Park Avenue

*ENTRY INTO THE REINCARNATION COMPETITION*

Park Avenue tells the story of Mark Selgrove and his life in New York City. This is a fictional work based on similar, real life events including terrorism in the Modern World.

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2. Chapter Two

Later that day, when Mark had finally decided to leave the scene behind, including his cremated remains, he found himself reflecting upon his life. Whilst he'd found some amusement floating through the walls of his apartment block, it dawned on him that he'd no longer be seen.

When he was alive, Mark had lived a dreadfully dull life, working for a man he loathed and for a company he despised. He'd never done anything tremendously exciting with his life and now he found himself floating, midair, in somebody's apartment.

It struck him almost immediately that this apartment belonged to a small family. There were photos lining the shelves on the walls of a young child with her parents. The photo encapsulated everything that he had not had in his own life. Mark frowned at the photos before gliding through the apartment further. 

Further into the apartment room, he spotted a small, unattended dog's bed. Above it, hung photos of the dog with the family in Central Park. Across the room, near the television, stood several glass awards engraved Most Promising Businessman 2015, Award for Best Entrepreneur 2016, and World Business and Entrepreneurial Summit Award 2017.

Mark glanced at these awards with a sourness in his mouth. He quickly filled with an envy too strong to ignore. 

This is the ideal American dream, Mark thought, longing to hold the awards in his own hands, baring his own name. His jealousy quickly turned to rage and he flung out his hand that went straight through the awards and out the other end. Definitely not the affect he'd been looking for. He'd envisioned them broken at the foot of the table that would have given him an undeniable satisfaction.

Instead, he sullenly weaved his way into the bathroom, gazed into the mirror and saw nothing in it. No reflection. He was truly gone. 

Mark began to think of Sarah and what he would have said to her. He knew as well as the next person, that in his living days, he would have been too stubborn to make Sarah aware of his feelings. Now dead and alone, he wished he'd had. 

His parents had died when he was young and his other relatives had remained in the UK. He'd traveled to America at the age of nineteen in the search of the American Dream and he'd not done so well in finding it. This only reminded him of the green light from The Great Gatsby. It was a sad and painfully true depiction of what the American Dream was. Something so far away and out of reach, never to be fully obtained.

Mark began contemplating how he would have lived his life differently had he not come to America. He envisioned a quiet life at his parents' farm in the south of England. When he was younger, he'd been so eager to leave - to taste success - but it'd lead him only to a dead end job surrounded by pompous business men he disliked a great deal.

But the explosion in Park Avenue had been a lot bigger than his own demise - dozens of people had been killed and injured at the hands of a suicide bomber. And now, Mark felt terribly confused. He could not determine whether or not he was pleased to have left a world full of such hatred. 

With this in mind, Mark soon returned to Park Avenue where firemen were hastily putting out the fires and paramedics were loading the remaining causalities into body bags and into the back of an ambulance. He soon noticed other spirits nearby. A lady who he'd recognised as the shopkeeper of Delilah's Coffee and Cake Bar. She was a terribly attractive woman and Mark had always found himself admiring her beauty. He'd often visit the coffee bar in hopes of engaging in one of their many conversations about the exquisitely roasted coffee beans she and her family used there. 

Then, Mark spotted the spirit of a small child. Shimmering tears fell from her ethereal face as she watched the firemen douse the fire in water. She was small and dainty and looked no older than eight years of age and Mark couldn't help but wonder who her family were. They'd be distraught to hear of her death.

Two days past since Mark’s death and he found himself back on the street of Park Avenue, observing the protest against terrorism. News presenters and cameramen also lined the streets, reporting to the world what had happened there.

Time trailed on and Mark observed the events of other people’s lives, long after the explosion that cost him his own. He continued to return to Park Avenue, long after the flowers of memory had been cleaned away from the street floors; long after the burned cars had been taken away. But he could see their spirits lingering by, watching the living just as he did.

Just like the others who'd died in the explosion on Park Avenue, Mark continued to linger for a long time, preserving a memory of life. In that moment, Mark began to accept that even though his life had not been spectacular, he had lived.

 

 

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