“So I’m dead?” he asked. There was a hard knot in his throat as he spoke, but swallowing did nothing to alleviate it. If anything it got worse.
“As disco, and don’t let anyone bother to tell you that it’s coming back. It’s dead and gone for a reason, and what people enjoy now is faded memory, thank all the fates that pitched in on that good fortune.”
“Oh never mind,” the figure said, chuckling as he/she continued to walk along, “All you need to know is that yes, you are dead, and no, I don’t know where you’re going yet. The tally is still being rung up for some reason. Normally you’d already be on the right path to that next stop, but every now and again there’s an error in the system and people get shuffled off to the wrong place, we’ve been doing what we can to make sure that doesn’t happen any longer.”
Just then he caught a whiff of something as they passed by a towering pine, only to see something dark and looming on the other side, smelling strongly of rotten eggs and another scent he couldn’t decipher. Nearly gagging he almost stopped, but the figure kept him moving forward with a light touch.
“Shoo Cerb! Shoo! You don’t get your nips until the bosses say so!” The figure chuckled again, “Little scamp, he takes his job as a guardian a little too seriously sometimes. Looks like someone found a dark mark on your record if the hound is cruising about these parts. Maybe you were a bad boy at some point in your life, eh?”
“I, I don’t, I never, I tried….” Why in the world was he stammering? He could barely form a coherent thought after seeing the dark, vaguely canine thing that had already loped off.
“Ah me, Cerberus does have that effect on some people, especially those that think dogs are humanity’s best friend. If only you folks knew the truth. But then if you did you’d still doubt it most likely. Makes me not miss being human at one point.”
“Oh that’s right, a lot of you didn’t know this part. I forgot that those who figure out are called crazy and locked up. Well, since I guess we have a little time it wouldn’t hurt to tell you just what’s going on, in part at least….”
(to be continued)