The Dead Celebrity Space Corps by William Hrdina

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SUMMARY: It sucks we lose so many talented people so young, perhaps they're not gone after all... BTW- You can subscribe to my short story audio podcast at

The Dead Celebrity Space Corps
A Short Story by William Hrdina

Elvis was the ringer. Like an elite closing pitcher- you brought Elvis in when you absolutely had to get a strike.
Marvin looked over at Kurt.
Kurt shrugged. "Do it." He said.
Marvin tapped a small digital node implanted in the back of his hand. "Bring in Papa."
From his place on the couch, Heath Ledger watched with a combination of amusement and horror.
Everything had been so normal just ten minutes before.
He was relaxing, enjoying a break from the filming of the Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus. He was in a swanky New York hotel room eating a bagel, nicely toasted and slathered with cherry jam and getting ready to watch his favorite episode of Deadwood on DVD. His script was on the bed, he didn't want to lose the heart of the character during the brief hiatus from filming.
Then there came a knock at the door. Heath flinched- as far as he knew, no one had his room number except for his agent- and he was in LA. Maybe it was just the maid or something.
Heath went to the hotel room door and squinted into the fish-eye lens. He was having a very hard time believing what he saw on the other side. If he didn't know better, Heath would've thought he was looking at Marvin Gaye and Kurt Cobain.
But it couldn't be them- they were both dead. Plus, they were wearing very silly looking spaceman outfits- like the kind people wore in 1950's science fiction movies. He figured it must be the distortion of the fish-eye lens. Of course, this didn't really solve the question of why two guys who looked like Marvin Gaye and Kurt Cobain were standing outside the door.
Marvin said, "Excuse us, Mr. Ledger. We need to speak with you for a moment."
"No, I'm good." Heath said, hoping they would just go away.
Fat chance.
Kurt Cobain said, "Please Heath, look. I know you recognize us. Now please open the door."
"I think you know you cannot be who I think you are because who I think you are- is a couple of dead guys. Therefore, you aren't who you look like- so I'm fine, now please go away before I call security."
"We would both really prefer if you just opened the door. But if you won't, we can open it quite easily. Please stand away."
Marvin touched a different node on his arm. Heath watched in amazement as the entire lock mechanism on the door simply ceased to be there. One minute there was a knob- the next there was a hole. An already weird day had clearly decided to up the ante a bit.
Because the excuse of the fish eye lens was gone- there was no denying the two men in the stupid outfits were Marvin Gaye and Kurt Cobain. They looked very much not dead. Yet, Marvin didn't look any older either- he looked to be basically the same age he was when he died.
"What is happening here?"
"Something quite unique actually, you are being recruited." Kurt answered.
"Recruited to what?"
"To an elite team of celebrities- all recruited at the height of their fame: The Dead Celebrity Space Corps."
Heath barked out a laugh of disbelief.
"The what? The Dead Celebrity Space Corps? This is the stupidest thing I've ever heard.

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