Friday Fiction (Short Story)

A Trip To The Hereafter

It’s not such a bad thing, you know, dying. I should know – death and me hang around together quite a lot, and he’s always good for a pint of beer and cadging a few fags. Sorry, I’m being frivolous, and it looks like you’re not in the mood. Can’t help it: I’m always a bit like this. Anyway, would it really be better if I came into people’s rooms and sang sad songs for thirty minutes before I killed them? I mean, would that really cheer you up? I don’t think so, somehow. You wouldn’t, either, if you’d heard me trying to sing… Back on the jokes again, sorry.

But seriously – dying isn’t that terrible. What do you mean “like you’d know”? I’ve died, haven’t I? Well, yes, okay, granted I rose again and became undead, but that doesn’t mean I didn’t die. I’ve died just as much as the next vampire. Or man. Or, indeed, as you are so quick to point out, woman. And no, you are not going to rise from the dead and kick my sorry little arse, thank you. And it’s quite inappropriate to want to be undead, anyway. We’re the dregs of society – didn’t you tell me that yourself not five minutes ago when I first appeared? Oh, compared to dying it’s looking like quite a good plan, I see. But I’ve told you twice, dying isn’t anything like it’s cracked up to be. A quick nibble, a nice long kiss to the neck and you’ll be floating away in some beautiful dream.

Well, no, you won’t be coming back from the beautiful dream, I admit, but as ways to die go, I think this is really about the best you could hope for. I mean, I’m not going to kill you slowly using only a bowl of water and a piece of string. I’m not going to let you linger on in pain for years and years when you and your relatives all wish you’d just hurry up and die. One little nip and it all goes cloudy.

Well! Of all the ungrateful victims I’ve come across, you’re the worst. Here am I, offering you a nice, warm trip to the Hereafter – single journey only, no returns – you should be biting my hand off with eagerness! No, not such a good metaphor really, in the circumstances, you’re quite right. But you should be at least considering my nice nature. Have I flown in on you unexpectedly, jumped on you in the dark and started savaging you to bits? I have not. I have sat down on your bed and had this lovely chat – and I’ve let you finish your drink, which I think was very tolerant of me, considering that I can’t join you – and am waiting for you to be calm and content before we move onto the next phase.

Which is, yes, your death, and I’m terribly sorry you feel like this about it, but really I can’t see what else I could do. I mean, I can go and hide in your cupboard for a while and wait till you’re asleep… You don’t think that’d work now you’ve met me? Perhaps you’re right…

Well look, here’s my final offer. I’ll read you a bedtime story, tuck you up nicely and then just slide in beside you in the bed and suck gently on your blood. Still not happy?

Some humans. Just don’t appreciate a good offer when they hear it.

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