Sometimes Things Just Don't Work Out

This is for the afterlife competition.


1. Sometimes, Things Just Don't Work Out

Sometimes, things just don’t work out. Sometimes it doesn't matter how hard you try or hope much you hope. Sometimes luck just isn't on your side; trust me, I know, even though I was in my thirties when I died. I died on what was supposed to be the happiest day of my life, slowly, painfully alone.

I was walking down a dark alley, taking a shortcut to a restaurant where I was meeting my friends at. I was on top of the world and giddy with excitement. Earlier that day my husband and I found out that I was pregnant with our first child! It was a miracle! We had been trying for over a year and when nothing happened we went to the doctors at the clinic I work at. They gave us the most devastating news I had ever heard. I was unable to carry a child. I was absolutely crushed. But, six months later I had a bun in the oven.

So, as you can imagine I was rejoicing at the child growing inside of me. I was pregnant with my soul mates child. So, there I was, walking down a dark, abandoned alley, oblivious to the fact that I was being followed. To the left there was a dark, dingy, garbage bin, overflowing with garbage.

My black, ballet flat clad footsteps echoing in the near silence. My red dress was fluttering in the slight breeze. My long, pale fingers were gripping my faux ruby encrusted clutch tightly. My husband, James, offered to drive me but I told him that I wanted to walk because it was such a nice night and I was too giddy to sit, cooped up in a car.

I had just turned the corner and saw that I had hit a dead end. I sighed and shook my head a little, not a bit mad at my current predicament. I turned around and took out my thin, sleek smart phone out of my clutch and checked the time. I still had half an hour to get to the restaurant. I decided that I should text my best friend to tell her that I might be a little bit late. I was just finishing the message with a smiley face when I ran into a solid wall of flesh.

I looked up and saw that I had run into a man who looked about thirty years old. He had a slightly tanned face that was twisted in disgust and anger. His dark brown hair hung slightly in his deep blue eyes that were looking at me with disgust and hatred. He was wearing a black hoodie that had a circular bulge in it and one arm was behind his back. He was also wearing dark denim jeans.

“Sorry!” I said hastily and started to move around him but he blocked my way. “Excuse me?” I said a little bit annoyed, wondering what that guy’s problem. I will always, for the rest of eternity, remember the look he gave me, a look that will send me screaming from time to time forever. His blue eyes became even angrier than they were before, his face turning into a mask of pure hate. He raised his right hand, the one that wasn’t behind his back. At first I thought that he was going to scratch his face or something. But then I felt his hand connect with my face in a slap that made black spots dance across my vision and I dropped to the ground, gasping. My phone and clutch out of my reach.

“Why?” I whispered and cupped my cheek. I didn’t even know who this man was, what reason did he have to hit me?

“You and your co-workers are a disgrace to God!” He said and I instantly knew what he was talking about. I was a doctor at the abortion clinic in the heart of downtown. Not everybody liked what we did for a living. Some people said that we were murderers. There were a lot of reasons though for a woman wouldn’t want to keep her baby. “I’m going to fix that. I heard that you’re pregnant. Now it’s your turn to feel what it’s like without your baby.” The man said his voice full of anger. He took his arm out from behind his back to revel a very large sledge hammer. I didn’t even have time to move before he raised his sledge hammer over his head and brought it down on my stomach. I felt tears sliding down my cheeks while I held my stomach and gasped for air.

When I regained my breath I tried to get up but the horrible stranger kicked me in the stomach setting it on fire. I wheezed and held it. I tried scrambling away from him but he swung the shiny sledge hammer at my left knee cap, I screamed as I felt the bones shatter. The hammer connected with my right knee before I could even think about what to do next and it exploded with pain. I screamed louder than I had ever had in my entire life.

The man bent down and pulled tape out of the bulge in his hoodie pocket. I tried to crawl away from him but my knees were in too much pain. When that didn’t work I settled for flailing my arms, punching him, scratching, screaming, anything I could to try and stop him from tapping me up with the duct tape that he was holding in his mouth. When my flailing became too annoying for him he went on his knees and took both of my hands in one of his. I worked out on a regular basis but this guy was like Superman, I wasn’t getting away. He used his free hand to rip a length of shiny tape free and taped it around my mouth, muffling my screams. Then he used his teen to get a measure of tape free and wrapped it all the way around my pale wrists three times. He got some more tape ready and then leaned over to my feet, he grabbed both my ankles and held them together with one hand and used his other hand to wind the whole roll of tape around my ankles.

I tried to scream but it was muffled by the tape. Maybe someone heard me earlier and was going to save me before I died, probably not though because when I went down this frickin’ alley there was no one on the street anywhere nearby.

The man stood up and glittering clutch and phone caught his eye. He walked over to where they were and picked up my phone. He unlocked it and judging by the look on his face he saw my unfinished text to my best friend telling her that I might be late. I heard a beep that told me he sent the message then he dropped my phone. The strange man went over to where his sledge hammer was lying and picked it up. He walked back to my phone and smashed it into a million pieces.

The horrid man got up from the crouch he had dropped into to smash my phone and walked over to me. I tried to wiggle away from him but my knees were having none of it. When the murderous man was a few centimeters away from me he dropped into another crouch. He slid his hand into his pants pocket and pulled out a small, silver rectangle that I immediately knew that it was a switch blade. I started thrashing when he flicked it open. When he thrust his hand out and rested the knife on my stomach I froze and started hyperventilating. I looked wide-eyed into his satisfied eyes. I started crying again then closed my eyes just as I felt the knife slice deep into my abdomen. I screamed until my throat was raw as I felt warm, thick blood rush down my body.

The man raised his knife again and at first I thought that he decided to put it away. I was wrong. His arm rushed back down to my stomach and made another, deep, painful slash in my stomach. A stomach that was filling with a life I knew shouldn’t even exist. I felt tears just as hot as my blood streaming down my face.

I didn’t understand it, why was he doing this to me? I never did anything to this man, so why was he doing this to me? I looked into his satisfaction filled eyes with an expression of pure hate. He smiled at me and slashed my stomach again, deep enough to hurt worse than anything I had ever experienced in my life. He patted my head and said,

“There, there,” The evil, twisted man laughed and patted my blonde, sweat dampened, hair. He moved his knife clad hand to my throat and I stopped. I just stopped; I stopped breathing, moving, doing anything. I stopped. I stopped wishing that I knew why this man was doing to me; I stopped hoping that he would just walk away. I couldn’t even give him a look of complete and total hatred. I couldn’t think with that knife at my throat, the cold, sharp presence that could end my life right then and there.

I felt the knife bite into my neck and I thought that it was the end, but he seemed to have changed his mind. He stood up and gave me a once over, assessing the damage that he had caused me. He gave me a twisted smile and said,

“You’ll die slower with your throat intact. Have fun in hell.” He said with a laugh, and walked away.

In movies, when people are about to die, they see their life flash before their eyes. I wished that happened in real life because there were lots of moments that I would have like to see again. Instead, all I could think of while I watched the man walk away was “I’m sorry.” I was sorry to the baby that wasn’t going to have the change to grow up. I was sorry that I was going to die, alone, in this dark, dank alley. I was sorry to my baby that wasn’t going to have the chance to grow up and have a life. I was sorry about whatever I did to anger that stranger so much. I was sorry that I took the life that I loved for granted because life is so short and I hadn't realized it until that moment.

Everyone knows that death is the most frightening thing you can go though. Some people pass away painlessly in their sleep, some people die surrounded by the people they love. But others aren’t that lucky. Others die alone, full of pain and regret. People say that at the end of your life you are going to regret the things you didn’t get to do the most.  You might think you understand what that means but you don’t. You don’t really understand until you are knocking ion deaths door at the end of your life, thinking about the things you never got to do.

That’s what I thought about while I lay, crumpled and broken, dying in that god forsaken ally in a lake of my own warm blood. I was dying and I knew it. I knew it the moment he shattered my knee caps. There was no way I could survive this even if someone found me. At that point the only thing that I wanted was for the dead baby in my stomach to grow up and have a life. To have a first love and know how amazing it is to experience the emotion we named love. To know what it’s like to hold a baby in its arms and think “I made that.” But that wasn’t going to happen.


I snapped out of my flashback and whipped the tears off of my face. I was in line to see Fate. Not the Fates. Fate is the, well, basically the boss of this dimension of the afterlife. I was told that there are many different dimensions of the afterlife and where you got placed depended on what you did in life. Most people got placed in the section I was in. They might not necessarily have been the best person but they weren’t the worst. They just didn’t do much in their life to warrant special treatment.

When you die, you get sent to the dimension of the afterlife that fits what you did in life. Then you wait to see the person in charge of that afterlife and they tell you a bit about the dimension you have been put in.

“Jessica?” I looked up and whipped my face again. I looked down and saw that I was still in my ripped and bloody party dress. I didn't have the wounds that killed me anymore but I had the scars. On my knees there were thin lines that showed where the hammer had hit me.

“Yes?” I said shakily to the person behind a desk. Wait, what? I looked around and saw that I was in an office, the kind that you would see outside of a really important person’s main office.

“You can go in now.” The woman said with pity. She was wearing a tight, black, business dress and wore glasses. She looked at me like I was broken and in many ways I was.

“Okay.” I said and walked over to a big, oak door. I turned the gold door handle and went in. Sitting behind a large desk was the handsomest man I had ever seen. He had tanned, olive skin. He had thick, toned, muscled arms. He had piercingly green eyes that could light up the night, and shaggy, sandy blonde hair.

“Hello Jessica,” He greeted me with a warm smile. “And welcome to the afterlife.” 



Disclaimer: I would like to say that I am not trying to offend anyone. I am not saying that all Christians are like the one in my story and I am sorry if I offended anyone.

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