How to be Dead I
by Michael S.
I shall skip
straight to 7.42pm. I know the time exactly, for
I dropped my watch and broke it. The man, as he
entered through the glass doors, would have
probably blended into a crowd on any other night.
Short trimmed hair, shirt and tie - the
archetypal business sort. Unfortunately, tonight,
he lacked the necessary blending techniques,
mainly because his presumably once white shirt
was now crimson red. Only from the front, mind
He came right
up to the counter, and my initial shock turned to
need an ambulance?" I asked.
didnt wish the man to collapse onto my
floor. I had washed the tiles only half an hour
The man spoke,
his words transmitting bitter weariness.
would not believe the day I have had."
that judging by his appearance it must have been
quite the traumatic experience. Several details
were evident. Firstly, there were two small holes
in the chest area of his shirt. The red seemed to
originate from these holes. Secondly the red
around these holes was particularly dark. I
guessed it had coagulated. Thirdly, the
mans shirt was dripping, but the floor
remained spotless. Thank heavens for small
mercies. Finally, and most pertinently, he stood
opposite the glass-fronted drinks cooler. He
showed no reflection! I figured then that an
ambulance would probably be unable to help him.
More through nosiness, than genuine courage, I
asked him what troubled him.
for asking", he said, " My pulse. Here,
can you feel it?"
He offered me
his arm. I tried it four times, but with no luck.
The man had no pulse. When I told him, he sighed.
left me today, to move in with our next door
neighbour. I became distraught, made a mess,
lost my job."
And then as I was moving towards my car, a street
type appeared, begging for money."
knowing the type well.
him to go get a job, and before I could further
retort - shame, because I looked forward to
spreading the days ails upon him - he pulled out
a gun and shot me."
me, in plain daylight. Well, dusk!"
This man was
clearly incoherent. Perhaps I was too sane. I
stood transfixed in conversation with a cadaver
over the state of youth today, reanimated by what
means I dont know, perhaps by sheer luck. I
tried to maintain a degree of composure, ignoring
the chills on my spine.
"I am not
sure. Next thing I recall the pain was easing
rapidly. I needed to see my wife, and I end up
outside this service station. With no pulse."
Why yes, I think I must be. So what do I do now?"
I had no idea.
cried the man, "Maybe the wife will know."
He turned to leave, but stopped by the door. "Before
I leave I must do this one thing in case it is
required. Uhm, boo?"
When I awoke,
the man was gone, and I was left with a strong
urge to pack up the store and take up accountancy.
Or dog walking. Probably a great deal safer!