
“Well I’m not planning on staying here”.
“Really? Most people who come here never leave”.
“I wonder why”.
“You know what, a lot of people don’t believe in this place, some say it’s imaginary, it doesn’t have the power to do anything”. “But this place is real, trust me I would know”.
“Um…ok”, Alex says, having no idea what the hell he was talking about.
“Do you believe in it?”
“I believe it can freeze you to death”.
Martin laughs, “It is pretty cold but that’s how we like it, dark and cold”
Time passes by and it seems as if Alex has been on the bus for hours. Alex is fast asleep in his seat when suddenly a loud screaming wakes him up.
“Help!” The young girl screams constantly.
Alex covers his ears as the obnoxious screams continue. “What’s the matter with her?” Alex asks Martin, raising his voice to overpower the loud screams.
“She does this sometimes”. Martin replies. “If you ask me, she’s a little psycho”,
“Where are her parents?”
“She likes to travel alone”
Alex’s frustration builds as he jumps up and yells at the young girl. “Would you just shut the hell up?” The whole entire bus gets quiet.
“What happened?” Alex asks.
“”Off the bus!” The driver yells.
“You like yelling at little girls?” The driver asks. “Off the bus!”
“But I’m not from around here, where am I gonna go?”
“That’s not my problem”, the driver replies as he slams the door shut.
Alex starts walking in the dark night, suddenly he hears someone screaming his name. He turns around to see Martin running toward him.
“Whatcha doing?” Martin asks.
“I don’t know, just walking around in 20 degree weather”, Alex says sarcastically.
“Sounds fun, can I join?”
“Why aren’t you on the bus?”
“I wanna come with”, he replies. “I don’t wanna stay there with them people”.
“Oh yeah, why not?”
“Well they scare me”.
“Them people are crazy, including the bus driver”. “You would’ve done the same right? She was really loud”.
“No way, she’d probably kill me”.
“She’s just a girl”.
“Did you see the look she gave you?” “I think the bus driver did you a favor”.
“By making me walk in freezing weather, in a town that I’ve never even heard of?”
“No, by saving you from that psycho little girl”.
“Where are we gonna go?”
“We can go back to my place”.
“Is it near?”
“It’s about 20 minutes away”.
“Ugh, I guess it’s better than sleeping out here tonight”.
They begin their long cold walk through the dark town.
“How much longer?” Alex asks.
“Just a few streets down”.
“What’s with this town?”
“What do you mean?”
“Well you said this town has some sort of powers”. “What do you mean by that?”
“You mean you don’t know yet?”
“Well I’ve only just heard of this town”.
“Well this town is a lot different than others”.
“Wait…where are we going?”
“To my place”.
“Through the graveyard?”
“Well not necessarily through the graveyard but in the graveyard”.
“You live in the graveyard?”
“Come on, I’ll show you”.
Alex and Martin walks through the graveyard as the dark night howls and the cold wind blows. Alex is terrified, there’s something about this town and even Martin that really creeps him out. This town is unordinary; there are no street lights so the only thing that makes this town visible is the vivid full moon. Alex follows Martin, passing tombstone by tombstone until Martin stops and says, “Welcome to my home”, as he points to the ground.
“But it’s nothing but grass and a tombstone”.
“Read the tombstone”.
“Martin L. Richman, is that you?”
“The one and only”.
“But that’s impossible, you’re not dead”.
“Alex, I appreciate the complement but, I am dead as can be”.
“This is a dream, I have to be dreaming”.
“No Alex, it’s real, I never even saw it coming”, Martin explains. “Take my advice Alex, never chase after a car on the freeway”.
“Does this mean I’m dead?”
“Not exactly, the thing about this town is, if you die here, you come back but as an immortal“. “I remember running on that freeway then all of the sudden, I was staring directly at my body”.
”This is a joke right?”
“No I’m serious, it scared the hell out of me but honestly, it was pretty cool”.
“I just wanna go home”.
“This is your home, once you enter this town there’s no way you can leave”.
“I think I’m dead”. Alex says. “My wife attending a funeral, it must be for me”.
“There’s only one way to find out if you’re really dead or not”, Martin says, pointing up at the tall building across the street.
“You want me to jump?”
“Well it’s either that or you blow your brains out”.
Alex looks up at the building. “I’ll do it”, he says.
Alex makes his way across the street and atop the 13 story building. He walks to the edge of the roof and he looks down, realizing how high up he is.
“Do I really have to do this?” Alex asked Martin
“Just do it, you’re dead”. Martin replies. “You’re free to do whatever, you have nothing to lose!"
“But what if I’m not dead?” Alex asked. “Will it hurt?”
“I don’t know, I’ve never jumped off of a 13 story building before”.
“Very funny”, Alex replies.
“Should I jump first?” Martin asked. “Just watch me jump”. Martin closes his eyes, crosses his arms and as he jumps he yells, “Cannon ball!” Alex closes his eyes and gets set to jump, suddenly Martin appears behind him. “Hey, that wasn’t bad”, he says before jumping down again. Alex closes his eyes and again, he gets set to jump. He slowly bends his knees and jumps off the building. His heart is beating faster than it ever has before as he continues to fall, passing window by window. It seems as if he’s been falling for minutes when finally he hits the bottom facedown.
“I’m alive, I can’t believe it, I’m still alive!” Alex says as he stands up after the jump.
“Not exactly”, Martin says as he points to the blood surrounded body.
Alex turns around and looks to see his body lying facedown and lifeless. He was alive all along.
“Wow, I’m sorry man”, Martin says. “I really thought you were dead”.
Alex continues to look upon his body, not knowing how to feel about it.
“Well, I don’t know about you but I’m tired”, Martin says. He begins to walk; he turns around to Alex, “you coming?” He asks. Alex shakes his head and together Alex and Martin walks to the graveyard, their new home.
© Copyright 2016 jakeengel. All rights reserved.