Discovering Death by Federico Patané

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SUMMARY: August Flash fiction contest entry for theme "Discovery"

Discovery - by Federico Patané

I discovered death in strange way. Life was always very straight forward to me. You are born, you grow up and at some point you die. Death has always been very simple. You are alive and then, for some reason, you stop breathing, your heart stops and then nothing. The body begins to rot it's the end of it all. I surely didn't expect this.

As usual I was born, raised by two loving parents, I grew up and lived happily for 34 years. One night, a friday, I went out to try and hook up with some woman who would be looking for exactly the sme thing. Not the love of my life or my future wife. Only a good time.

I believe that what happenes next is borderline cliche. I am walking down the street and a car comes speeding and stops violently only a few feet in front of me. Three men come down but the driver stays. These men began looking desperatly for a man that was supposed to be in the bar where the car stopped and just like that open fire. The men sitting on the table naturaly oppened fire against them. Bullets here, bullets there and then, a bullet comes my way.

I know what you may be thinking now, I see the bullet in slow moting coming against me and I dodge it like Neo would and start fighting back. Well... No. It was much more simple and less elegant. There was the sound of a gun shot, then a burning sensation in my chest and then feel the floor hit me in the back. Oh, wait, right, it was me falling. But it felt the other way around.

I take a mouthfull of air and bring my hand to my chest. I try to get up and find that I can. This time I react to the battle still being fought so I move to the safety of the hallway of the building in front of me. But, of course, I am curious and can't help watch what is still going on. So I see the dead body on the sidewak. Just like in the movies, it's me. I need only the smallest fraction of a second to realice I am dead that what lies ahead of me is my still warm dead body.

"It's kind of a shock, isn't it?" a man says right behind me.

I turn to look and he looks normal, just like another man I could have crossed in the street.

"It sucks to realice you just die," he says, "at least you are not the kind that cries and moans and makes such a scene."

I just stare at him until it hits me, just like the realization of being dead that he isn't alive either. I open my mouth to say something but I just stammer something uncomprihensible. Just like having Touret.

"I am here to explain to you what has happened," He tells me, "you are now dead. End of explanation."

Then he just laughts. So much for an explanation.

"Ok," He clears his throut and says. "That's not all I am here for. I am your designated guide."

Before he continues I turn back to my body and the shotting and see my killer ran out of the bar and into the car, which inmediatly speeds away. Sirens shortly follow with cops and paramedics, One stops at my body and sees the mess and dismisses it. A cop stays to prevent someone from toughing it and the doctor continues to run to the bar, where there are screams and obviously people injured and not dead.

"Come," the man says, "there is nothing left to see or do here."

We walk away from the scene and he begins to talk to me. He explains that his job is to collect souls that are not ready to go to heaven and we must stay on earth and since my body is no longer usefull I am asigned a new one.

And we walk, and we walk, until we stop at a building. he pushes me without warning and I feel like falling. I close my eyes as I think I am about to hit the ground but nothing happens.

And now here I am, all warm and comfy floating in a very nice place. Hearing recomforting sounds and waiting to be born where it all starts over, only this time I already know that I have to find and kill the one that killed me.