This is actually an assignment for a class, I had to write a short story (a really short story) inspired by a poem by Billy Collins, I chose his poem: ‘The Dead’ Hope you enjoy it, or at least are amused by it.
Trevor woke up from a white flash of light, his body numb, his head and back sore. He tried to sit up, but couldn't, his body felt too stiff. He realized that he was lying on the floor of a forest of bamboo trees, which were closely knit together. The sun streamed through the gaps of the trees in a green hued light. Trevor didn't know where he was nor did he remember how he got here. A shadow of a man peered over him, blocking his vision of the sun, and interrupted his troubled thoughts. Trevor couldn't make out the man’s identity for his face was shadowed, he opened his mouth to ask the man who he was, but before he could the man spoke in a voice like Morgan Freeman saying,
“No kid you aren't waking up from a long dream, you’re dead…dead as a doorknob. Now this may come as a shock to you, but you’ll get over it, I know you’re young (and you young people like to think that you’re going to live forever) but, jumping off that bridge into that fast current of water was just stupid, and I don’t mind telling you.”
Trevor blinked, his eyes wide like that of a deer in headlights, “You mean….”
“No, you’re not in heaven, but you’re not hell either, you’re in the waiting area…the big man has a lot of people to talk with before he can see you about your fate, so while you wait, you get to enjoy this luxurious forest where you can “relax” for a bit. We have other things we have to discuss, but first would you please get up, you’re dead not paralyzed so stop being a slug on leaf, get up!”
The man lifted Trevor to his feet, whose mind was spinning with questions. When he was able to see the man’s face, Trevor saw that it was transparent, but every time the man moved or changed his expression a flicker of color flashed across it; and his eyes weren’t just one, but rather all the colors of the rainbow. He wore a white suit, a white fedora, and a blue tie.
“Are you an angel?” Trevor asked.
The man laughed loudly, “You could say that, I like to call myself the Boddia.”
“Bodo?” Trevor asked confused.
“No, BO-DEE-AH, Babysitter Of Dumb Deceased In Afterlife.” Boddia smirked proudly, sending a ray of flaming red color across his face.
“Well Boddia, I guess the polite thing to say would be that it’s nice to meet you, I just wish that it was under other circumstances. What happens now? Do I get to experience my childhood over again? Do I get to visit my friends and family? Or do I get to view the contents of my life….can I see my own funeral!?!” Trevor asked with a weird smile on his face.
Boddia looked at him, clearly not amused, “Seriously kid? First, no, you’re the age you are and you’re staying that way. Second, what have you got to see back down there, your dad sitting on the john complaining that your obituary was crap, or you’re mom watching family made movies of your childhood crying, wishing that you had been smarter; or would you rather see your friends getting stoned on the bridge you smartly jumped off of “wishing you the best up here in the sky.” Sorry, but the big man has a ‘no haunting’ policy. And no, you missed your funeral; why would you want to see yourself cold and dead, stuffed in a box anyway? No, what happens next is we go on a long walk, you get to ask me all sorts of questions, which I may or may not answer; then I’m going to take you to the lake for the “gathering” where you will meet others who are deceased just like you, you can talk with them all you want, about anything you want, hear their stories, hopefully learn from them. Some are really quite marvelous, most are very tragic, sounds boring to you I’m sure, but you never know who you might just meet. I remember meeting all kinds of people, no story is alike and not every life amounted to anything, but you will learn something, I promise.
So with that, Trevor followed Boddia through the bamboo trees, and after some time, they came to a clearing where there lay a beautiful lake, and surrounding the water’s edge were a group of people, talking with one another. Trevor took a deep breath, and as he did he thought, guess the dead really don’t just sit around watching the living, nor care to, for their journey of life ended on earth, and now they begin a new journey of death in the land of waiting.