Chapter One: Mindy gets a taste of death.
|Mindy was fairly certain she was dead. In fact, she knew it. She was in a dark room with no decorations and no discernible windows or doors. Her body had a different feeling to it, as though it were lighter, but still chained to the floor. She looked down at her feet, and there were definitely chains around her ankles, as well as around the ankles of the people in line with her. What were they waiting for? She prodded the person in front of her, about to ask, but when the person turned around, all she could see was decay, as though they had been dead for far too long. He groaned at her and then turned back around.
Could she still talk? She didn't want to disturb the people around her by saying something completely random, so she finally addressed the room. "Excuse me. What's going on here?"
She could talk! In full, complete sentences. Unless of course her brain was just translating for her, because the second she spoke, the room sputtered into gurgles and moans, although no one looked at her. They seemed to know to stay in line. Finally she decided they were too stupid or brain dead to care what she did, so she stepped out of line and walked toward the front of the room. It was a little difficult to walk with the chains on, so she shuffled a bit. She saw a woman at a desk, filing paperwork, never minding the sounds that were coming out of the dead person's mouth. She snapped her fingers, and a door appeared on the wall, where the dead man went walking through as though this were a perfectly normal part of his life.
Mindy pushed in front of the ghoulish figure that was next and said, "I'm sorry to interrupt, but I really must insist on knowing what's going on here."
The woman glanced at her, then sighed. "So you're the one making all the noise. Nothing is going on. You're dead."
"I'm perfectly aware of that. I want to know why we're waiting in line, and why everybody looks the way that they do."
"It takes a long time to get to the processing room. Most people decay by the time they get here. But you were a vampire and died of unnatural causes, which means your body didn't decay. And these people are waiting to get to the afterlife, and that takes a minute. So you'll just have to wait your turn."
"Are you telling me I have to live the rest of my eternity with people who can't even talk?"
"I'm telling you to wait your turn!" The woman's voice rose sharply, and Mindy put up her hands in defense.
"Alright. I'm going back." Mindy walked back to where her spot still was. No one had taken it or even noticed that she had disappeared for a few seconds. She squeezed herself back in and waited patiently. She prided herself on her patience. She could wait decades for someone to die. In the end, they would be dead, and she wouldn't have dirty hands. Somehow though, this felt like an eternity.
She arrived at the table again, flustered by the fact that she hadn't spoken to anyone for hours. The woman glared up at her and said, "I'm going to have to do the death speech because you're cognizant, huh?" Mindy nodded, and she sighed. Her voice was monotone. "Mindy Sable, you are dead. But don't think that your life didn't amount to anything. You touched the lives of many people, and changed the course of history, if only a little bit."
"I was a vampire. I did more than my fair share of changing history. Do you say this speech to everyone? Is it just some sort of vocal balm you give out to those who can still think?"
"To think, some people actually mourned your death."
"Really? Who? Anybody good?"
"Can we just get this over with?"
"You'll be spending eternity with everyone who has died. No heaven, no hell, just a bunch of people altogether, not that most of them would notice."
"Do they keep decaying? Because I'm thinking they can get deader than dead."
"You are what you are when you enter the afterlife."
Mindy couldn't think of any other questions. She thought when she finally arrived that there would be someone all-knowing that could wax poetically about the purpose of life and all the wonders that came with it. Instead she was stuck in a room with a woman who just wanted her to move on like the rest of the ghouls. Apparently there was no meaning to life, and she would have to find meaning in death quickly or go insane listening to the howls of the dead.
"I guess I'll go then," she said softly.
"Good. Now get out there and don't meet any of your enemies."
Oh god, Mindy had forgotten about that. Everyone meant everyone, and she had made a few enemies on her way to comfort and safety in her old life. Surely though there would be enough people for her to avoid them. She stepped through the door, and was immediately welcomed by the stench of raw death, and a man smiling at her. With fangs. "We've got a live one," he said.