Chapter 6:


Til Death Do Us Part

Funny little number. Three million and three. Maybe skip the four and go for five? Like that’d work.

I can’t see. Scratch that, I can’t breathe. How am I not breathing right now? Did I lose my lungs? Did I lose my whole body? I can’t pat myself nor feel the drum of my heartbeat. I think I should be freaking out right now, but I can’t. I don’t have a body.

I’ll have to start all over again. This is ridiculous.

Coma. I’m in a coma. Maybe a dream? I wish I could pinch myself. Maybe if I scream that’ll jumpstart the brain.

Oh, no. Please don’t do that.

Hands. Feet. Leg and torso. I’m whole again. My heart races and chills run through me. I can move. It won’t get me anywhere, but I can move.


How can I move? I’m sitting, where exactly? I try to pat the ground but my hand slips. I’m in the air. I’m not floating though. Was this floating?

Oh, for Tetris's sake, enough of the questions! I’m working!

I was right. A voice, yep. I’ve been trying to ignore it but obviously, it’s with a mind of its own. I’ve gone crazy. My inner demons are coming to haunt me.

Nobody is haunting you, Larrise.

Who are you to decide that? That’s the exact kind of trick a demon would say. Oh, great, now I’m communicating with said demon.

Larrise, you don’t even believe in God, how do you expect me to be a demon?

A lot happens when you-

Die? Am I dead?


“What?” My hoarse voice echoes. I reach up to my nape and my fingertips coat in sweat. “I’m not though. I’m right here.”

Yes, it would appear that way.

“For the sake of hearing my own voice and not you listening to my thoughts—"

I’m going to hear them anyway.

“I’m going to talk.” I retort. “What is this place? Why am I here? And!” Wow, I sound exactly like the main protagonist of something I do want to be the main protagonist of. “Who are you?” I cringe, scrunching my face up in disgust.

Well! Our little human here has attitude. It did mention that. Curious that I forgot.

“What mentions what?”

Oh, nothing to worry about.

A gust of wind grazes my shoulder and I shiver. My sprout of annoyance grows, and I huff. “Could we just work together here? First off, why am I here? Could we answer that please?”

Dear Larrise, you’ve been sentenced to Hell.

What? No, I guess it makes sense. I’ve definitely bought far too many items from Amazon.

“Stop joking around! I’m not going to Hell just ‘cause I was to lazy to go to the store to buy cup ramen!” I yell to the void.

You’re right. You should go to Heaven the way you’ve held the door for, let’s see here, oh impressive, four hundred and twenty-seven people. Much more than the average.

An echo of audience applause surrounds me and then cuts. I rub my temples.

Oh dear, I’ve gone too far now, have I? Sorry, it’s just you’re the first human I’ve seen since…since well, I’ve forgotten.

“I already figured but you’re nothing human, are you?”

No, but I’m a great fan. Larrise you’re here because you’re not supposed to be.

I’m not supposed to be? How does that even work? “Then, send me back. If I’m not supposed to be here.”

Oh, I wish it was that simple but you’re dead. It’s true. Don’t let your little heart overwhelm you, I can feel the palpitations. It’s giving even me the woozy.

“Hold on, you’re saying I’m stuck here with you, some being I can’t even see?” My mind races. Back to Drew and back to Kristopher. I’m dead. Drew’s dead. I died right in front of Kristopher. This is awful. This is all awful. I glare upwards. The voice was all around me, but I needed somewhere to direct my anger. A puff of air tickles my hair and I flick at the spot.

Cute and no. Tragic your best friend died. If it helps, it won’t matter. You don’t have to stay here with me. I’m simply pulling the plug on this telenovela.

“What do you mean? Stop talking in circles!” This whole thing was giving me a headache. So, I’m dead and in some foreign shadow realm talking to some “God” and they say they’re pulling the plug. If this was a dream, I’d be happy to wake up now.

You’re not waking up. What I mean, is that I’m starting your little world over. I’m thinking inception of the first cell.

I bark up a laugh. I don’t know where it came from. A new world? Is this another joke? Why would you do that? How can you even do that?

Larrise. We’re caretakers. It’s what we do.

“Who is we?”

I shouldn’t have said that.

“Again, why? Why is this happening?”

I thought you would’ve figured it out by now. Larrise Tempus. You weren’t supposed to die.