Bert, a man who finds himself dead, and needing to find his loved one.
Bert had never been a real church-goer, so it seemed silly to think that this odd little country road he suddenly found himself walking down, was the afterlife. He had no recollection of how he’d gotten there, though. One moment, he was in a world of blackness; and the next, he was ambling down this dirt road, in what appeared to be the middle of autumn. A slight breeze ruffled the red, brown and golden leaves on the trees, and blew the ones that had already fallen, every which way. Even though Bert had no clue as to where he was, he was glad to be here. He stopped walking for a second, closed his eyes, and felt the wind against his face.
Why do I feel good?, wondered Bert, slightly puzzled. It was such a foreign feeling for the most part to Bert, that it seemed almost like he was naked. His usual worries and mental luggage weren’t there. It was then, that Bert began to know what he already suspected, but he began to walk again.
Even though it was an overcast, windy and otherwise chilly Fall day, Bert felt fine with just the light corduroy jacket he had on, over his tee shirt. Not too cold, and not too hot. Bert had always had sensitive skin and at the slightest sign of heat, it became red and hot. It had been a running joke over the years with his friends, to keep the thermostat cranked to 69 degrees. When he was twelve years old and his friend Garret had been over, they had thought it was funny, (Why?) but it began to dawn on Bert, from then on: Sixty-Nine degrees was the perfect temperature. Not cold, but not hot enough to make his skin all splotchy. That’s what it felt like, at the moment.
As Bert continued to walk, he noticed he was coming up on what appeared to be a bright red barn, planted right in the middle of the road. It didn’t strike him as weird though, oddly enough. He walked on, until he was at the big double doors of the building. He just stood there, and looked around. It was overcast, but it didn’t look like it was going to rain. It just looked… serene. There was a corn field off to his right, that seemed to stretch on for miles. He couldn’t see the end of it, anyways. A dozen scarecrows stood watch over the field, even though Bert hadn’t noticed a single bird, since he’d started walking. He turned his attention back to the barn. It’s red paint was chipping in spots, but it didn’t look run-down, or anything. In fact, it looked rather cheery. Bert cleared his already clear throat.
“Hello?”, he called.
There wasn’t any answer. “Hell-”, he began, before he noticed the doors opening.
“Well hello, there!”, answered a cheery looking bearded man, looking at Bert, his eyes almost seeming to twinkle. He looked like everybody’s dream of a grandpa. He was dressed in worn brown overalls, with a green checkered flannel shirt, and a straw hat.
“Hi.”, murmured Bert in reply, not knowing what else to say, exactly.
There was a pause that lasted for a couple of seconds, and Bert spoke again. “I don’t know why I’m here.”
“Don’t you?”, asked the old man, sympathetically. There was just a hint of sadness on his face.
Bert felt like he should know, so he thought on it for a moment. He already knew why he was here, but he futilely hoped against hope that he was wrong. After looking awkwardly at his shoes for the better part of a minute, Bert looked back at the old man.
“No. Why am I here?”, he asked.
The old man put a wrinkled, peppermint-smelling hand on Bert’s shoulder, and looked him in the eyes, with that sympathetic, but still twinkling look, that he had.
“Because, Bert. You’re dead.”