Chapter 2

Chapter 2


Lets talk about out-of-body experiences for a minute.

Pretty confident that everyone gets them now and again. I myself have definitely had at least a couple of them, generally under the pressures of stress and lack of sleep. I think the last one was back at university... or maybe when I pulled that double shift?

Exhaustion can do funny things to the mind, it's true, but I'm not really sure that's the same as what's happening now.

Unfortunately, I'm starting to think this is something else.

See there?

Yeah, right below, ten feet down.

There's something on the ground. Laid out like a sack of smashed tomatoes on the concrete.

That's me, I think.

Ah... yeah, that's definitely me.

I think I'd probably recognize that shoddy-looking frame anywhere. No quantity of angle or photo-shop in the world could spin a better picture of it, so I'm more than just sure: That's me sleeping on the blacktop, dying.

Even from all the way up here, it's not pretty.


It's really not.

So much left to live for, and yet... there I go.

It's a bummer.

I really wish I could tell you there's a really good reason for it. That this meant something, or that I'll be remembered... but I'd be lying. There's no good reason I can think of.

For dying, I mean.

Not even one.

I guess I could live with that... die with that? Well, I think I'd accept the whole thing a bit easier- that'll do.

I'd accept this if it were an accident.

Really, I think I would.

It's a nice evening, after all. The atmosphere is... actually it's really quite pleasant. This is the kind of weather that only comes a few times a year: the really nice night of "not-to-warm" and "not-to-cold."

Comfortable, and not buggy.

No storms, no sirens.

Decent cloud coverage.

This isn't the type of night you leave your house thinking "I might die" but it might be one of those "I could die happy right now" sort of nights.

Still, I'm not happy. I'm not happy at all.

This wasn't an accident. That's not it.

Ah, so a heart attack? A freak brain aneurysm?

No, I mean- obviously: on account of all the blood. Not either of those.

Besides, goofy looking or not: I'm too young.

I'd probably need another decade before those threats should have the opportunity to set in. So... what happened?

Ah, glad I asked.

That's really the question, now isn't it? Part of the reason I'm not nearly so accepting as you might expect me to be.

See, a guy like me doesn't have any heroic-acts to play through. Dying here isn't the result of some sort of noble deed, saving some child from an inbound vehicle.

I didn't save anyone.

And it's not even like I've even lived a humble life, dedicating my service to others: I absolutely did no such thing.

And, before you even ask: I can guarantee that this is NOT the end of some tragic love story. No such luck.

So... ruling out natural causes or accidents, really we're only left behind one obvious source.

I've clearly been murdered.

Well... almost murdered. I guess it's a give-or-take 10 minutes sort of deal, but I'm really on my way towards getting there. Dead-center in the heartland of suburbia, laid out in an unseemly sort of face-plant sprawl: Victim of a homicide.

What a freaking joke.

Why me?

Seriously, why? I was just out for a walk with the dog. Just a walk, not even that far of a walk. Ordinary, mundane, simplistic and routine. No one warned me escorting a chiuahua could be such a dangerous profession for a guy in the outer 'burbs, and I'm not one for sporting anything fancier than a doggy-bag.

But... I guess that's just it. What can you do sometimes, y'know?

What can I do, about any of this?


Not much I guess.


I'd really like to take the moment of lucidity here and claim I fought back using my mastery of kung-fu. That I ducked and weaved past the first of the bullets to bravely apprehend the wrong-doer with a perfect chop to the neck... but I'd just be lying again.

I think it went more like three bangs to the chest and... "thump?"

More of a "splat."

Just dropped on the blacktop with a surprised look, like a pile of wet rags. No strength left in me. Nothing but surpise and pain.

Ah... shit...

Hoo... I'm coming back down. Back towards the ground, towards the pavement...

Hoo... Hooo...

The out of body experience is slipping, it seems. I can taste the blood again...oh, god that's awful.

Ah... that's really unfortunate.


Painful... ah, this is really painful. No escaping from it now: fire and burning in my ribs- and for what? What kind of death is this anyways? Didn't even see any of it clearly, and all I can see now is... pavement.

Speculation makes me think... it was a gun... of some kind... probably.

It was loud... and I think... Ah. Even that... stupid dog... ran away.

I'm... slowing down...


Everything's slowing... down...











How long... have I been laying here?


Seconds... minutes... hours? I can't tell, but I think... someone's here... To help?


No... probably not... even... that long...


Ah... someone's going through my pockets.


Of course...


Those seven dollars and a coupon for almond milk.


Does this mean I'm worth seven dollars... Or is it better not to ask this sort of question...


Ah... can't say anything... voice isn't working. Breathing... is enough work. I just wish... it didn't hurt so much.


Lungs are moving... but they're not doing their job. Slipping...


It's dark... Darker than the night... I remember walking into. Dark tunnel of nothing... That's what... they always say it's like... right?


Guess this... is it...


Damn... shame...




I could...



Have done...






































I could have done more.