Life after death;
What brain dead moron came up with that?! (no Dribbles, for once I’m not talking to you- figures this would be the one time you hear me)
Now where was I? Ah yes, life after death. The oxymoron of somehow being able to live after you’ve died. What a steaming pile of bullshit. We’re not alive, any of us. It’s hard to say which one of us has it worst, the ones without a body or the ones without a brain…
Let me rewind a little and tell you how we got here.
It all started on a monday, as if anyone needs more of an excuse to hate the mosquito of the week (-you know because it sucks the life out of you, ha) I had just spent the weekend enjoying a mixed bag of self pity and self loathing so I was extra hate fueled for this Monday in particular- how dare it cut short my precious me time!
Fuck you arsehole.
Anyway, I had just managed to aggressively shoe-horn myself onto the Victoria line, venti mocha latte with extra sugar clamped in one hand, when I heard her scream. Why she couldn’t have saved all of us and just died at home on her own, I don’t know. Some people are just selfish like that I guess. I craned my neck around trying to get a look at the action, a little entertainment as payment for the inconvenience of being stuck in this boiling tin can isn’t bad- quid pro quo and all that, right? Turning around I found myself face to face with a giant pair of sweaty man tits. Swallowing the urge to vomit, I gave Mr Dough my most charming smile.
“Do you think it’s those terrorists again?” I ask with fake fear in my voice.
His already grey, clammy face, paled further. That’s when the crowd behind me surged forward, pushing me in a current of sweaty people, I end up crushed against the window of the sliding doors. The panic had started.
The next few minutes or hours were a blur of sweaty screaming people scrambling to escape the confining death trap. I slammed my hand over and over again down on the button to open the doors but they never did. People were screaming, biting each other, blood went everywhere. My discount Chanel shoes were ruined! I’m not totally sure on how I exactly died, no one I’ve talked to since can. I guess we just block it all out. I only hope that I didn’t die of suffocation between that fatties tits.
The world went dark in a split second, it did not gradually cloud, I didn’t slowly drift off somewhere. One second i was being trampled in a screeching hoard of angry Londoners the next I was floating in the blackest void anyone can ever experience. All sensations ceased to exist. No light nor sound, no touch nor taste. It was boring as fuck.
Time being relative and all i can’t tell you how long it was until I was slammed back to earth, it felt like a millennia but it must have only been a matter of minutes. As with before, there was nothing gradual about it, one second I didn’t exist, the next I was standing in the rain watching the world burn.
It was highly entertaining at first, watching the little people scramble around, looting shops and crashing cars, people were actually eating each other! I swear to god, this one scrawny old lady leapt 3 foot in the air on top of the fatty from the tube and literally ripped his throat out! Fountains of blood spurted all over a group of screaming school girls blindly running down the road. I took in the scene with a sort of detached amusement, somewhere at the back of my head I was thinking, this should be terrifying, disgusting, appalling! But it really wasn’t. It was a free ticket to the most realistic gore fest and I was loving it. Until I saw my own arse wobbling drunkenly in front of me.
You must realise up until now, I didn’t know I was dead. Obviously I knew something had gone down, I’m not an idiot but to think I was dead?! It was inconceivable. Maybe I was just having an out of body experience? Maybe I had an evil twin I never knew about? I was desperately searching for an explanation but I came up empty every time. I tried to walk over to the stumbling me-a-like and realised for the first time I couldn’t feel my body. I looked down on myself, expecting the cute bodycon dress, a little battered but still good clinging to my slim physique, but I saw nothing. Literally nothing.
Still not thinking I could be dead, obviously. I could see, hear, smell and think, dead people can’t do that right? But there was no denying, something was very clearly wrong with me. I tried to push all the worries from my mind and concentrate on trying to catch up with the doppleganger but focusing my thoughts became impossible. I admit it, I broke down but who wouldn’t in my position? I started screaming and flailing my arms around, trying to punch everything within sight but each and every time my fists blew straight through whatever the focus of my anger was. I guess that’s when I knew.
I was dead.
Without a doubt. I had somehow become a ghost. I had never before believed in the supernatural however I could not deny what my own senses were at this point screaming at me. Long after this conclusion my meltdown continued. Hoards of humans and the stumbling posses chasing them came and went, London fell down around my ears whilst I stamped my feet, shouting how unfair life was.
When I came to, I realised I was sitting on a body. A middle aged cyclist poured into skin tight lycra laying in the middle of the road. He had very obviously been hit by a car by the tire marks striping his form. Serves you right for not staying in your cycle lane buddy, I thought with slight satisfaction. Then the reality hit me- just like this selfish jerk, I was dead.
I would never again do tequila shots off a stranger, tell my sister her kids were jerks or leave a passive aggressive post it note for special Jen at the office… what did I ever do to deserve this?! I gave to charity on occasion, donated blood once or twice when that cute guy at the red cross convinced me to. I know I was never a saint but I consider myself a pretty decent human being. The world can be so cruel.
So that was a total bummer, the only upside was no one could see me, I was sure if they could I would look like a hot mess, death takes it’s toll on a lady. Evaluating my current situation, I decided the best thing to do was to hunt down the evil twin body and see what’s going on with that mystery. Willing myself forwards I floated along just above head height through the now empty streets and man the city was TRASHED. Half of the place was on fire, the other half was littered with wrecked cars, half demolished buildings and dead bodies.
I see dead people.
What you never really get from the movies is the smell. Dying is so undignified, piss, shit, puke and blood- smothered every surface in sight. I guess that’s another upside, my Chanels didn’t need to degrade themselves to actually walk through this filth. The dark sky was filled with fumes and smoke, the only lights were the flickering of flames. It was eerily silent. The destruction… I had never before seen the likes of it. Not in my wildest dreams did I ever think my home could look like this.
I spent all night floating around, over the city centre and tourist hot spots, through the suburbs and the leafy middle class town houses to the rough outskirts of council flats and social housing. Occasionally I would see a form or figure out of the corner of my eye but during that long first night, I was completely and utterly alone. A city of nearly 9 million people. Gone. Wiped out and reduced to rubble in less than a day. Shameful.
It was only then that I truly thought of everyone I had ever known. Were they all dead too? Were they like me? Lost and alone, wandering through the ruins of life? Genuine sadness crept over me, taking over the numb detachment. I floated over to my mother’s house, I doubt she would do the same in my position but you gotta love your mum right? The house looked oddly untouched, pristine almost compared to the general devastation. All the windows were in one piece and shut tight to the world, the front door stood it’s solitary guard. I moved myself in front of it, and tried the handle, my hand went straight through it, of course, I rolled my eyes at my own stupidity. Bracing myself for a few moments, I took several deep breaths (had I been breathing this entire time?) shaking off the question I pushed myself forward through the door.
It was not how I expected it to be, I thought maybe I’d feel it go through me or become one with the door for a moment neither of those things happened. One moment I was outside, the next I was inside. Simples. The house inside looked exactly like it did the last time I was here, minus the christmas decorations that is. The feeling of the house was different though, it was… Emptier somehow, darker. I don’t know how else to explain it, I knew something was wrong before I stepped foot into the living room.
Mum was propped up in her favourite chair like always, he feet resting on the matching foot stool. She almost looked like she could be sleeping but I was never fooled. The dead recognise their kin. I moved to crouch in front of her, get one last longing look at her, there were three empty pill boxes on the little table next to the chair and a near empty bottle of cheap vodka. Thinking about it, I don’t even think it was the apocalypse that drove her to it. Is she still here? Is she a ghost like me? “Moooootthhheeerrrrr” I called at the top of my voice. If she was still hanging around she wasn’t answering- just like normal then.
I thought about checking in on my sister, she only lived around the corner but I just couldn’t face it. If those little jerks of hers were hurt, were dead, it would honestly break my heart. Putting my hands up to my eyes, I expected to wipe away tears but my face was dry.
By the way, my hands don’t go through my face or any other body part. I don’t feel clammy and cold, I don’t feel squishy. I feel like me, like I always have done, warm, firm flesh… just invisible.
I sat next to my mum, floating in the air, legs crossed beneath me, hand resting just above hers for hours. We watched the sunrise together with glassy unseeing eyes.