"Officially Dead" CH III Updated.

((Yeah, still in the process of being written, but I figured I’ll post it here as I go. These things always look longer on paper. I suppose I’ll just take the end of chapter one and put a break, before continuing it.))

[align=center]“Officially Dead”


It was nighttime when the accident happened. The Driver was drunk, and he had left his glasses at the bar that he had been drinking at only minutes before. Eric Martin and his fiancé, Linda, had just exited the liquor store themselves. The irony of it had always left a bad taste in Eric’s mouth.

Eric remembered every detail of that night, every detail of the trial that let the murderer off with a charge of manslaughter. The man, George Peterson, would be released from prison in four months, twenty seven days. Barely four years of his life wasted for murder. Eric knew the man deserved to rot much longer. After the trial Eric had promised himself to pay the man a visit after he was walking free. Eric had not forgotten.

Eric remembered every minute of the funeral. How Linda’s parents consoled him even as they wept themselves. His own parents had been absent from the event. Eric had never been on good terms with them. On the day of the funeral though, he had wanted to see them. He and his parents have not spoken to each other since.

Eric shook away the memories that flooded his mind every time he exited the liquor store, which was quite often after the death of Linda. Sighing, he looked down to the bag in his hand. It held his salvation, his nightly companion, whiskey. It was his key to forgetting Linda, for the night at least. It would last him six nights, six nights free of grief.

Eric took a tentative step forward. The very street in which Linda was killed lay in front of him, inviting him to walk across. Mustering his will Eric took another step forward, and then another. He was on the road. He took one more step, then stopped. The headlights of a car had fallen on him.

Eric was mesmerized by the speed in which the car was moving. Surely it was fast enough to kill him, but in those moments it seemed to barely move at all. He was rooted to the spot. Though every inch of his body was screaming at him to move, his body wouldn’t respond. It was the night of the accident all over again, except this time he was seeing it from Linda’s point of view.

It was only once impact was made that Eric snapped back into reality. Three things occurred to him then, as he was lifted upwards off the ground. One was how little pain there actually was as he felt his bones crack, and shatter. Another was how familiar the driver of the car looked, whose face was twisted into a look of shock. Her cellphone dropping from her hand. Finally though, what occurred to him last was the irony of his situation. As consciousness slipped away from him Eric realized he was laying in the exact spot Linda had, four years ago. Eric blacked out, with the bitter taste of irony in his mouth.

[align=center]CHAPTER I[/align]

Eric awoke in a cold sweat. The image of Linda being killed had haunted his dreams, lately though, the dreams had subsided. Instead of relief greeting him though, confusion did. A steady beeping noise met his ears and as he sat up, pain exploded in his side. Eric became aware that he was not in his own room. His left arm was immobile, and tubes were hooked into his skin in various places. He was in a hospital.

The memories from the previous night flooded his mind, and he let out a groan. Struck by a car, Linda’s accident had apparently taught him nothing. Eric took a moment to take in his surroundings. He had been in hospital rooms before so what he saw didn’t surprise him. Across from him sat a single, large window, with the blinds shut. Beneath it sat four chairs. He suspected someone must have been in the bunk, that lay to his right, recently. There was purse laying next to one of the chairs, probably forgotten. It certainly wouldn’t be a visitor for him, he didn’t know anyone in town. He had lived secluded since Linda’s death. They had moved to Cheril right after Eric proposed, Linda liked that it sounded French. That, and there was a cheap apartment for rent.

Eric had managed to find a job he could do at home, editing for various local newspapers. After Linda’s death a few of the papers’ owners agreed to send him articles to his house, by email, out of sympathy. The pay wasn’t great, but Eric’s rent was cheap, and he only needed to support himself.

Eric turned to the machine next to him. The continual, steady, beep told him one thing, he was alive. He had been given a second chance at life. One he intended to use once he was out of here. His plans for celebrating were cut short however, as he took his eyes off the machine. His heart nearly stopped as his eyes fell upon the person sitting across from him.

Her clothing was the same, every feature of her face was as lovely as the day she had died. Though, her skin was pale, not the tanned color he was used to seeing. Her lips were drained of all color, and her eyes had lost their twinkle that he had always admired. It was still her though, unmistakably, Linda.

Seeing her again had almost killed him, Eric swore that the machine beside him skipped a beep. The woman he had loved since high school, proposed to, lost, and buried was sitting, calmly, not ten feet from him. She was not staring at him however, but gazing at the floor with a look of sadness on her face.

Instead of dying where he lay, panicking, trying to rush towards and kiss her, or simply sit there dazed in confusion, Eric Martin began to laugh. It was the mirthless laugh of hysteria. A hallucination, I’m finally hallucinating about her after four years! He thought, and when her head rose he laughed even harder. Finally, after many minutes the laughter stopped, and Eric had to keep himself from shedding tears.

He had kept pictures of Linda around his apartment, but none came close to achieving the effect of seeing her in person. Or at least, this is as close to in person she’ll ever be again. Eric realized, bitterly. As he looked over once more, he realized the look of sadness in her eyes had changed to one of pity, then, what looked to be an edge of amusement. She always was one to find humor in humorless situations. She shook her head.

“He’s finally gone nuts.”

Could hallucinations speak in voices so close to the original? Eric wondered as the words left her pale lips. It was after this that her words sunk in. Maybe he had gone nuts, considering recent events it didn’t seem like such a far-off suggestion. Sighing, he decided if he was already hallucinating, there was no harm in conversing with it.

“Not nuts, I just feel a bit tipsy, that’s all”

Her reaction though, unsettled him. Her eyes grew wide, and her mouth gaped open. The sight was almost comical, but Eric could not see the humor in it at that time.

“Y-you can see me? Hear me? Oh my god… You can finally see me!”

Eric was shocked as she burst into tears. Even when she was alive it was a rare occurrence. Eric didn’t know how to respond. He didn’t believe hallucinations could act so real. He instinctively wanted to comfort her, but he didn’t want to look any more foolish than he probably already did.

“Um… Hey, Linda, stop crying, please. I don’t want my only hallucination of you to end in tears.”

The effect on her was immediate. She stopped crying, almost in mid-sob, and looked him in the eye once more. The corners of her mouth twitched, she was fighting back a grin. Eric had never seen such a mood change from her before. He was bewildered, but not half as much as he would be after her next words.

“I’m not a hallucination Eric,” She said, that twinkle in her eye returning for a brief moment.

“I’m a ghost.”

“Officially Dead” CH III Updated.

[align=center]CHAPTER 1.5[/align]

Eric could not tell how much time passed after she said those words. When they left her lips though everything clicked. The pale skin, lips, the absence of the twinkle in her eyes. Eric also noticed that she wasn’t sitting on the chair, but rather floating a couple centimeters from the seat. It was a lot to take in so suddenly, but he had no doubt that she was real, or as real as she could be as a ghost.

The time spent in silence must have been substantial, because her face went from an expression of amusement, to expectancy, to a mixture of disappointment and boredom. She leaned back a little, tilted her head, and sighed.

“God, I know that it’s unexpected, but it can’t be that shocking.”

Her teasing manner kicked his brain back into motion. He may be nuts for believing she was a ghost, but he wasn’t going to let that ruin their reunion of sorts. Especially since he never expected any kind of reunion after her death. At least, not until he himself was dead, which the beeping machine beside him disproved.

“I’m sorry, but when someone’s world is turn upside down it takes a few moments to adjust.”

“I adjusted to being a ghost without too much trouble.”

“Lucky you.”
Another bout of silence followed. It was more comfortable than the last though. This one was a silence of observation. No doubt she had never expected him to see her. There were dozens of questions he wanted to ask about being dead, but he held them back in fear of possibly offending her.

So instead he observed. Unlike most tales and visualizations she did not bob up and down, instead she was still in the air, unmoving. Her eyes were not dull and glazed like that of the dead. They were as alive as a ghost’s eyes could be. Her pale skin did indeed have a slightly tan hue to them, though it was hardly noticeable due to the slight transparency of her form. What puzzled him was her clothing. It had changed from the outfit she had when she first appeared. Now she was wearing a black long-sleeved shirt, with what looked to be black sweatpants. As opposed to the Brown T-shirt and jeans she had been killed in. Eric didn’t even remember her owning the outfit she was wearing now. He assumed that ghosts must be able to change their appearance, and left it at that.

“So, why can I see you now?”

It was the obvious question to start with. A frown appeared on Linda’s face and she leaned forward, folding one leg over the other as she did so.

“That’s what I’ve been trying to figure out. I can only come up with one answer though. I think it’s because you’re suppose to be dead. Your name is written on The Wall, but you’re not dead. A paradox actually, you’re dead on all accounts, but you’re body is still alive… Oh god, by rescuing you I’ve screwed up the natural order!Damn, this is bad.”

Eric tried to absorb all of the information that was just thrown at him. Linda continued to mumble to herself, now visibly agitated. Eric ignored her for the moment though. Dead on all accounts? The Wall? Natural order? Eric was now even more confused than before. He had dozens of questions to ask, but before he could Lida stood. He noticed that like sitting, she stood a couple centimeters from the ground.

“Eric, I’m sorry, but I have to go. Don’t worry though, I won’t leave you long, but I have to do something.”

Eric didn’t even have time to protest before she began floating backwards, out of the window. In seconds she had disappeared, gone from his life once more. Leaving him alone, confused, and still in shock. He wasn’t alone for long however. The woman who entered looked to be around her mid twenties. Her red hair was tied into a ponytail and she was pulling out a pair of glasses, no doubt to read the magazine that was in her hand.

Eric hadn’t heard from Michel Russell in four years. She was one of Linda’s friends in high school, and Eric began dating Linda, one of his friends too. Michel had not been able to make it to Linda’s funeral, but she sent Eric a card, filled with apologies and good wishes. Michel had probably felt as bad as he did after Linda’s death.

She sat down in the chair with the purse next to it, apparently she was the one who had been here previously. How had she known about the accident though? As she looked up at him their eyes met, and he remembered. It was her, she was the one that hit him with her car. Tension filled the air, and they sat there for a few moments of silence.

“It’s good to see you awake.”

She was the first to speak, she probably hoped that he didn’t know it was her that had knocked him out in the first place. Eric would give her no such illusion of misplaced memory.

“I didn’t expect to see you driving in the streets of Cheril at night, otherwise I’d have been a bit more careful.”

“Eric, I’m really sorry. I was in the area because my firm relocated me. I was calling your house to tell you I was stopping by to visit, but I got your machine. I didn’t mean, didn’t expect to…”

“Just give me a kidney and we’ll be even.”

The tension was broken with laughter.

“Officially Dead” CH III Updated.

I finished chapter two a little while ago, I just never got to posting it here.

[align=center]Chapter II[/align]

[size=12px]Twenty minutes passed while Eric and Michelle talked. She was in the area after being relocated by her accounting firm. Last night when she had hit him, Michelle was trying to find his apartment, wanting to surprise him with a visit. When she hit him with her car though, she rushed him immediately to Cherill’s small hospital, and said he had been a victim of a hit and run. Eric had been wondering why she wasn’t in jail before she explained that, not that he would press charges against her.

“So, how have you been doing since… Since Linda passed away?”

"I’ve been better than I was right after it happened.

Which was true, immediately after the accident Eric had been plagued with depression, and even thoughts of suicide. He began drinking heavily, and was drunk more often than he was sober. The depression had mostly vanished, but the drinking still remained. By this point in time Eric had once more written off Linda’s “ghost” as a hallucination.

This belief was reinforced when a nurse came in to give him more pain medication for his broken arm. After which she had told him how lucky he was that it was his only injury. She left as quickly as she had come, leaving Michelle and Eric alone once more.

“See? You only broke my arm. You don’t owe me a kidney after all.”

“Your insurance will probably pay for the arm, so I don’t owe you anything.”

“You owe me a funeral.”

Eric immediately regretted his words. It surprised him how bitter he still was about her absence from Linda’s funeral. The three of them were still good friends back then. The look of pain, and guilt that crossed her face made him wish he hadn’t said anything at all.

Sometimes it was better to keep things inside.

After a couple minutes she finally spoke. “I couldn’t come Eric. I wanted to, but I couldn’t. She was your fiancé, but she was my best friend. What more do you want from me?”

Eric knew from experience that when Michelle was angry or irritated it was best either to drop an issue or apologize. Luckily for them both he already planned to do the latter.

“Sorry, Michelle, I didn’t mean to let that slip. I know it’s not your fault that you weren’t there. It’s just a hard thing to let go of, even after a few years.”

She nodded, the anger and pain leaving her face, replaced by sympathy. Sometimes the changes in her mood could be drastic, and it often caught Eric off guard.

“Listen, I’m going to go down and grab a coffee, do you want one?”


Eric replied with a nod. He assumed he was allowed to have coffee, it wasn’t as if the hospital staff were paying much attention to him anyway. Michelle didn’t say anything else, she just picked up her purse, flashed him a brief smile, and left. Leaving him alone once more.

Eric sighed, and looked to the ceiling lights for a way to pass the time. It was then that Linda made her second appearance. He didn’t see her at first, but when he looked down from the lights above his head she was there, smiling, in her usual smug fashion. So it wasn’t a hallucination. Oh god, I’m actually seeing a ghost. Eric thought, groaning inwardly. The original joy of seeing Linda again had worn off. It had been replaced by caution and curiosity.

“Good to see you can still see me.”

“Good to see I’m still nuts.”

“I see you’re still friends with Michelle. You guys talk often?”

“Nope, just recently, she hit me with her car in case you hadn’t heard.”

“Hit you with her car, and you’re supposed to be dead. Ironic.”

“Yeah, I’d noticed.”

Eric felt odd, being able to carry on such a casual conversation with a dead person, even if that person was Linda. He had the feeling that he should be panicking, or perhaps just sit there, shocked. Instead he was relaxed, filled to the brim with questions, but relaxed.

“So, you’ve said I’m suppose to be dead twice now. Do you care to elaborate any?”

Linda paused for a moment. She crossed one leg over the other, leaned back, and ran a hand through her hair. In the manner she always did when she was trying to best figure out how to word something. After a minute or so she leaned forward once more and spoke.

“Well, Michelle will be back soon and I don’t want to have you distracted by having me in the same room, explaining why you’re dead, but alive. So I’ll give you the short version now, and the long version later, okay?”

Eric nodded, eager to clear up some of the questions that have made up the most confusing hour of his life.

“Well,” She began, looking at the ceiling instead of at him. “The afterlife is a complicated system. Your life is set in stone, almost literally, or at least your death is. There’s a large stone we call The Wall, we being ghosts, every time somebody dies their name is written on the wall. When their name is written it binds them to the afterlife, as ghosts. With so many people dying so fast and so few Conservators, the ghosts that maintain The Wall, deaths have to be predicted early. Your name was actually written moments before you died, not that you noticed. I, uh, interfered though. I don’t have the time to explain everything that ghosts can do in the corporeal world, but I interrupted Michelle’s call, so that she noticed you in time to hit her brakes. Saving your life, and getting me, and you into a lot of trouble with the conservators. So now you’re officially dead, your name is written on the wall, but you’re alive. That’s the simplest way I can put it.”

Eric sat there absorbing the information for several minutes. It didn’t surprise him, it didn’t shock him, it didn’t even confuse him. It was as if he just accepted every word as it was spoken to him. This confused him more than what Linda had just said. Eric decided it was just the pain killers dulling his brain.

“Alright, so I can see ghosts, any idea what else I can do? Fly, pass through walls, mess up phone calls?”

“Nope, I don’t think this has ever happened before. If it has than there isn’t any mention of it.”

“That helps a lot.”

Linda looked as if she was going to give a sarcastic retort of her own, but instead stood, in her out of place hovering way.

“Michelle’s back, I’ll speak with you tonight. Just remember not to replace me too soon.”

With that last teasing comment Linda passed through the window once more. It wasn’t a minute later that Michelle entered the room, two logo-less coffee cups in her hand. She sat one down on the the small table next to him, and took her seat in the far-right chair once more. The same one Linda was sitting in.

“I didn’t remember how you liked your coffee, so I just got it black, is that okay?”

“It’s perfect.”

After Eric’s second encounter with Linda though he wasn’t particularly thirsty. So instead he let it sit next to him, while Michelle sipped hers from across the room. Though he still puzzled over how easily okay he was with Linda’s news, the news itself made perfect sense to him. Must have something to do with me being dead, officially, as Linda put it. He mused to himself, and in his musings he almost missed what Michelle was saying.

"Those painkillers really must have you out of it. "

“No, you see, this is thoughtful Eric. You’re used to conversational Eric, but he left the building when you went to get coffee.”

“You would think this is sarcastic Eric.”

“We’re one in the same.”

They both chuckled. Eric hadn’t even given so much as a sarcastic comment since Linda’s death. He couldn’t tell whether it was seeing Linda, or seeing Michelle that had brought his humorous side out of hibernation. It wasn’t something he wanted to spend too much time thinking about though.

When I was getting coffee I spoke to that nurse." Michelle began, after another lull in conversation began between them. “She said that since your injuries weren’t serious, they would discharge you in a couple of hours.”

Eric was pleased with the news, being confined to a hospital bed wasn’t high on his lift of things to do. For dramatic effect though he made himself appear deep in thought, looking down at his bed sheet for several moments. Finally, after he had counted to 90 seconds in his head, he looked up at her once more.

“You mean… We could go out and get real coffee?”

“Yes, yes we could Eric.”


It was hardly distinguishable as midday in Sheol, the currently name for the ghosts’ world. The name was changed frequently, but always it held some reference to the underworld. Ironic, considering ghosts could not cross under the soil. That’s not to say that they couldn’t pass underground, they just couldn’t pass through soil. It was speculated that this was because of the abundance of life energy is carried, but dead researchers are not sure of the exact reason.

The air of Sheol always carried a dense fog, covering up the sun and distorting the surrounding landscape. On this day, it was thicker than usual. Not only that, but it was a darker shade of gray, and event that had happened twenty-one times before. Each time coming, and going, so swiftly that the inhabitants of Sheol hardly noticed.

Today, not twenty feet of the surrounding countryside of the livings’ England could be made out. To the twelve floating around a circular table though, this was of no concern. Each of the twelve wore an identical garment, reflecting on the current time period each was clad in a simple t-shirt and jeans. The shirts were plain white, with no distinguishable logos or markings of any kind. While the figures were different in height and girth they carried the same, easily forgotten, face.

Their meeting place changed every time. Currently it was resting upon what the living refer to as Stonehenge, but in Sheol, it was an empty, hilly landscape. No living construct ever was seen in Sheol, not unless the dead willed themselves into the living world, which spent a lot of their energy.

The twelve conservators, each of them carrying a different guise, and different name every time they met. This time, they carried the names of the Apostles of Christianity. None of them would know what they could be called next time, what they did know is the matter that would be discussed. Another of the abominations was walking the earth, another undead.

These were the conservators, the maintainers of order, and balance for the world of the dead. They only met for one reason, and would continue to meet for one reason, to restore what balance was shifted. With every other meeting their numbers grew. This was number twenty-two, and their number was twelve.

Two were writers on the walls of the dead. One was a predictor of deaths. Four ensured the dead moved on. Four ensured the undead were put to rest. One helped raise the conservators numbers. Twelve total, each slightly different, but overall the same. They had different minds, different bodies, different tasks. Their goals, faces, and histories were one however.

“We know why we are gathered here?”

Simon’s hollow voice was void of all emotion, and barely filled the air around the table. A murmur of agreement sounded from the surrounding conservators in unison.

“Shall we proceed as always?” Asked Judas, in a voice replicating Simon’s.

“It will not be as easy this time. The living have changed greatly the past years. It will be harder to avoid eliminating the undead without killing any of the living.” Answered Bartholomew.

“Then we will have to proceed with caution.” Said Thomas, to a chorus of agreements.

“What of the girl, the dead one, should we take care of her last? It will be easier to drain her than eliminate the undead.” Added John, to a third chorus of agreements. Every one of them was thinking on the same track.

“What of the living woman though? She poses a problem.”

When Philip added this the rest fell silent. It was a problem the conservators had not faced before. The living girl was the driving force behind the undead’s death. She was responsible as much as the dead girl. To kill her early though, would throw off the balance of life and death, the very thing the conservators were trying to fix.

“Write her name on the wall. Such a thing cannot go unpunished. Even if it was unintentional this woman is the reason the abomination exists. She will need to be killed.” A fourth chorus of agreement met Matthews reasoning.

“So it is settled.” The twelve voices rang in unison, barely above a whisper. Now was the time for preparations. Slowly they faded from view. Matthew, Jude, Judas, and Peter faded as one, all having the job of eliminating Eric and Michelle. Simon and Thomas faded next, they had the job of placing Michelle’s name on The Wall.

The rest followed soon after. The 22nd meeting of the conservators had come to an end. The fog lightened to it’s usual shade of gray and thinned. Two hours had passed without notice to the inhabitants of Sheol.

Eric Martin was exiting Cherill’s hospital, little to the notice of anyone but the conservators. Completely unaware of the death sentence he now carried.[/size]

“Officially Dead” CH III Updated.

((Well, it’s Summer now, and I shall be continuing this story.))

[align=center]Chapter III[/align]

The street seemed lifeless when Eric stepped out of the hospital. He was in the center of town, rows of buildings smashed together lay n front of him, but the street was nearly empty. The building were all made of brick, Cherill was a town that had yet to modernize itself. It was almost self-sufficient. It had it’s own bank, it’s own hospital, though it was more akin to a large clinic. The town even had it’s own small law firm.

The streets were usually packed this time of day, it was only half past two. The sun was blocked by a long stretch of gray clouds. Usually Eric admired the lazy look the shade gave the town. Today however, it seemed eerie. Did I forget some holiday today? He wondered as he began moving down Main Street. The father he walked the more uneasy he became. Every shop he looked into had the employees working, but their movements seemed sluggish, as if none of them had gotten sleep.

Finally he stopped in front of the town’s book store, Inklings. He wanted some answers, and he knew the owner, who also happened to be the only employee. George McCormick had been running the store for nearly twenty years. Single, and lonely, Eric struck him up on conversation every time that he took a look around the store.

The inside was typical of a book store, even if this one was smaller than most. Shelves covered nearly every inch of the walls, filled with books ranging from fantasy to political satire. Shelves also stood in the center of the rooms, holding various game books such as Dungeons and Dragons rulebooks.

George was standing right next the the entrance, apparently absorbed in adding new books to the helves. He carried the same sluggish look to him that the others Eric saw had. The middle-aged man was moving slowly. Not in a carefully, but in an absent minded way.

“Hey, George, did I miss something today? Is it some holiday?”

The man kept restocking shelves as if he didn’t hear Eric. It wasn’t clear if he didn’t hear him, or was just ignoring Eric. Clearing his throat Eric tapped George on the shoulder.

“Hey, Geor…”

Eric didn’t get any farther as George snapped up the second he was touched. He spun on Eric, looking quite pale. His eyes clearly showed that he had been startled.

“Jesus Christ Eric, you just took ten years off of my life, as if I wasn’t aging fast enough already!”

Eric gave him a few seconds to catch his breath. He had never seen the man so frightened in his life. Whatever weariness had a grip on George before had vanished, as if it were never there.

“Where did you come in? The back? Christ, give me a heads up before you sneak in here again.”

“George, I came in through the front, not ten feet away.”

“Huh, I was watching it for customers. I must have gotten too into shelving to see you.”

“Must have, anyway, is it some holiday today George? This place has been deserted.”

“Deserted? Here I thought I was the one spacing out. This has been one of my busiest days Eric.”

George swept his arm toward the back of the store for emphasis. When Eric glanced back he was surprised to find several people milling about that he hadn’t noticed when he entered. There was nobody that he had recognized, still, it was something that he should have noticed when he entered.

“Say, Eric, what happened to you arm?”

George asked him, pointing to the cast that was on his arm. Eric didn’t feel like explaining the events of the previous night. He also didn’t feel like staying here much longer. The feeling of unease had left him, and he wanted to get back to his apartment as soon as possible. He had a lot of thinking to do.

“Oh, this? I tripped down the stairs leading to my room.”

“You must really be out of it. Anyway, are you going to buy anything today? I just got a shipment of new releases.”

“Sorry George, I think I’m just going to head home.”

They said their goodbye’s and Eric left. He immediately noticed that the streets were much more lively upon stepping out of the book store. The sun was no longer covered by clouds, and the uneasy feeling that he had carried was gone. It was a normal afternoon in Cherill once more.

Fifteen minutes later Eric was sitting in his living room. It looked fairly clean, with the occasional glass or plate laying around, but well kept other than that. He had a single couch with it’s back against the room’s only window, which overlooked Main Street. In front of the couch sat a table that was half of it’s size, and half of it’s height. Two books sat stacked on one end, with Nineteen Eighty-Four on the top. Beside those an empty bottle of whiskey sat upright. On the other side of the table the remains of a plate of hot wings. It was obvious that he was not expecting company.

There was no TV in the room, or any entertainment besides the books. There was a blanket on the floor at the foot of the couch, indicating that he slept there often. Aside from this the room was bare. There was a doorway leading to the kitchen, and laundry room, at the opposite end of the room. Across from the front door there was also a hallway, which had four closed doors along it’s length. Overall it was a good sized apartment, but had an empty feel to it.

“I can’t believe you sold our TV.”

“I didn’t feel like watching it.”

“You love TV.”

“No, you love TV. I just happened to be held in a death grip while you watched it, every day.”

“You loved it on the inside.”

“Then why isn’t it here?”

Linda didn’t have a reply to that, so instead she sat down on the couch next to him. Eric was already getting used to her sudden appearances. She scanned the room with a bored expression. Eric had changed it little since she died. The couch and table were the same. The couch was in a different position, other then that it was they same. They didn’t own much in the time that they were living together.

“I see that Brenda and Eddie are still living together downstairs. That’s a surprise.”

“They’re getting a divorce.”

“How surprising.”

The couple downstairs were an odd match. They had gotten married the day after they graduated from high school. Even Linda and Eric, who had gotten engaged at around the same time didn’t expect the two’s marriage to last, and they were right.

“I went and asked a friend in Sheol, Shoel’s like earth, only the ghost version, anyway, he said that your particular circumstance has happened before, though it rarely ever occurs. He’s doing research into it right now, they whole event is mysterious, or so he says. I’m sorry, but there’s not much more I can tell you yet.”

Eric nodded, he didn’t think that she would be able to find out much so soon. However, it was still more then he had figured out on his own. This had happened to others, so surely there was some solution to the problem. There weren’t any ill effects so far, but that didn’t mean that there weren’t any. He wanted to stop being dead as soon as possible. Even if he was only partially dead.

“So, who’s this friend of yours?”

“What, are you jealous?”

“Just tell me already Linda.”

“Fine, He’s Dr, A. Mathewson. He was a professor when he was alive. Now he just researches for most of the day. It was he that I was sent to after I died, to learn about being dead. There’s this whole complicated system, you’ll learn about it later. Much later preferably.”

Eric nodded once more, satisfied. A professor would be able to get facts easily enough. Actual facts too, it was someone that could be relied upon to give him answers. At least he hoped that much. Eric didn’t ask anything more after she had explained about Dr. Mathewson, and Linda didn’t ask, or say anything else. They spent the next half an hour in silence. After nearly thirty minutes had passed Linda stood.

“He’s here, Dr. Mathewson. Well, not here here, but in Sheol here. I’m going to go and speak with him. It’ll only be a couple of minutes.”

“Now wait a second, what is Sheol exact…”

Eric got no farther. As he was speaking he had reached out and grabbed her. His hand passed through her, but in the second they made contact his senses were assaulted. He felt like his blood had suddenly turned to magma. Eric’s vision turned white and his eardrums popped. The sensation only lasted a couple of seconds, but for those seconds he had wished he were dead.

When his vision returned he saw that he was in a clearing. Several hundred feet away a line of trees began, parted in the middle by some unseen force. A heavy mist filled the air, and the sky was covered in gray clouds. Eric was now physically holding on to a startled Linda, and a man that appeared to be in his mid thirties stood in front of them. His eyebrows were simply raised. He looked puzzled, but not shocked.

He wore an outfit that resembled a gangster from the 1920’s. He was dressed in all black, with his dress shirt having stripes running down it. He wore no had, and his hair was cut just below his ears. He didn’t have handsome features, but looked like he would have no problem with getting women. A pair of old spectacles rested on his nose, and his composure was completely professional. A classic gentleman.

“Hello Linda, and who I can only assume is the Eric that I’ve heard so much about. Welcome to Sheol.”

Re: “Officially Dead” CH III Updated.

I really hope that you continue with this story. I am really looking forward to see what happens next.