“Whoa, whoa, whoa. Watch your language. This is a moment of silence for the late Gregory Jackson, Mr. Gregory Jackson! Have some respect for the dead!” Shouts the host. “You shouldn’t speak of the devil when he’s so close by. Well, actually still a few miles down, but he can hear you!” He whispers the last few words and smiles.
“So this is how it is, huh? I’m dead? Caput, done, history, kicked the can-“ Greg was cut off once more.
“Cashed in your chips, lights out, off to count the worms, gone west, to ride the pale horse, push up daisies, take a dirt nap, sleep with the fishes, Tango Uniform, hopped on the last rattler, sit in Davy Jones’ locker, to answer the final summons!” Exclaims the host.
Greg laughed. “Then why am I breathing? Why am I not some floating apparition? Certainly, I am not dead. I’m very much alive! Where’s the door, I’m going home!” Greg hops off the platform in which the podium rests and begins walking past where the light shines.
“Truly, you’ve always been stubborn. That’s why your heart gave out. You never listened to it!” The host shouts. “Have it your own way. Be stuck in purgatory for all I care! Or worse!” The host yells to Greg as he is walking away.
Greg walks for what seems like two or three hours in a foggy darkness. He looks up to see black clouds. In the distance he sees black mountains with a thin white outline. It seems to go on forever. However, time as no value here in the ether. Time and distance only has value when one believes it exists. He keeps saying to himself “I’m not dead. I’m going home. I’m not dead!” He comes to a halt when he brings one leg forward for another step and he nearly falls. He feels around with his foot and looks down to see a reddish black flowing river. He turns around to see the lights and the set barely visible, miles away. The floor’s glossy finish can be seen. It lights up and becomes clearly visible. As it does it begins breaking away and falling from the furthest point away from him. First, slowly, then with alarming speed. He yells, “Wait! Where am I! I just want to go home!”
He runs towards the set but it is too late. He can only make it about two hundred feet before the ground leading back is gone. After what seems to be five minutes he is standing on the last bit of ground. He is forced to stand above the abysmal red and black river. He watched the floor fall and his chest got tight. He grasps his chest then remembers doing this same motion a time not so long ago.
“Is it true?” He asks himself. The ground gives way beneath his feet. Greg plunges into the dark depths and into the river. He rises to swim and fight the current. Like a voice in his head the host says “You fight so hard to live, now? I guess it’s normal for those who just don’t get it!”
Suddenly, he is surrounded by bodies. Men, women, children all fighting to reach shore as the current takes them. He did not know what was louder. The ripping sound of water rapids or the sounds of screaming and pleads for help.
“Help!! I’m, ugh, drowning!” Greg coughs.