12 July 2012

"The List" #Fridayflash

Happy Friday the 13th!

Yet another piece of 27 for your reading pleasure.
Previous installments (in order):
64 Degrees
The Visitor

“So, let’s go down the list.” He unrolled a strip of paper and put on a pair of reading glasses. I raised an eyebrow and he pulled them down his nose to peer over them at me. “Great effect, eh? As if I am in reading mode.” He cleared his throat. “Ahem. The dead shall not affect the living. Now what that means is, say you see an old enemy of yours walking a tightrope at a carnival someplace. Maybe he’s trying to impress the girl he stole from you. Don’t look at me like that, we know this doesn’t apply to you. You tossed aside every chance you had for a normal relationship.” He exhaled in a quick puff. “Say you see that enemy and all it’d take is one stray breeze…” His grin widened. “Not your call. Worse, his blood is on your hands. So.” He returned his attention to the little scroll. “With me so far, son?”
                     Photo credit: pagean97 from morguefile.com
I wasn’t sure what to make of the Grim Reaper. Or his sense of humor. I nodded mutely.

“You know, the rest of this seems to be blank, so there you have it. No direct effect on the living. No holding heads underwater, saving children from the path of a bus by pushing them out of the way, no contact that will change the course of their natural lives. Do you understand?”

“I think so.” I leaned over the table. “But I can’t even open a door, so I’m not sure how I could harm anyone.”

Stein rolled his eyes. “You’ll be surprised at what you’re capable of. Did you take the bus to get here earlier? No.”

“But how do I do other things?”

Stein rolled up the paper and crumbled it into nonexistence. “That’s not for me to say. I’m just the taxi driver. You have to have the address, otherwise we’ll drive in circles and I’ll charge you extra fare for wasting my time and fuel.” He sighed and pulled his glasses off, secreting them inside his jacket. “You’re a smart kid, Ren. Figure it out. Look around you. I know you’re ahead of the class just because you’re not looping.”

I furrowed my brow. “Looping?”

“Reliving your death over and over. It could be because you were just too fucked up to remember.” He grinned. “You’ve got to love drugs. See the gods, kiss the stars, feel no pain and bam! Wake up dead.” He stood and so did I.

“Keep in mind one little limitation, son. You’ve got a finite amount of energy. Think of yourself as a child’s toy with a fresh battery. The more you play with that toy, the faster the battery will drain. And once you’re out, and you still haven’t caught the train out of Limbo, well.”

“Well, what?” I was sliding down a slippery slope.

“You’ll find out soon enough.” He smiled and grasped my shoulder with a quick squeeze. “Welcome to the Afterlife. But this ain’t it. Except for now. Confused? You just got more sitting at that table than most have ever gotten. Maybe I like you. If I could ever like somebody, but no. It’s all business, as you’ll see."


Charlottec42 said...

First instalment I've read, a very interesting story line

Helen A. Howell said...

I love the grim reaper character and now I want to find out what does happen to Ren - nice excerpt! ^_^

nerinedorman said...

Even though I've read this before, I still love it!

Deanna Schrayer said...

Delicious edge-of-your-seat continuation Carrie. I'm thoroughly enjoying Ren's adventure in the Afterlife.

Icy Sedgwick said...

I'm really enjoying this new story of yours! Can't wait to see the finished article. It's so inventive!

Dorothy F. Shaw said...

Oh my, Stein is just so damn confusing. Well done! As always I love to read your writing.

John Pender said...

Like a morbid Groundhog Day.

I kept looking for Stimpy to pop up. :)

Cathy Olliffe-Webster said...

Of course the minute Reaperman tells Ren he can't affect lives, he'll be affecting all over the darned place! And then let the breezes begin! Cool story, Carrie.

Larry Kollar said...

This is one fun read! Keep 'em comin', please!

Sulci Collective said...

Loving the Death Cab driver's 'tude, if he is kept waiting or goes round in circles, it all gets put of the meter! Frickin' hilarious, no escaping them even in death!

Sonya said...

I can't wait to see how Ren breaks the rules.