The 8th Day
“What I am doing you do not understand now, but you will know after this.”
~ John 13:7
Rebecca was taking one of her walks.
It’s a strange thing to be dead. There wasn’t much to fear. Brandon didn’t want her to go out walking alone, afraid that bad things could still happen to her. But she didn’t have to worry about Judges anymore, they just walked right passed her. She made a game out of it now. She would follow them, walking behind them and making faces at them, telling them bad jokes, asking them to have God give her a call. They just ignored her entirely.
Fun at first, it later began to bother her. First it felt like a super-power. She could walk outside through a biblical apocalypse harmlessly while Brandon had to continue to hide. Then suddenly she wasn’t even good enough to judge anymore. Actual angels from heaven were there, and they couldn’t give a shit about her. It was insulting, it was hurtful. Did it mean she was going to Hell?
Rebecca was lost in all these thoughts, watching the road below her feet go by a step at a time. So lost in thought she hadn’t noticed the maledicted walking up on her.
“Where do we go?” the dead woman asked, and Rebecca jumped out of her skin. She was right next to her, and with the breeze blowing into Rebecca’s face she hadn’t even smelled her.
“Do you know where we’re supposed to go?” she asked again. Rebecca could see the woman was clearly deceased and it looked like she had been that way for longer than Rebecca was. Still, even through the quickening decomposition, Rebecca could tell she had been a pretty woman, her facial features still intact. She had long curly hair, although now it had a straw-like texture to it. She was dressed like Rebecca, in typical Las Vegas party-girl fashion. Rebecca backed away a few steps, knowing the unpredictability that came with the insanity of the maledicted.
“Go? Where are you trying to go?” Rebecca asked, slowly, inconspicuously trying to put more space between them.
“To be judged.”
In that moment Rebecca saw the confusion in the woman’s eyes, the fear, the sorrow. She was covered in old dried blood but looking her over to determine how she had died, Rebecca couldn’t see any wounds. It was when the woman reached out towards her that she noticed the gaping slices in the woman’s wrists. Like so many others who were afraid to be judged, she had committed suicide instead. Now she found that she was denied the right to make that choice and would wait her turn as a rotting corpse.
Rebecca didn’t know what to tell her, how to answer her, but she understood the woman’s pain. So she just stood in the middle of the road with the dead woman, and she wept for her, and for herself.
Rebecca could see their similarities. On the surface they were the same, and most likely they were similar inside as well. Rebecca felt as though she was looking into a mirror, and it reminded her in the harshest of ways of her own condition. Rebecca was dying. In fact, it was worse than dying, because her spirit was alive, but she was sentenced to watch her body rot around her and suffer through every moment of it. She felt the woman’s pain, literally, both mentally and physically.
What kind of god does this?
The woman stared at Rebecca, her head cocked slightly to the side like a dog hearing a whistle. Rebecca could see the cracks in her dried lips, but there was no more blood to slip out. There was a bug in her hair and another on her leg, but she seemed to not feel them. “You’re like me, aren’t you?” she suddenly asked Rebecca. That question caught Rebecca off guard. She just nodded her head yes, and tears fell a little harder. Rebecca knew it been almost two weeks since she had been shot, and the death of her body was really beginning to show. For the first week her skin color had just gone pale and she looked a little tired, but she was still beautiful. Now, she realized that was going away, and she was beginning to look like the woman standing in front of her.
“Then where do we go?” the woman continued to ask.
Rebecca shook her head and wiped her tears away. “I don’t know.”
The woman looked down at the ground, and it seemed she was thinking about Rebecca’s words. The dead woman looked around the strip in all directions, then back at Rebecca. “I want to go home. I don’t know how to go there.”
“Do you know where we go?” she asked again. “Maybe my dad is there. He’s waiting for me.”
Dad? My dad…
Rebecca briefly thought about her own parents. She knew they weren’t waiting for her, and that she could never go home now. Her future was standing right in front of her.
“Maybe he is,” was all Rebecca could think to tell her.
“I think I’ll wait for the bus,” the woman told her next. It was clear that her grasp on reality was slipping away. It saddened Rebecca but frightened her also. She wanted to get away from the woman now. Rebecca couldn’t help her, and at any moment she could become violent. She also didn’t want the woman to follow her back to the house where Brandon was.
“I’m sorry. I have to go,” Rebecca told her and began walking quickly away.
“It’s true you know,” the woman called out to her suddenly. “What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas, ‘cause we ain’t going anywhere.” The woman began laughing out loud, spinning around in a strange dance in the middle of the road.
Yeah, she’s lost it.
As Rebecca got further away, the woman had gone silent until Rebecca heard her call out one more time. “Hey…hey wait..”
Rebecca stopped, turning to face her several yards away. She was just sitting in the middle of the road now with bugs crawling on her, not knowing where to go or what to do.
“I’m sorry,” she yelled out, her eyes full of sorrow like a child who was just scolded by a parent but doesn’t understand why. Rebecca was puzzled by her apology.
“Sorry for what?”
“I just want to die now, please.”
The vision of her sadness, her loneliness, hearing her words, it broke Rebecca entirely, knowing she was looking at herself. Her spirit sank and the tears streamed down her face as she turned and walked away.
What kind of god does this?