Coffins. They were stuffy old things, but at least I’d smuggled in an air freshener. Now it smelled like Evergreen Trees. Better than dead body, am i right?
Any minute now…
My phone vibrated, its notification sending a halo of light spiraling into the darkness around me. Boy, I thought, catching my breath. At least I’m not claustrophobic.
It was time.
Lacking creativity, I simply sat upright, smashing my head against the coffin lid on the way. A hollow thud followed by a wooden clatter ensued as the lid flew across the church floor, skidding to a stop by Michael’s feet. He slowly glanced up from the coffin lid, up to me.
I blinked against the sudden brightness. I couldn’t help but grin from ear-to-ear. “Well, hello, everyone.”
I caught Michael smirking to himself.
Around me, it was like I was trapped in some ironic painting. Everyone’s faces were frozen in palpable shock. The pastor’s face was the best, you see. Even his salt and pepper mustache appeared to be stuck into some exclamation point of horror. I caught Michael’s gaze again, and he returned the look, turning his icy blue eyes to my hazel ones.
“Did I miss anything?” I asked innocently.
“Well- uh- Miss Grey- you- uh-” The pastor stuttered.
I waved my hand in brief dismissal. “No, not you. Him.” I pointed at michael. “What’s going on here?”
Unlike I, Michael had a rather hard time keeping a straight face when it counted most. One of his few flaws. Me, on the other hand… I could be a Broadway actress if I didn’t detest singing so much.
Michael stood up, folding his black leather gloved hands into each other. “Ah. Well, Miss Grey… you-” He stopped, composing himself with a swallow. “You were dead, Miss Grey.”
“Was I, now?” I imitated the complexion of the thinker statue in the museum down the street from my apartment. “How odd.”
I kept my eyes from rolling. Buffoon. “Why was I dead? What happened?”
“You… you jumped from the apartment building complex, Miss Grey. The roof.” Michael glanced at me and I thought I caught something new in his gaze. Something...sad. But, no, he couldn’t be. I was fine. Alive, right here before him. I was simply seeing things. When he spoke again his voice was hoarse. “You cracked your skull on the pavement.”
“I see.” I shoved the puzzle of Michael’s emotions to a far, dark recess in the back of my mind. “Now, I wasn’t dead. If so I wouldn’t be here right now, obviously. Holding my breath and placing a golf ball in the precise location- directly on my pressure point under my right arm- caused my pulse to slow to a weak enough rhythm to convince you all it wasn’t there at all. Add some red corn syrup…” I shrugged. It was easy enough to understand. I wouldn’t simply die. Why would I jump of the roof of my apartment complex when there were murders to solve? Ridiculous.
Michael blinked red-rimmed eyes at me. Had he been crying? He couldn’t have possibly BELIEVED my whole charade! “I see,” he echoed.
I cleared my throat, turning my attention to the shell-shocked pastor in front of me. Oh dear. Michael and I had quite the audience. It was humourous, watching the fifty or so people stare open-mouthed, back and forth, at us as we commenced our conversation. They looked like fish, gulping for air.
I distantly realized I was still sitting in my coffin. That wasn’t the most proper of… stances, you see. I jumped out, earning a collective gasp from the people watching. I turned my head to the heavens, rolling my eyes. “What! I’m not DEAD!” I threw my arms out to my sides.
They stared at me blankly.
Hm. Maybe this was a bit too much for their frail, normal minds to comprehend. What was it like, having such a small mind?
Michael came and stood beside me.
“This is, what, the third time I’ve crashed my own funeral?” I asked from the corner of my mouth.
“Really? That many?” That couldn’t be. I thought back, to my other deaths, tilting my head to the side.
Michael gave an exasperated sigh.
Huh. Maybe it WAS my fifth time.