Rand Chambers found himself in an indeterminate environment. He was lying down and covered up like he was in bed, but this was different. He could neither fall asleep nor wake up and was suspended in a state somewhere in between.
“You all ask the same questions. It’s as if it hasn’t been explained to you before.”
He heard a woman’s voice but it was not kind. Rather, she sounded impatient and annoyed and bored, as if she couldn’t be bothered with Rand’s condition, whatever that was.
“What do you mean? Who are you? Where are you?”
I am all around you, Mr. Chambers. I am all around all of you, all of you human beings who are trying to puzzle out your condition.”
“What’s going on? I’m trying to get up, but the covers seem so heavy. I can hardly move my body.”
“That is to be expected, Mr. Chambers. You see, everything that is physical about you has already ceased, along with the 6,315 other people who have passed in the last hour. Your bodies have slowed down and finally perished, so now it’s your spirit’s turn.”
“What?” Rand’s thoughts were becoming increasingly sluggish, but the startling revelation seized his attention.
“I am Death, Mr. Chambers. Every hour on your planet, 6,316 people die. That’s 151,600 people a day, and I have to listen to each and every one of them whine as their spirits dissolve and return to the great consciousness.”
Rand realized for the first time he wasn’t breathing. His sight, if you wanted to call it that, was continuing to dim revealing ever darker shades of gray approaching black.
The surgery to remove his appendix must have gone wrong. Cheryl and the kids. What would happen to them? Rand wished he could make himself care, but it was as if time itself were slowing down and about to stop altogether. The world of the living was like a fairy tale to him.
“Say good-bye, Mr. Chambers. I merely conduct you from life to the great beyond. Even I don’t know what’s on the other side.
Randolph Oscar Chambers faded into black and was gone. Death turned her attention to the next group of over 6,000 souls she would have to conduct into the beyond in the next hour.
Rand was in total darkness and then there was a light. At first it was very faint, just a small point. Slowly it gathered size and intensity and then burst into brilliance. Rand found that he was waking up, really waking up, for the first time in his life, his death, and his life. He and over 6,000 others like him hadn’t ended. They had just begun.