Words From Death
Santa Cruz General Hospital is a busy place, as one would expect. Filled with the ill and the injured, patients and visitors, nurses and doctors; it was everything that one would expect themselves to find within the white walled corridors. Yet, in room 672A there was something rather peculiar to find. For inside, a patient, a young girl of only 19 was standing three inches above the tiled floor. This girl was Alex, and it had been three weeks up to this day since she had awoken to the astonishment of finding herself hovering directly over her body, as little more than an earth-bound spirit who was helpless to speak or touch anyone else around her. At first all Alex could do was try to call out for help and attention, but it became clear to her that despite how crowded the hospital was, she was alone and trapped.
Originally she had tried to calm herself down, lying to herself, telling herself it was just a dream or maybe even an outer-body experience! However, as the hours turned to days she became forced to except reality; her spirit was no longer attached to her body. It was torture, especially with the social and rather talkative personality that she had. Each day seemed worse than the last as she floated around watching others who passed as their spirits would float off and disappear before her spectral eyes. It didn’t take long before she began to wonder if the reason why she couldn’t leave was because Heaven didn’t want her or she had committed some horrible sin and was forced to float around as some ghost for eternity. Although, she was happy to not be forced to leave just yet as each day, just a few minutes past 9, a red-headed angel would come and visit.
Eva had been in the hospital each day for hours at a time to see, as she herself put it one day, her ‘sleeping beauty’ Alexandria. Alex would hover before her, knowing Eva was unable to see her spiritual presence, and listen to her lover talk all about her day chuckling at how the normally quiet girl, would ramble on and on forgetting where one thought started and another ended and Alex wished that her and Eva had the chance to talk like this before she had wound up as the specter of SC General. Other times Eva would just sit quietly, patiently waiting for some sign and Alex would just float around and just admire her freckled face while the girl fell asleep until visiting hours were over. It made her happy, beyond measure, in spite of her corporeal displacement; and yet at the same time it was a double-edged sword as she watched Eva break down and burst into tears every time. Sometimes she would whisper, tell her not to worry, tell her that it was alright, but she knew that it all fell on deaf ears. It was becoming routine, pattern, and Alex wondered if she would exist to haunt the hospital eternity as each day passed. She was ignorant to the fact that on this day things would change.
Rays of sunshine, morning dew, and the sounds of chirping birds filled the atmosphere on this Saturday morning in the beach-side city of Santa Cruz. Children were running around outside enjoying the weekend with their parents, carefree and innocent as the local college students had either divided into the Mall or had made a beeline straight for the local beach. It was the picture perfect example of what would be a beautiful Saturday. As Alex looked outside her hospital window at the world beyond from her cell she was filled with a sense of nostalgia and she was taken back to the last time she and Eva had been able to go to that very same beach together. Her spectral eyes shut and for a moment she could almost smell the salty air of the sea again, feel the drops of water against her face, and then emptiness as she was pulled back by a firm grip on her shoulder. Jumping Alex spun around quickly, it took a second to comprehend, but it was the first time she had felt anything since she had become a patient in room 672A. However, the hand that grabbed her and its owner were nowhere to be found, At first the phantom girl had thought it was something she’d imagined, or maybe just a vivid memory, yet a distinct chill remained where she had believed herself to have been grabbed.
“Have you been enjoying your stay?” A voice seemed to resonate from behind Alex, firm, yet there seemed to be a sense of amusement in it. Turning to face the direction of where it came from she found an older woman sitting at her bed side looking at her unconscious body. Alex floated closer, hesitant at the sudden arrival of the woman she noticed that what at first looked like a loose dress on the raven haired woman was actually a dark purple, silk robe which came down to just barely show her bare ankles and feet. Long nails protruded from the woman’s pale-skinned hands and began to run through the hair of Alex’s body. Pausing at first Alex reached a hand forward and began to wave in front of the woman’s face to see no response. Letting out a deep sigh of relief sat down on the bed besides the robed visitor letting, and for a moment she was able to forget about the chill that was still left on her shoulder. Still, it made her curious as to who this woman was and why she was visiting her, but as Alex looked closer into the stranger’s face she noticed two things; the first being the intense beauty and flawless perfection of the her face and the second was that her eyes were a pale blue that had been glossed over. Had this blind beauty simply been lost and wound up in the wrong room? It was then that the robed woman’s face turned and those same blinded eyes were staring directly at her.
“You still haven’t answered my question.” The woman spoke as she stood up and looked down towards Alex, her arms crossing loosely over her chest. Alex was confused at first, how was it that anyone could see or hear her?
“Who are you…?” It was all Alex was able to squeeze out and even then it was quiet as she was nervous as to how to react.
“First, answer my question and then I will answer yours. Only a child would answer a question with another one.” The blind woman tapped her foot as the faintest movement from her eyes seemed to give a hint that she was still scanning over Alex who sat a bit stunned at being scolded.
“It’s been, troubling.” Alex paused and looked towards her own body once before continuing. “I get to see my girlfriend, Eva, she tells me a lot more now about what’s going on with her, but at the same time it’s lonely.” She finally was able to answer and she looked up at the woman who gave a blank stare as if she was expecting more. “I mean, I don’t sleep and after the seventh conversation I had with myself I kind of just stopped talking and nobody, but my girlfriend…and you come to see me.” Still the woman just stared and Alex tried to keep patient, but with no sign of response she finally asked again “Who are you and what are you doing here?”
“I am Death, and the rest I’ll leave up to your imagination.” Death finally gave a grin as she loosened up and took a firm hold of Alex’s transparent arm as it became solid at the touch, pulling her to her feet as the spirit could only stare, filled with fear and panic. Somehow she had thought this might happen, deep down, but to actually look into the face of Death made her quiver.
“Can…I wait till Eva comes?” It was all Alex could think of, all she wanted to do before she had to pass on. However, Death shook her head and Alex pulled away. “Please!” Alex cried out as she pointed to the clock. “Visiting Hours start in twenty minutes…I-if you wait that long then-“However, the hand of Death came to her face and two fingers pressed to her lips, and Alex was silenced, remembering who it was standing before her.
“Then what? Your girlfriend will be at your side to watch you die? Are you that childish? Tell me, when she cries do you really feel bad for her or yourself? That’s not love. Even if it was, even if you really did care, I don’t have the time to listen to the wishes of a child. Thousands of people die each second and you want me to put it on hold for you?” Alex felt small in front of Death and she slumped down onto the floor and shook her head. Alex hadn’t thought of just how painful it must have been for Eva to go through this and a deep guilt filled her. “Still, how about I make you a deal? You get to live for twenty more years.” Death spoke and she stepped towards the bed-side pausing.
“You will? Really?” Alex was overcome, even if it was short, even an extra day was enough. More time to walk outside under the sun, live with Eva and travel anywhere in the world with her, it was almost too good to be true.
“However, the one you hold dear will only live as long as you.” Death grinned as she reached out her hand and Alex paused. “What’s wrong? You live, she lives, and you go out together like a fairy-tale. Even if you don’t take this deal, Eva will be so broken when you pass, its mercy that I show you two star-crossed lovers. Now then, do we have a deal?” Alex couldn’t deny that a part of her was ready to reach out to Death. It would be wonderful, living and dying together with Eva, but deep down the real reason was just that she was too terrified to let go and abandon her life. But, no matter how much she wanted it, Alex couldn’t do it. Instead she stood up and pushed Death’s arm away.
“Thank You, but I’m ready to go now. I won’t make a deal that takes even a second of breath away from her. I’m scared, I don’t want to go yet, but being in that bed only hurts her and I’ll never be able to stand myself if I did that to her. So I think I’m ready now.” Alex was trembling, but Death nodded and for once gave a comforting smile.
“I must say that you are certainly much more grown up than I had thought. Well then, I suppose it is time.” Death placed one hand onto Alex’s forehead, filling the spirit with a cold touch and the girl shivered as a few tears escaped her eyes, ready to face her fate. “Are you ready to go back into your body then?” Alex was stunned and it took her a few moments, staring up at Death she realized what had just been said and fumbled to try and speak.
“What do you mean? I’m going to go back? Like, not die then right?” Alex’s mouth was running a mile a minute as she went from depressed, to confused, to excited in a matter of seconds.
“I never came here to take you from this world. All I did was introduce myself and you made the assumption. As I said, thousands of people die each second and I watch them all, every death, even now. So for a few moments I wanted to speak to another, and you made it rather fun for me. In the end, I only came to place you back in your body. Although, if you disagree…” Death chuckled as she finished speaking looking as Alex shook her head rather energetically.
“No, no, thank you!” Her eyes were streaming with fading tears on her transparent face as joy overtook Alex.
“Humans… so fickle.” Death took a deep breath as a haze filled the room and Alex lost sight of the woman before her. Her very form seemed to be disappearing into nothingness. “I’ll make you a deal before you wake up from this little dream; if you are good to her as she is to you, when your time does come I’ll see if I can line it up so that you both pass on together. You’ll introduce me to her then” So were the last words that Death spoke to Alex.
It was just past nine in the morning when a red-headed girl came bursting through the doorway of room 672A. The first thing she saw was the love of her life laying in bed and smiling at her.
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