More Than Life

Entry (anonymous)

27th May 2015
More Than Life

"NO!" I shriek as I rise into the air trying to cling onto my body.
"I'm not ready!" I cry, but nobody is listening.
You're all crowding me, get back!" I shout but to no avail. I find myself incapacitated, forced to be a passive bystander at my own death. This was just not a good time. I float above the idiot who did this and begin to vent my rage, which appeared inaudible to her as she stood there having the audacity to cry.
"I hope they lock you away forever and throw away the key because that's what you deserve, that's what you've done to me!" I fume. Then out of the corner of my eye I spot a paramedic advancing on what's left of my body with a stretcher and a black zip-bag.
"Oh no you don't, that's mine! Stop it, give me that back!" I feel like my lungs will burst, but then I realise I've no heartbeat. Sure, there's not much left of me, but it's mine and I want it back.
The accident happened a week ago, and so far I've not left the morgue. In some ways I'm lucky to be here after a car accident, because frankly the med students here are a bit drill-happy. They can't touch me though, I'm evidence, which also means I can't be destroyed, for now. I don't really know what I'm going to do. I can't even open my drawer. I can get in it, I did that once at the beginning, but it wasn't very pleasant, and a little disappointing. I was hoping it would be a case of just slipping back into my body, but no, apparently only Jesus can do that.
That women had made the wrong decision. I can't remember much, but because of her it was lights out for me, Game Over. There was no second chance to barter any terms for myself or my soul, the decision was made. Nobody had come to welcome me to Heaven or Hell, miserable gits.
I've just been standing here in the morgue, guarding my corpse. God I hate that word, 'corpse', just thinking it makes me shudder. but anyway, I've not seen any more of my 'kind'. thought hanging around in a morgue would be a logical way to find answers, and that others would be here too, staunchly defending their bodies. but no, it was just me, and the other corpses seemed blissfully unattached - which might be a good thing, nobody wants to watch themselves hacked up with a saw, or anybody else for that matter.
For whatever reason, I'm going to be subjected to the horror of my own funeral and I'm not sure why. At first I thought it was so I could save myself, but in all honesty, since I've had a look at me, I'm not sure that even if I had got back into myself how things would have been. It doesn't look like I would have ever walked again, or performed any of my bodily tasks without bags and machines. That woman smashed me up good. I don't feel any of the physical pain she inflicted upon me, in fact I'm moving around more freely than ever, but it's pointless, I can't hold anything. I'm not really sure what I'm meant to do.
When I was alive, I didn't really have many friends. in all honesty I was a bit of a hermit. but it was all for a good cause, or so I'd thought. I'd spent the last eight years of my life beavering away at my doctoral thesis about King Richard III. I had wanted to be a history teacher, and I'd been so close. I had only been one month away from graduation, and then that woman, that woman thieved my future off of me. I didn't really have anything else that was important in my life. I just feel so mad, I spent the last eight years preparing for a future I could never have now, and I think of all those social invites I turned down. The irony is not lost on me, absorbed in a past I'd never lived in, in preparation for a future that I will never live in, whilst withdrawing from the present I'd actually lived in. Now where do I live? Maybe I pissed God off by not going out and saying thank you to the flowers every day.
"No boy, don't be silly. Sometimes death is just beyond our control".
Did someone just say something to me? I glance around the room and notice a figure in the corner. Actually, what? No...It couldn't be.
"Richard Plantagenet", said the figure stepping forward.
"Are you...King Richard III?" I'm gob-smacked. I'm not sure I can believe what I'm seeing.
"Yes I am, but I hear they have a queen on the throne now, so best just call me Richard", he said heartily. At least someone was amused.
"Why are you here? Why am I here?" I ask.
"Very good questions. We are both here because we died", he answered.
"No I know that, I can see that I am dead, and I know that you're dead, but why am I here and not in Heaven or Hell?" Really I think it's bleeding obvious I'm here because I'm dead.
"You're here because you have potential. You are a historian are you not?" Richard asked.
"Well yes, but what's that got to do with anything now?" I'm a bit perplexed.
"This in-between space as I like to call it, is a place for people who influence history"
I interrupt him before he can finish his sentence,
"But I never made history or influenced it. I just wrote a doctorate, I'd only just started my career".
"No, you never made history, but you would have influenced many generation's interpretations of it, if you had lived, and, if you had scrapped the point you were making between pages three-hundred and twenty, and three-hundred and forty", he said.
"You read my doctorate?" I feel quite honoured. Had he been reading it over my shoulder while I wrote it? I think I'm actually smiling.
"Yes I read everything everyone writes about me. They make the effort, so I like to make the effort", he replied smiling.
"So what's wrong in chapter seven then?" I have to ask.
"I didn't quite happen with the Duke of Buckingham the way you described, but you've got two choices. I can tell you what happened with the Duke, but then the only unsolved problem of yours will be resolved so to speak, and you would pass through to permanent death. However, when I interrupted you earlier I realised that you maybe thought you had made social mistakes. Now I feel bad about that because you were so dedicated writing about me. So your second choice is a way to correct that, rather than your academic mistake. If you stay here, in this in-between space with us, you can help record history as it happens. It's good to keep records because living people are biased and screw it up a bit", explained Richard.
"Um, how does that help me correct my social reclusiveness? It's not like I can talk to 'people', and well, writing history is what isolated me in the first place, and I couldn't hold a pen now even if I wanted to", I explain.
"Well we are chronicling what happens now, which requires you to go out and see what is happening now. You can go anywhere you like, no one can see you. You can listen in on anything you want, but it requires you to be 'present'. With regards to writing, you can hold a quill with practice, it's only light", he replied.
His offer was interesting, but I still needed to know a few more things.
"Who is 'we'?"
"Well there's me, and that rascal Bill Shakespeare, you must have read about that awful play he wrote about me, but don't worry, we're friends now. Karl Marx, again everyone knows him. There's a few others, don't worry it's not that lonely, we get our jollies", said Richard.
I almost forget that I am dead. King Richard III is offering me an eternity to live with him and William Shakespeare. It seems intriguing, I'm definitely excited, and I almost don't care that I don't know the specifics about the Duke. But if I get bored of eternity, I can always ask I suppose. Hang on before I agree to this I need to know one last thing.
"How did you read my mind when you arrived?"
"I listened to you. You were mumbling at yourself in the drawer. Sadly I can't do mind-reading. Are you ready to leave now? I wouldn't advise you stay for your funeral, it will just break your spirit and burden you. You were loved, and you would have been a good teacher, but watching people cry is probably not going to help you feel better. Unless of course you'd prefer to hear about the Duke?" He asked.
I pause for a few seconds whilst I look down at my designated morgue drawer. At least I finally have a choice, not a choice to live again per se, but something more than that. I try not to feel bitter, maybe I'll make some friends after all.