Only Watching North
Jimmy receives an unexpected letter of invitation. But it’s more than that, it is finally a way out of the coffin that he’s been stuck in for the last six months. But what awaits him on his escape? This short story was adapted from a previous idea I had about interviewing the Devil’s Administrator. It changed and transformed into a very short, light-hearted twist of what could lie beyond.
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He smelled, more than felt the arrival of the mail that morning. He creaked and groaned, more than sprang to life. Body stiff, eyes heavy. Room dark.
With cold, stiff fingers, Jimmy fumbled on his chest for the letter of which he had sensed the arrival of. An unusual perfume emanated from its luxurious fibres, a welcome change from the acrid smells of rotting flesh and damp earth, he thought to himself, idly tugging a ravenous worm from his ear.
It’s true that many a thing is lost during the passing. Everyone possess senses that are taken for granted, sight, smell, sound, taste and touch. But these are never lost, for they constitute vital layers of the soul, like the blossoming leaves feeding a mighty oak. The senses absorb life, nourishing the inner life force. Even though the heart turns inanimate and the shell withers, the soul lives on, but through lack of use the senses lie near-dormant.
The soul has the power to keep the body animated because it sends out feeders, namely the senses, in order to gather energy to move the physical form. Even in death there’s enough there to drive simple actions thanks to the gatherings from the sensation of touch alone, with the other senses largely being cut off. So being clinically dead doesn’t account for the soul.
Aside from touch, the rest of the senses gradually fade away through lack of use. There’s nothing to hear six feet under. Nothing to see. Nothing to taste. Nothing to smell. Unless of course, a perfumed letter gets delivered by the great divinities, igniting those dormant sensations of awareness.
Jimmy unfolded the envelope, taking a long, lingering whiff of the heavenly odour. Through the eternal darkness, the gilded letters, which glowed a pristine white from their own ethereal source, sprang towards his eyes. Sleepy as his eyes were, they had had five months to more than just adjust to the darkness. So attuned had his night-vision become, that Jimmy now reaped the benefits of being able to spot a fly deep in a forest beneath a cloud covered sky. Unless of course, it was hiding behind a tree and he wasn’t locked up in a coffin.
“Why spend an eternity looking up?” the first line on the single sheet of paper read. Jimmy wriggled restlessly.
“Doesn’t It Get Desperate Only Watching North!!”
Jimmy turned the paper over looking for more of those beautifully crafted letters. None were forthcoming. The rest of the paper remained in pallid nakedness.