Death date part 3

The lady who had pushed me was still standing there “What the hell was that?!”I scream when I see her. “You cant just go around pushing people into the ocean! You are lucky I survived!” As soon as the word “survived” popped from my mouth she lunged to push me again. This time I saw her coming, and I dodged her. She flew past me and landed in the water. Good. that’s what she gets! But no longer than it takes me to think that she is climbing back on the boat- dress dry.

“NO! I saw the splash! I saw you physically go into the water! How are your dry?”

“How are you dry?” She doesn’t look mad, that she just fell into the water, in fact she looks a little bored. Her tone was as dry as her dress. I look down at mine. Oh. I had forgotten about that oddity when I got back up here and she was still standing here. “Why is my dress dry?” I ask her.

she Counters my question with another question, “Why were you able to breathe under the water? How have your survived 2 weeks without food or water?” She raises an eyebrow. For someone who just tried to kill me, she is quite sassy.

“TWO WEEKS! Lady you are off your rocker! I’ve only been out here for 2 days!”

“I promise, you have been out here for two weeks.”

“Has it been 2 weeks for you?” I’m still not convinced, but it really seems like she is.

“No, it has been 150 years for me.”

“You look 25 if you’re a day! What do you mean you have been out here for 50 years!”

“Honey, ONE HUNDRED and fifty.”

“You should be d-“

“Dead? Yes, I have been dead for 150 years and you have been dead for 2 weeks.”

“No! I am alive! I may have been at sea for 2 weeks, but I am very much alive! I am breathing and walking around! I have been sleeping and waking up!” If I were dead surely I would know! This lady is nuts.

“You are only breathing because that is familiar to you. It is a habit, a routine. Are you hungry?” Hunger pains immediately shoot through my stomach. My hands fly to my stomach try to stop the pain. “That is not real, you said you have been sleeping, were you tired?”

I take a second to think about it. “Well there is not much to do on a raft alone… I was mostly just bored. So, does that mean, if I’m dead, I get to spend the rest of my… after life, on this rickety raft?

“Would you like to?”

A tear rolls down my face and lands where my lips meet. “Not really.’

“None of that,” for the first time she showed emotion. She came closer to me and enveloped me in a hug.

“Is this it? This is what happens when we die? We just float around by ourselves hoping to randomly bump into someone? How lonely! What if I hadn’t bumped into you! I still would not know that I am dead! am I being punished?” I sobbed into her dress.

“Oh no honey, you’re not being punished. Do you think me finding you was an accident? That was supposed to happen! When you were under water did you look around?”

I pull back from her “why would I have looked around? It’s dark… and in the middle of the ocean. Best thing I was going to see was a shark!” she tugs on my hand and leads me to the end of the raft and jumps in. I yank my hand from hers and just stare at her.

“Come on, what do you have to lose? You’re already dead!” She yelled from the water.

“I don’t know if I believe that yet!” I say truthfully.

“Well then you are soon to be dead, so what does it matter?”

She had a point. I hesitantly jump into the water next to her. She dove into the water and followed her, holding my breath as we swam. Usually when I swim I have my eyes closed, so it was a little weird for me to have them open, but I kept them open. We dove a little ways and dots of light started popping up, covering the entire ocean floor beneath us. When we got a little closer I could see elaborate houses painted beautiful pink, blue and yellows matching coral of a reef. Everything was so clear and bright! It barely even seemed like we were underwater.

When we finally reached the ocean floor I saw other people , they were dressed in their finest. Everyone that I saw had clothes that looked like the came straight from a history book. All different styles and from different periods. Everyone was going about their normal lives…”lives” as if they were not underwater. I look over at my tour guide and she says “impressive right?” And I heard her! She opened her mouth and no bubbles came out, no gargling, just words! I was too afraid to talk so I just nodded my head.she just stared at me – disapprovingly. “Are you holding your breath?” She asked, her eyebrows scrunched together.

I shook my head yes.

“Well fine, whatever,” waved her hand, “ hope you don’t have any questions about Atlantis.”

“THIS IS THE LOST CITY OF ATLANTIS?!” I blurt out excitedly.

“No this isn’t, but you looked ridiculous with your cheeks puffed out like you were smuggling acorns.”

“Are we in the Bermuda Triangle? Is that why all the rafts were gathered here?”

“What, no, you new deaths get strange ideas. This is called coral city! Because of all the coral buildings.” She spins in a dramatic circle, with her arms out. “This is where you start your journey if you choose to stay.”

“Oh, is this where everyone goes when they die?”

“LORD NO! Do you know how over populated this pace would be? I think we need to have a chat. Why don’t we go and get something to eat. I know a place that has killer apple crumble muffins. Just because we don’t HAVE to eat, doesn’t mean that we can’t. “ we start to walk along the sandy street, our footsteps not bothering the sand. “My name is Deloris, you may call me Lori. When you are born the Reaper is called to your birth and marks you with the day you will expire, and you are assigned a guardian. That’s me, I am your guardian. When you die it is my job to help you acclimate to your new way.”

“So where were you the first 2 weeks?” I ask

The question clearly catches her off guard. “Uh, well,” she stutters, “usually when people die they know it,” her words were a little snarky, “and they need a little alone time. I kept waiting for you to realize, but you never did. I thought pushing you in the water would be enough for you to, but no you clung onto your beliefs.”

“So do you remember how you died?”

“We can remember how we die if you choose to when it happens. I died during child birth and chose to remember so that I could remember my child who ended up living. I wanted to meet him later and know who he was and how he turned out.”

“So I must not have wanted to remember,” I say in a small voice. “But! I remember getting on the boat! So does that mean I died at sea?

“You cannot board your raft when you are living, in fact the living cannot see the rafts.”

“Oh, so I died before that?”

“Yes, but there is no reason to dwell on it, because you chose not to know for a reason.”

“Yes, I suppose so, but it still bothers me a little. I can’t imagine me ever making that decision. It must have been pretty bad. So how did you get saddled with me?” I ask. A group of women in different shades of red gowns walk by us and we wave casually.

“Well I got saddled with you because I volunteered.” I was fixing to ask her why, when we came to a stop outside a bakery. It was a giant blue and pink coral building. Absolutely stunning to look at. It had hexagon glass windows, tinted with green algae. “My friend runs this place, everything she makes is delicious, but the apple crumb muffins are creme de la creme!”

“Oh, actually, I am allergic to apples.” I announce.

“Well then you are going to REALLY enjoy this muffin!” She opens the door to the bakery and ushers me in. I look around the shop and am in absolute awe. It is even more beautiful on the inside than the outside. It was a single story building, but could have easily had 4 or 5 floors. The ceilings were insanely tall. The walls had holes of every size and shape, allowing the water and outside light the flow through. light from where, who knows. At the back of the shop, on the far wall, a glass counter full of baked goodies was displayed neatly. Scattered throughout the shop was delicate round tables with 2 chairs at each. The table and chairs were gold and black, but looked like they would barely be able to hold me, much less someone bigger than my five-three 120 lbs!

We are immediately greeted with warm and mouth watering smells, that make your mouth water profusely. “Hey, Julie! Can we get 2 of your most delicious muffins?” Lori calls out to the empty shop.

Death Date, part 2


I wake up in total darkness, drenched in sweat, and gasping for breath. I immediately threw off the covers and got out of bed. I need water, a glass of water will help me calm down. I open the door to the cabin and walkout, stopping just in time to save myself from marching straight into the ocean. Oh. Yeah. I’m on a raft. With that thought my anxiety multiplies ten fold.

What do people do when they are having a panic attack? I’ve read articles before… Breathe into a paper bag. Not an option. Glass of water. Nope. The senses! Umm I see water. Smell, the ocean. Feel, damp. Hear, my heart pounding in my ears. This isn’t helping.

I drop to my knees, bend over the side of the raft and splash the icy water in my hot face. Once. Twice. Three times just for good measure and fall backwards on to the floor of the raft, my breath finally regulating. I’m not tired, but there is not much to do, so I close my eyes and try to summon sleep.

I lay there for a better part of an hour, when I see bright light through my eyelids. My eyes flutter open ready to greet the sun. Instead, I see a bunch of tiny yellow dots resting on the water. Like a lot of them. Hundreds, if not thousands of dots of light that were quickly getting bigger, getting closer. I sit up trying to figure out exactly what I was looking at. Soon they were so close and bright that it felt like daylight. Eventually they got close enough for me to be able to see what they were. They were torches, hundreds of torches on hundreds of rafts. Each one of the rafts were made of wood, with a single small cabin, with a single torch. Just like mine.

I expected another panic attack to come, in fact I braced myself for one. But instead a feeling of calm came over me.

“Hello?” I scream out, voice a little scratchy so I try once more. “Hello? Is there anyone out there?” All of a sudden my raft launched forward and I loose my balance. I fall face forward and onto the floor of the raft. I look behind and see that one of the the other rafts had collided with mine.

I jump up and ran to the other raft and board it. Standing next to their cabin is a woman in a Long, yellow dress, with a lacy white collar. “Ma’am! Ma’am! You’re alive! Are all of these alive people?” Instead of answering me a look of disappointment spreads across her face and she reaches out and pushes me off the raft and into the water.

I go into full panic sending my limbs flailing around. The long dress tangling around my arms making it impossible to swim. Between fighting the dress and trying to find up, it felt as if I was sinking more and more. I can’t fight anymore. there was no way I could swim with this dress, and I have been fighting for too long. So I just stop. My arms and legs drift away from my body. I close my eyes and wait for death to consume. But nothing happened. I lay there and just float there. Once I stopped struggling and gave in, it felt just the same as if I weren’t in the water. I calmly started swimming up to the surface and boarded the raft that I had been pushed from. When I “gracefully” climb back on I look down at my dress. It’s bone dry.

Death Date Part 1


I look down at my arm and trace the date that is tattooed there with my finger. “4/5/2018.” I have had the tattoo my entire life. Everyone has one, most of them different, but all of them mean the same thing- the day you die. At least they are supposed mean that. Today is April 6th, 2018. A day after my death date.

No one fears their death date, no one that i know anyway. It’s a nice thing to get to know, you get to plan for it and make all of your arrangements. 3 days ago we had my going away party, i signed all of my belongings away and prepared my burial raft. I boarded it yesterday and prepared myself to leave this life. Yet here I am, a full 24 hours after my death date and still alive. Alone. In the middle of the ocean. On a wooden raft that has a cabin just big enough for my bed. No food, no water, no resources at all, besides a fancy bed and blanket.

I stood up from the bed, and walked out of the cabin and looked out at the unending sea. When you are growing up, they alway talk about how easy and harmless it is when your date comes up. You have your party, take care of your things and board your burial raft. A larger boat drags the raft out to sea, and you are left to pass away in a serene paradise, without others to get in the way of it. I am starting to think, however, that maybe you die from neglect in a wooden prison.

No, that is ridiculous, there is no way that, that is how this works. There is no way that the death date could all be a lie. Why would so many blindly follow something like this if it were not the best way to go? I sit down at the edge of the raft and dangle my feet in the water. A bright orange and green fish comes up to my feet and starts nibbling at my toes. I swing my feet back and forth, and the fish looses interest and swims off, leaving me by myself once again.

The sun was starting to set, sinking beneath the water now and I try to keep my mind from wondering off to a bad place, but it was getting harder and harder to do the longer I am left alone. I just don’t understand what this date on my wrist is supposed to mean. It obviously does not mean my death date, because the day has come and gone and i am still alive. Did i do something in my life that was wrong, did i not live “good” enough? Am i being punished, or perhaps they just read my death wrong. Could they get the dates wrong? I have never heard of them mixing someone’s dates up before, though, i guess, how could I? They send them off on a raft into the middle of the ocean. How would they tell their story?

I look at the tattoo on my arm again, and catch a glimpse of the time. My watch was one one the few things that i had insisted that i take with me. It was one that my grandmother had given me, and i just could not see anyone else getting it. It was a dainty thing, all silver with a small circle for the clock. Around the clock there was rose gold etched, vines that twist and turn all the way around it. I’ve been out here far more than 24 hours. I look back at the time, if i were at home this would be when i would be getting off work and just about to fix dinner. As soon has the word “dinner” left my brain my stomach ached in hunger in return. The raft didn’t have any food on it, why should it, you don’t need any food to die. Dwelling on food is not going to make things better, i might as well go to sleep. Sleep off the hunger, is that a thing? I catch my eyelids getting heavy and my head beginning to droop.

I pull my feet back up on the raft and dried my feet with the hem of my dress. And head off to my bed.

…To be continued