"You're Early" Death Said.

What happens after you die?
Just something I wrote for a prompt and chose to post.

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1. The Afterlife?

I looked around me unsure of where I was. One minute I was on a bridge the next I was in what appeared to be a hotel reception room. The room was mostly black and grey with small splashes of red here and there and the furniture was everything ranging from modern to vintage and even several pieces that looked like something an Egyptian Pharaoh may have been buried with. The room was void of all people except for myself. I took a step towards the front desk and all of a sudden, the room sprang to life. People appeared out of nowhere, mostly older people but also adults and teenagers and a couple of kids, some people looked as though they had been severely injured and I wondered if I was in a hospital. They all seemed to be walking towards the front desk. I began to walkover there as well until I was stopped by a towering figure in a long tattered black robe.

I looked at them and they looked at me and we seemed to stare at each other for an eternity.

“You’re early.” Death said, and their voice was not gravelly and chilling but rather warm and welcoming.

“This is it, isn’t it? The afterlife?” I replied, ignoring the question in their statement.

“Yes, your view of it, each person in this room sees something different, but your view is rather interesting, it is as though you don’t know what to believe, you see afterlives from all different cultures and religions.” Death gestured around the room before settling their gaze back on me. “You are not meant to be here yet, I won’t tell you how early you are but only that this is not your time to be here.” Death reached forward to try and touch me, I don’t know how I knew what they were trying to do but I flinched away. I was not going to be sent back, at least not yet.

“No, please, I can’t go back. Why can’t I stay?” I asked a question but my eyes and tone were begging.

“Because that’s the way things are, I know you have struggled and your life so far has not been good or simple or easy but you can’t stay, it is not your time. You cannot cross over, so you either go back or stay here for all time in limbo.” Death was not supposed to be kind, or wavering, Death was cruel and brutal, but Death had offered me a chance and a choice.

“I choose to stay.” I said boldly.

“Then you must work here and help others to pass on.” Death said, extending a hand that held a glimmering black cloak. I knew that the moment I touched it I would remain here forever, no chance of returning or passing on.

As I reached for the cloak moments of my life so far passed before my eyes and what I saw was a culmination of the reasons I had wanted to end it, but then I saw something else a glimpse at what could be if I went back, if I didn’t grab that cloak. “I ask one last time; do you wish to stay or return to Life?” Death’s question rang through me and I focused on that last glimpse of my life. I changed my mind.

“I… I wish, I wish to return, to return to Life.” I stuttered and mumbled, but I stared Death in the face. Death reached for me.

“Then I will see you again.” Death stated as he touched my heart and it began to beat again and I was back on the bridge, with no time seeming to have passed. I stepped away from the ledge and towards what could be.

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