The Flipside

I died.  I collapsed in a spot on the wooden floor of the dining room where a sunbeam cast the shape of the window on the floor.  I discovered that death was merely a doorway between two dimensions, as my eyes fluttered and I came to on the floor in the same spot where I had died.  It was the same world everywhere, but quieter.  I was just out of phase with the living, but still occupying the same space.  My loved ones who’d died were there to greet me instead.  They had been among us all along.

One peculiarity of being out of phase was that it was impossible to use electricity.  It seemed that the proper polarities didn’t operate correctly in this dimension.  As a result, we had no radio, no TV, no phone or internet.  This helped explain why it was no easy task for the dead to contact the living.  We sat around playing cards a lot, and drinking coffee that had been heated over a fire someone had built in the yard outside.

It was all very peaceful actually.  There was no traffic or noise around.  I didn’t really see anyone else beside our small group, but I knew they had to be out there.  Imagine all the famous people who had died, just hanging out somewhere! In time we would go visiting some of them, but there was no hurry.  There was a vast sense of relief in the air.  A lifetime of fretting over death was all behind us.  There was nothing more to worry about.  We could finally relax.

There was work for us to do, though.  We had what my family called “missions.”  One of them took us to a racetrack one afternoon.  The stands and the track were deserted, but that was only in our dimension.  On the other side, it was packed with people.  You could almost sense the excitement they generated in the air, like an echo without the noise that created it.  We climbed up into the empty stands.  We went to a certain row and waited.  Suddenly my father reached out and caught something out of mid-air that seemed as though it were about to fall 50 feet to the ground below.  I could almost make out one of my nieces before my father pushed her back and she was gone.  “She isn’t ready to come here yet.  They’re not ready to lose her.”, he explained to me.  I looked out across the sunny deserted racetrack, and mourned for the living.

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15 thoughts on “The Flipside

  1. You could almost sense the excitement they generated in the air, like an echo without the noise that created it. and I looked out across the sunny deserted racetrack, and mourned for the living.

    It's almost poetry!

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  2. @Mouse: Well, it was a pleasant dream. I could deal with it if it's like that.

    @John Myste: Thank you. I have to confess, I liked that echo line myself. I think it does a good job of conveying the idea.

    @Scott: Is that good or bad?

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  3. If you don't mind, I think I'll adopt that as my personal philosophy of death. It's much calmer than most of the proposed alternatives.

    That first line reminded me of a John Prine song.
    “Woke up this morning
    Slipped on my slippers
    Walked in my kitchen and died.”

    You have such a way with words. I can't remember. Have you ever tried writing songs?

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  4. Not just the echo line, but both lines:

    I looked out across the sunny deserted racetrack, and mourned for the living.

    In context, that is also pure poetry.

    I must shamefully admit that I went through a poetry stage in my youth also. Almost all of it is lost.

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  5. I haven't had any good ones lately. At least not that I can remember. Sometimes they slip down the shower drain before I can get a hold of them.

    Plus, I've been working on this project with Vincent, which has been time consuming.

    I'm sure I'll be back with more dreams here. I can guarantee it.

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  6. Very imaginative!

    My inner editor did let out a brief scream when reading, “where a sunbeam cast the shape of the window on the floor”. I'm left wondering what shape the window is without any textual clues.

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