Ransom

"Are we alive?"

That was the first question we asked, the question that came to mind naturally. We were scared of losing our dignity, of falling to our feet and pointlessly begging life to return. And that was exactly what we would have done, if some cloaked figure had shaken his head "no." Even the staunchest of us all, even those of us who had "accepted" our deaths years and years ago.

There was no response, though, and so we had to answer "no" for ourselves. After that, there was no time for crying.

"So. What now?"

The atheists among us had asked the next questions reluctantly, though the religious had probably pondered the question silently on their own. The place where we found ourselves offered no clear answer - the halls and corridors stretched on for what seemed like miles.

The walking made our feet sore, and in the end, we all had a laugh about it. We were hungry, too, and tired. Who thought that dying could feel anything like this? We were dying in death. We were about to cheat death, by dying.

No!

We're not dead.

We didn't realize that, until someone really did die - Thomas, who had some chronic heart disorder that he never really specified in detail. We had all thought it was a joke when he cried out.

No one thought it was a joke after his pulse faded.

The question begged to be asked one more time.

"Are we alive?"

And this time, we found our answer.

"Hey. Do you believe in miracles?"

The End

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