Short Story: “And Now I’m Dead…”

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And Now I’m Dead

You know… how could you know we’ve only just met. I’ve been here a long time. As far as I know, we stay here for a bit, until they put us in a new baby’s body. I just sit here ranting, with all these spirits around me. None of whom talk to me by the way, I’m not even sure they listen. And there’s absolutely nothing to do, nothing to feel -hunger, sorrow, regret, nothing. So thank you for sticking around and not floating away.

 

Where do I begin? What should I rant about today? I know! My death. You must be wondering how I died and ended up here. It’s a bit vague and my memory’s all jumbled up but here goes.

 

I was out shopping one day for kites. You know the ones people fly around at the beach. I actually don’t remember which part of the world I was from but I remember it was some Chinese/Indian/Asian looking market. I kept going deeper and deeper into this market. There were plenty of stores that sold kites but there was so much to see that I just kept roaming around.

 

I ended up in the part of the market that sold fireworks. It was crowded and a few stores had some beautiful kites out on display. I was window shopping these kites while casually standing around a street corner. When suddenly I saw a young man walking towards me with a lit sparkler. I wasn’t sure what to make of him but he seemed very confident about what he was doing. He walked right past me and I only managed to mutter “wait…what?”. My brain began screaming “It’s not safe. This is not safe. A man with a lit sparkler in a market full of fireworks. This is not going to end well. This is like walking into a lion enclosure expecting them to be friendly.” I knew I should get as far away from this as possible but I also wanted to see what this man does. Worst case scenario, I’ll suffer a few burns but I’ll survive and will have seen something amazing by the end of it. I stuck around almost spellbound, against my better judgement. I’ve re-lived this moment over and over again in my head and these are the best explanations I could come up with:

 

“I wanted to look”

“I wanted to see what happens”

“Maybe someone will stop him”

“I’m not gonna die”

 

Anyways, next thing I see, he lit one of the fireworks store on fire. He just casually walked up to the store owner, looked him straight in the eyes and lit one of his fireworks that were on display. No one stopped him. This is where my brain signaled my body to run but so did the brains of all the other people that were there. Remember this was a crowded Asian market with stores packed in next to one another, which in this case just happened to be a bunch of fireworks stores packed in next to one another.

 

The fire spread faster than one could imagine. Between the people screaming and loud bursts of the crackers, I realized I was now part of a full scale stampede. Everyone just ran without looking back, pushing each other on the way. The exits I could see were jam packed with people. I had nowhere to go. The last thing I remember thinking was – “I should’ve ran earlier”.

 

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