A Few More Deaths – Part Three

<< Part Two

Teresa and I stare at each other for a good five minutes before I grow uneasy. There’s something inherently weird in ogling an almost-angel. My eyes switch focus on their own volition.
“Damn it.” Good thing there isn’t a food platter on the table because I might have been tempted to tip it to the floor. While I enrage, Teresa springs to her feet to dance around the table, much to the delight of the bunch of souls hanging around. I would punch anybody else flaunting their victory over me, but Teresa is just being herself. And she’s a joy to watch. Lives ago, I won the staring challenges every single time.
“Alright,” I mutter, hoping it’ll get her back to her seat. Losing annoyed me enough without being the butt of the joke on top of it. “I’ll talk to my counselor.”
“No time like the present.” She grabs my elbow and pulls me to my feet. “I don’t want you forgetting you promised.”
Teresa hooks her arm around mine and tows my reluctant self toward a table at the other end of the cafeteria. My knees buckle when I realize that both my counselor and Z are chatting over white goo. Why in hell do souls with high Karma points have every single thing going their way all the time? Just another Limbo unfairness, I guess. If I ever find the guy who made up all the rules, I’ll push him to commit suicide so he can have a taste of his own medicine.
Teresa plops me onto a seat. Not a care for the eyebrows rising at my arrival, she smacks a peck on my cheek.
“I’m going to get us some food. You guys have a chat.” With a wink as subtle as my Karma balance on the board, she heads for the food vat.
“Hi Dave,” chirps the counselor. Really, her voice is too high to be human. She ought to have lived too many bird incarnations; most counselors are evolved souls whose soul mate is a no-show. No matter the Karma points, one cannot become an angel without one’s soul mate. Stupid Limbo rules. Teresa will do an amazing job if she has to wait on her soul mate.
“How is the Karma bill going?” My counselor smiles.
“Bad enough to interrupt our lunch, I gather.” There you have it, Z in all his nauseating arrogance. Good thing I don’t really have a stomach up here.
How can you knock death down a peg?
“I’m one point short of zero.” I concentrate on Ann, my counselor, to avoid going postal on my possible soon-to-be boss. “I was hoping I could serve in Limbo to get it instead of another reincarnation.”
“Really? What a coincidence! Nathan was just – ”
“ – We’re fully staffed.” My eyes jump from Ann’s surprised face to Z’s, or Nathan’s, closed expression.
“You’re never fully staffed.” I reply with as smooth and smiling a tone as my growing fury allows.
“Alright then, I’ll be blunt.” As opposed to what? “I have a very strict policy against wankers.”
Teresa chooses this moment to come back. She presses her elbow on my shoulder, stopping me from standing; if I move, I’ll cause her to drop one of the goo platters all over me. I look at her to signal I’ll stay put.
“Hello Nathan, Ann.” Teresa sits and sets a plate of food in front of me. “Now, I think we can all agree that Dave has come a long way since he bailed on his first life.”
I cringe. One mistake. One effing mistake. Will they ever get over it? I didn’t even know about any of this, for crying out loud.
“He has,” my counselor agrees. She looks intently at Z who ignores her completely.
“How stupid are you girls?” Z squints at me as if it will bring justifications for his insults to show on my face. The only thing it sparks is anger. “Mister here doesn’t want one more incarnation he can’t choose so he looks for the easy way around it. Wanker!” He concludes by waving a disgusted finger at me.
“Trust me jerk, you aren’t the easy way.”
I leave my chair before Teresa has an occasion to stop me. Ann calls my name but I’m already halfway through the cafeteria. I want out of the building. I need air or I might do something irreparable, like breaking death’s nose. I already doomed myself to hours stuck in my dying moment at the end of my next life.
I finally stop at a bench by the fountain. My options to make Karma points had slimmed again. What is worst? Welcoming three hundred souls to Limbo in order to get one Karma point and then choose my reincarnation? Taking on another life I can’t choose, suffer through it and get a handful of points in return? I feel like both options are equally annoying.
I spend a few minutes fuming alone before Teresa joins me. I have to give it to the woman; she gets me. She voluntarily trailed behind so I had time to calm down. She squares herself in front of me with her hands on her hips. After a sigh, she bends to rest her arms on my shoulders and put her hands around my neck, aligning her eyes with mine.
“He was just testing you.”
“It doesn’t make me feel any better.”
“I know. How’s this, then?”
Teresa leans forward to kiss my forehead. She really has a knack for treating people like children without any of them complaining.

Part Four >>

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About Aheïla

Somewhere in Quebec City, Aheïla works as a Game Design Director by day and writes by night. Known for her blue hair, unyielding dynamism and tasty cooking (quails, anyone?), she’s convinced “prose is the new crack”. She satisfies her addiction daily on The Writeaholic’s Blog and weekly on Games' Bustles View all posts by Aheïla

6 responses to “A Few More Deaths – Part Three

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