One Only Dies Once

/, Literature, Blesok no. 05/One Only Dies Once

One Only Dies Once

Death seemed like some kind of an optical instrument, which was turning even the water-drop into a complex bee-hive of life

Terry Pratchett

One morning, I woke up dead. This may sound weird, but I don’t wake up in the morning at least twenty-five days in the month anyway. When I woke up, I didn’t know I was dead, but then Death came and convinced me. It is the truth indeed that the people are suspicious about so sensitive matters such as their lives, but when you’re dead, you are in a position to look at the world a bit wider and more objectively. Besides, Death has a lot of experience, and the logic was on Her side as well. With a lot of patience, maybe not that familiar to Her, She made me come to the conclusion that I’m dead myself.
Everything around me was clean, but with some gloomy-gray illumination. In the local spiritual space we were alone, Death and I – and, considering the circumstances, everything was in order. I wasn’t clear about two things only: first – why am I dead, and second – why is there are mayo and ketchup on my face, draining downwards. Death helped me, explaining me that I have a temporary amnesia about the last moments of my – now past – life, and the ketchup comes as a consequence of my adaptation into the posthumous life. Nothing unordinary, She said.
Later I remembered how I died and things became clear to me. I went out to buy me a hamburger and on my way back I was run over by a truck. I didn’t even made to see the truck, but I think that the driver was quite fat and that he wore a Ray Ban glasses. In one brief moment, a close-up of him was in my site.
To me, it was normal appearance of Death to be in a black robe with the scythe in Her right hand, but later I found out that this form of appearance in front of Her clientele doesn’t make Death happy at all. She’s compelled to such a masquerade (as She complained in front of some dead), because of the regulations up here being so strict. Traditionally, that’s Her solemn uniform, and the folklore must be respected always and everywhere. Also, it isn’t in anybody’s interest to confuse the newcomers with Death appearing as the Minotaur in bikini, with a straw hat and wooden slippers at their first contact with Her. Up here, there are rumours that She had issued many complaints about this matter, and that they were consistently denied.
Anyway, after we briefly get acquainted, I filled my identification forms. Well, it’s clear that I wrote on nothing here – because here, there isn’t a question about any material dimensions; but, this lines I write are for the living, and the simplest way for them to understand, is presenting mattes through the analogies.
Death just threw a glance over the forms and placed them into Her briefcase. It puzzled me when She put out new ones. I was getting the impression that the bureaucratic matters among the dead ain’t simpler than ones down on Earth. Fortunately, I didn’t have to wait in lines, because the dead has that interesting ability to be on several places at the same time. This is a little more difficult to explain, but while I was engaged with Death, at the same time I was haunted by a lot advertising agencies which has already started to bid my soul with many exotic paradise arrangements in very available prices. I wondered what the way of payment may be. When I asked, they told me I must finish with Death first. So I concentrated on Her again.
– RIGHT! – She said when she gave me that new forms from her briefcase.
– And what are they? – I was little confused when I looked at them. The pages were fulfilled with the world’s most famous, the ugliest and the most grotesque freaks, mythic monsters, and with the characters of the classics horror movies. With every single picture there were questions about my personal view about them, like who are my favorites, and whether I would like to meet some of them, and which one of them as well, if they eventually do exist. There lacked – maybe – only the invitation for tea with someone like the Jack the Ripper’s mother to discuss his childhood with her.
The form, unlikely the previous one, was edited with much quality and richly decorated, with a lot of blood and insufficiently dried sculls with a dubious origin everywhere. Death seemed a little ashamed with my response.
– Ooh! – I said with a soul-expression like I understand Her entirely in Her efforts.
She was eager to see how I was going to answer, but every time when I stopped a bit to think over some question, She would advise me not to rush with my answers.
– WELL, WE’VE DONE THAT, TOO! – said Death in the manner of a businessman after She put the questionnaires, not missing the chance to look at them first.
– Why carefully? – at the same moment I became careful.
– IT IS A MATTER OF YOUR DESTINY. – said Death with no particular thrill about it. For Her, the procedure was standard and ordinary.
– I’M ALL EARS. – I said and at the same moment I turned into a big ear, which must’ve looked very funny, and because I thought so, a very loud laughter appeared around, in spite the fact hat we were alone. Something like in the TV-comedy shows. Death didn’t laugh, nor did I – considering that I didn’t have a mouth. With a great effort of will I succeeded to revert into my original form.

AuthorGoran M. Petrov
2018-08-21T17:24:02+00:00 October 1st, 1998|Categories: Prose, Literature, Blesok no. 05|0 Comments