600 – Ride

“That’s IT!? That’s all I get!?”

“Yup, I know it kinda sucks, but that’s the whole enchilada for you.”

“Kinda sucks!? I’m only seventeen! I’ve got my whole life to live. Why are you doing this to me?”

“Ok, lemme just stop you there for a second. One, this has nothing to do with age. If you paid a bit more attention to the world around you, you would have noticed that by now. Two, you lived a whole life, everybody does. There’s no fixed standard for how long or short it is supposed to be, you just get what you get and that’s it. And three, I’m not doing anything to you, I’m just here to help you on your way.”

“So I’m screwed, great. And what are you, my after-life guide or something?”

“Don’t look so gloomy, you’re not screwed, just dead. And it’s not so bad really. It happens to everyone, eventually. Oh, and the technical term is reaper, not guide.”

“You’re Death!?”

“Well, not Death, at least not with a capital D, we’re more like executive agents. And you can pick up your jaw from the floor now. I don’t see why you’re so surprised.”

“Well… you’re…? you’re not…? you’re…?”

“Let me finish those questions for you. I’m…not what you expected? I’m not… a spooky skeleton in a cowl carrying a scythe? I’m… a hot chick in black leathers? The answers to those are Duh, no, and yes, in that order.”

“Listen, this is getting way too weird. Can we just, I don’t know, get on the hearse or hop on the boat and get this over with?”

“Em… dude… you do know it’s the twenty-first century, right? Nobody does that anymore.”

“So, what? We take a limo?”

“Nothing that fancy, but I have a hunch you’re gonna like this a whole lot more.”

He turned to follow her gaze and discovered a mean Harley, all black and chrome with two fire-red helmets on the saddle.

“Awriiiiight! This IS cool! I get to drive this?”

“Heh, nice try kid. No, those are *my* wheels, but I promise you the ride of your life, no pun intended.”

“Ok, it’s still really cool. So, where exactly are we going?”

She mounted, and winked as she tossed him one of the helmets.

“No fucking idea, depends on your karma or something. I’m not high enough the ladder to know how this things work. But I can promise you whatever lies beyond will be anything but boring. So, ready to roll?”

He put on the helmet and walked towards the bike, smiling at the thought that, even though he was dead, his day was actually beginning to get better.

• • •

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