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On a dark and gloomy day James Hawthorne sat in his living room watching the shadows cast by his television dance across the wall. He was fading in and out of the conversation some of the characters were having. He didn’t know what was going on.
“I will kill you,” he heard a female voice shout at the top of its lungs.
“Go ahead and try,” replied a male voice just as loud.
Upon hearing this little part of the conversation James turned his attention to the television. The male and female characters he had heard shouting had pulled out semi-automatic machine guns and started firing them at each other. After several seconds of shooting the male character let out a bellicose cry, he had been shot in the ankle. James watched excitedly as the female character slowly descended upon her helpless prey.
“Are you willing to admit defeat at the hands of a superior being?” she asked in a mocking tone.
“I will never admit that you are a superior being,” he said defiantly, “but I will admit that you have bested me this day.”
She laughed and with a simple click of the trigger his brains were splattered all around the room they had been fighting in. The credits started to roll as James turned the
television off. It was only around 7 pm but James had nothing to do so he decided to go bowling. He got in his car and drove to the local bowling alley, only a few minutes away. He walked in and noticed that there were not many people there. A mom and her son, an old man that looked like he would die from the strain that bowling would put on his body, a group of smokers, and the employees behind the counter.
James bought his shoes and strolled over to last lane far from the other patrons of the bowling alley. He started bowling and was on the verge of breaking his high score of 250, when his ball got stuck in the return machine. James saw the ball inches from the exit hole and mindlessly reached his arm in to retrieve it. Instead of freeing his ball he had gotten his arm trapped. None of the others in the bowling alley seemed to notice as James struggled to free himself.
However the ball was in the way and there was no way he could free his arm. Yet again he mindlessly stuck his arm into the machine to remove the ball. He succeeded in removing the ball at the cost of his other arm. He started freaking out at this point because he couldn’t move. He pulled as hard as he could, even using his feet as leverage against the machine.
He heard two loud snaps as his shoulders dislocated from their sockets. He started screaming and whimpering from the pain. All of the noise attracted the attention of the other people. The mother and son stared at him with the look of deer caught in the headlights. The employees started to run toward him, the smokers just kept bowling, and the old man went behind the counter and started stealing stuff.
The employees got to James in time to see his flesh being ripped apart. James fell to the floor with a loud thud as his arms dangled from the machine. Helpless James bled to death in a matter of seconds. One of the employees started to vomit at the sight of the mutilated body covered in blood. A large flash of bright green light filled James’ eyes just before his life was extinguished. And before he knew what was going on he was being dragged toward the light.
After passing through the light James landed in a large room with plain white walls. He looked around and saw only a hallway which looked like a dead end and a counter with a small pasty man behind it. The man behind the counter beckoned him over with a gesture of his hand. James walked over not knowing what to say or do.
“Welcome to the afterlife,” said the man enthusiastically. James stared at him with disbelief.
“I’m dead?” asked James in a shocked tone.
“Yes, you had your arms ripped off. Do you think that anyone could survive something like that?”
“All I remember is going to the bowling alley to have some fun and I still have my arms see.”
“I know you still have your arms and I’m going to get into why you do.The point is that your dead and this is the afterlife. Now sign here, he said opening to a page in and large book while pulling out a pen. James took the pen and looked to where the man was pointing. His name along with other various information about him was written next to a blank line awaiting his signature. James signed and handed the pen back.
“Thank you,” said the small man.
He turned and led James down the hallway. There was a single door at the end of it. They reached the door and the man turned to James and said, “On the other side of this door awaits your eternity. You have not been a good enough person to make it to heaven, but this is not hell. Anything and everything that you want awaits you on the other side. All the movies, music, games and food you could want. The greatest part about being dead however is that you no longer have to piss or crap, so no more interruptions when your playing a game or watching a movie. You can also watch anything that’s going on down on earth, and I mean everything.”
“But what about other people?” asked James.
“You can call anyone else on this cell phone,” he said as he handed James a silver phone. “You can’t however visit anyone that is in heaven or hell since you don’t belong in either.”
“How can heaven possibly be any better than this?”
“Well if you had been a better person and had made it to heaven you would have been able to go back to earth any time you wanted. Also if you had been bad enough and made it into hell you would have been able to go back and haunt people with Satan’s permission of course.”
“Well will I ever have another chance to go back with this knowledge and lead a better life?”
“Unfortunately, no. Now if you had made it to heaven you would have had the choice to go back and live another life.”
“Well I guess I can tolerate it here forever.”
“You won’t be here forever you will only be here until the end of time.”
“And when exactly is that”
“The end of the world will happen whenever God and Satan decide to duke it out. So it could happen at anytime, so enjoy the time that you have here.”
And for all of you that where wondering the old man that robbed the bowling alley was never caught.
Raleigh, North Carolina
New Hyde Park, New York
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