The Day I Died

            I still remember the day that I died. It was a day just like any other. That’s what struck me as being so odd. People expect their last day on Earth to be filled with meaning, for the day to be special. Either it should be a happy day, filled with sunshine and happiness, life affirming and whatever other garbage you want to come up with, or it should be a gloomy day, with rain, lightning, and depressed monologues. Instead, the day I died was a normal day for me. At least, at first it was.

My alarm had failed to wake me up on time, so I was in a bit of a rush. I had to be, otherwise I would be late, but it made me ignore what was happening around me. We’ve all had those days. When I grabbed my backpack so that I could go to school, I forgot to put my homework into it. That was a mistake. Running towards the street like an idiot, this could have been forgiven as simple desperation. Now, turning around while running was just stupidity. Like that saying goes, “Third times the charm.”

I tripped over an uneven cement block and fell towards the street. The concrete rushed at me and I could see bright lights coming towards me, then stars exploded inside my eyes. Opening them, all I could see was concrete. I was on the street, coughing from the fall. Groaning with pain, I got up and dusted off my clothing.

“I’m okay, nobody help me. I’m fine.” Grimacing as I took a step, I coughed and began my trek towards the bus stop. Not many kids were there, as only froshs and broke losers took the bus. However, seeing as how my car was in the shop, and all my friends lived too far away to pick me up, I had to suffer through it until further notice. None of the other people at the bus stop looked my way, but I figure that was just because they knew to mind their business. After all, this was New York.

With such a small crowd, buses are great places to relax. My favorite seat is at the back, with the big bench. As is my senior right, I flopped onto it, wincing as my arm hit the seat. Guess that fall did more damage than I thought. Nobody chatted on the bus as we drove. I guess the years of New Yorkers not caring about other people has bled into all other aspects of life, like small talk.

My school is huge. When I say huge, I mean gigantic. Over 40,000 students go to this school. My senior class had over 4000 students in it. We had to be split into several different categories. I was in the “B” group, and had to walk to the East Entrance just to get to where my locker was. Sometimes I wished I went to a smaller school.

The first bell had already rung, so I had to move quickly. Not many students were wandering around the halls, so I didn’t have any problems getting to where I needed to go. The slackers and the stoners were still dispersing when the late bell rang, signaling torment for anyone who failed to instantly appear in their homeroom.

My homeroom was several hundred feet away from my locker, so I had to hustle or get a third strike, which would mean spending my precious weekend cleaning the cafeteria tables of all the dried gum underneath them. No one deserved such a fate, not even the vice-principal. I ran like I was being chased by a bear with chainsaws for arms, and even then I barely made it to Room 257.

Sliding into my seat in the back, I relaxed and waited for my teacher to show up. Next to me sat Christy Kraznits, one of the prettiest girls who thought punk was cool, and I have to admit, I was a sucker for a lip piercing. Leaning towards her, I tried to strike up a conversation.

“So… Krazy, whachu been up to?” She ignored me completely, not even turning to acknowledge me. I was about to get annoyed when I saw that she was wearing earphones. Well, that explains that. I failed, and she didn’t even realize it. Shuffling back to my seat in embarrassment, I decided to just listen to the room.

“She told me that he told her that this guy…”

“Yeah, I totally got that. It’s like, dude, why bother having an F-213 without it?”

“She said yes!”

“Hey, is that gum?”

Mr. Krenshaw, the meanest burned-out teacher our school employed (and it has a lot), finally walked into our class. Like usual, he began the class with his tradition greeting.

“Shut the hell up and sit straight in your seats, you sorry bunch of maggots!”

No one was sure if Mr. Krenshaw used to be a soldier, or if he just loved shouting at us.  I tuned him out and just relaxed in my seat as I waited for my turn during roll-call.

“Charles Brunswick?”


“Blake Black?”


“Jennifer-Ashley Von Swartz?”


“John Doe?”

This was my turn. I decided to go with the classic neutral greeting, not sure if I could pull off one of the cool greetings.  “Here.”

Mr. Krenshaw peered around the room and asked again. “John Doe?”

I sat up and raised my arm. “I’m here.”

Mr. Krenshaw made a mark in his book and closed it. “I see that John Doe’s playing hooky today. Well, he’ll regret it, because it’s time for a pop quiz!”

The class groaned as one while I stood up. “What’s the big deal, Krenshaw? I’m right here!”

“Does everyone have what they need? Good. If I see anyone looking anywhere besides their desk, they’ll get an automatic zero.”
“Why are you ignoring me?!?!? I’m right here!” I walked up to Mr. Krenshaw, but before I could do anything, he walked right through me.

I froze from shock, my mind reeling at what had just happened. He walked right through me! I quickly turned and grabbed at the student next to me, but my hands went right through his shoulder. I…I was a ghost…

I need to find an explanation, so I backtracked through my day. Nothing was amiss, but when I came up to my block, I knew something was wrong. My father was sitting on the bench in our yard, his eyes rimmed red from tears. He was staring at a dark patch of asphalt near the curb of our sidewalk. I walked there, my feet growing heavier with every step, dreading what I would find.

When I stood right next to the patch, I finally looked at it. It was a dark red in color, awkwardly splattered over the asphalt, with skid marks leading to it. I could feel my heart beating inside my ears, thumping loudly as I reached down to touch the stain.

The second I touched it, I knew what had happened. Those lights were real. I didn’t just fall off the curb; I was rammed by a Hummer, dashed against its grill, and dragged along the road. I was dead.

The second the thought crossed my mind, I felt a cold shadow creep down my spine. Whirling around, I saw the most horrifying sight in my brief life (and I had seen some pretty grotesque sights). A tall man stood on the road, cloaked in darkness, with his face hidden in shadows by a cowl. Thin, skeletal hands reached out of the twisting rode to grip a curved shaft, ending in wicked blade, completing the scythe.

I gasped and stumbled backwards, falling onto the curb as he approached, gliding silently over the road.


The skeleton stopped and took off his hood, exposing his face. It was an empty skull, with dark sockets covered in shadows that seemed to suck the light in. He reached out for me, and I kept screaming as I tried to scramble away. His bony fingers closed around my wrist and he hauled me to my feet.

“Dude, calm down. You’re dead, you have nowhere to go. Chillax, and just enjoy this time.”

I stared at the grinning skeleton with incredulity. “A-aren’t you Death?”

He laughed; a rattling sound that emanated from his chest. “Death, as in with a capital D? No man, that guy has way too much on his plate to deal with small fry like you. I’m a death, with a little d. We’re also called reapers, harvesters, and collectors; as well as every bad name in the book. And trust me, the book is really big.”

I rubbed my arm awkwardly as I stood next to him. “So…what happens next? Do you drag me away to be judged?”

“No need man. We got these iPad 9’s a while back, and everyone and everything is listed on them. We just type in your name, and…” He tapped at the screen of his iPad 9 and whistled as a little loading symbol appeared.

“Wait, iPad 9? iPad 3 was only released like a couple of months ago.”

“Oh, in Heaven they have everything. And I mean everything. This iPad 9 is obsolete compared to what the angels have, those snobs. It’s like comparing your phone to a rock.”

A little chime rang and he glanced down at it. “It says that you’ve done good most your life, apart from that little shoplifting spree, and it says here you set a squirrel on fire with a sparkler? How did you do that?”

I grinned despite the fact that I should be remorse. “It was a series of unfortunate events for the squirrel. It somehow got itself doused in gasoline at the picnic, and I was just at the right place at the right time.”

“Well, kudos to you. Enjoy hell, you sociopath.” He stored the iPad in his robe and grabbed my shoulder, pulling me roughly to the middle of the street. I yelled and fought against his grip, but it was like trying to fight against a bulldozer with a flower.

I started sobbing as he pulled out a little clicker from another pocket of his robe and pressed the little green button at the top. A rift tore itself in the sky and heavenly light shined down upon us as a choir of angels began to sing, their wordless orchestra bringing my sobs to a halt.

I looked up at the reaper with helpless confusion. “I thought…you said I was going to hell…”

The reaper laughed and let go of my shoulder, still laughing as he stepped out of the circle of light. “Dude, I’m a reaper. I collect dead people and send them on their way. I think I deserve to have some fun now and then.”

I smiled and wiped the tears off of my face as my body slowly began to drip upwards towards the light. “Thank you.”

The last thing I saw was the reaper walking away before the rift closed and I finally embraced the true glory of Heaven.

Heaven was, in a word, paradise. I cannot tell you how happy I was there. Imagine your happiest memory, and then add everything you can think of that would make that day better, and multiply it by a million. You will not even be close to how unbelievably awesome Heaven is.

Yeah, I can see that you are wondering how I got to be here, sitting in this dinky little graveyard, sharing my sob story with all you other rejects. Well, to that I just have one thing to say. Jesus has no sense of humor. And I mean not even a little.

2 Responses to Alik

  1. Yakov Kuzmin says:

    Nice story, Alik. I liked the the story a lot. Good word choice, and other things about your story as well. A lot of funny things as well in this story.But I didnt like that you included God in the end. Man, leave god out of your stories. In the end, cool story.

  2. Mike says:

    Hey that was great. It had good humer and the details were just enough. Good job. I really enjoyed it!

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