I felt him lift his hands well before I could see anything. It was like before, the world had to wait for my eyes to adjust; and then the whiteness faded into colour and textures and shapes. But no longer were we in the serenity of the country, no, we were in the hustle and bustle of . . . London! We were stood in a little square; quiet. It was a part of the city I hadn’t been to before, mainly because I couldn’t have afforded it.
“We will rest here until the others come” he said as we walked across the road to a cuboid building which seemed constructed nearly entirely from glass and odd bits of concrete. I gawped at it before looking down to inspect my current form. I was still in the bloodstained gown that I wore at the time of my death, but as we walked into what appeared to be a bustling lobby I saw that nobody even looked at me.
“It’s because of the Phasmatic Corpus isn’t it?” I thought, now assuming that he could hear whatever I said in my head.
“Yes, that is until you are a physical mass again” he replied without the use of his mouth.
We came to a pretty young receptionist behind a glass desk who looked like she had nothing better to do with her time other than to try and look like she was busy. To distract from what appeared her workplace past-time he cleared his throat and handed her a credit card. She smiled and quickly went through the computer, announcing that Mr. Ward now had penthouse number four. He impatiently snatched the card back from her and sped off quickly towards a colossal elevator. I could barely keep up with his long strides.
“Can you slow down please?”
“I’m asking nicely” I continued.
“And I’m replying nicely” he finished, turning on his heel to face me as we waited for the elevator to descend.
The people inside left the machine and walked around us; we walked inside and began our ascent up the building. I didn’t really pay any attention to the people or the building, but rather I was trying to figure out this creature that was stood beside me. Noticing that I was staring up at him he glared down for a long time, making the situation incredibly awkward.
“What’s your name?”
He continued glaring, then looked straight ahead and walked out of the elevator without replying at all to my question; much like I hadn’t said anything at all.
“See that door? I want you to walk through it”
“What?” I yelled almost jumping.
“Just try it”
I sighed. There would be no rest until I did as I was told, and I wouldn’t dare try to disobey him, still had no idea what he was.
I closed my eyes and walked forward, feeling the hard stringiness of the wood pass through my face, my head. When I opened my eyes the door was behind me and I was stood in an apartment that looked like something from a sci-fi film. In short there was lots of glass and marble. And beyond the glass walls lay the beautiful view of London’s skyline.
“You think it’s beautiful?” he asked, watching the pulsating city as he stepped forward to stand beside me; his arms folded.
“It’s my home, of course I would” I replied, this time using my mouth rather than mind to talk.
“You Terra are a fascinating race” he chuckled before walking to a door and opening it.
“This will be your room. You can have a shower and I’ll prepare a meal for you when you’re done” he said, looking as if he were on the verge of attempting a smile.
I thanked him and went inside to find a small, chic yet cosy bedroom. Everything looked new and untouched. I checked the wardrobe to find white satin pyjamas with multicoloured stars on them, black slippers and black and white suit consisting of a black blazer and trousers, a white shirt and brown leather shoes. There a was a sliding door and through that was a tiny but sufficiently sized en suite bathroom where I wasted no time in taking a boiling hot shower and brushing my teeth. Soon after I realised the pain in stomach were hunger pangs. I rushed into the pyjamas and into the main living area where I found him in the kitchen area.
“What’s for dinner?” I asked, noting that the world outside had gone dark but was lit up the city lights.
“Whatever you want”
“Can we have soup please? Chicken soup?”
“As you wish, could you set up the table please?”
Nodding, I rushed over to the kitchen area and took out the necessary bits and bobs and hurried in setting them up on the table. It took no longer than two minutes but as I had set up everything he already had prepared two bowls of soup! I sat down in my seat and he sat opposite to me.
“Bon Appetite as the French say” he said, tucking in hastily like a greedy child.
I stared in amazement at his sudden change in behaviour, before realising that I had to eat too. The soup was simply delicious, couldn’t ask for better. It felt good to have hot nourishing food filling up my stomach and to have the aroma fill my nose.
“It’s really nice” I commented between scoops.
He nodded in reply, taking his time to chew the food and swallow before replying.
“If you have any questions-”
“Who are you? What are you?”
“You may call me Mr. Ward and I am a regulator”
“A regulator? Of what?” I inquired, continuing with my soup.
“You are aware of the afterlife. I work with an organisation that is in charge of all un-earthly matters. We make sure that spiritual order is kept amongst other things”
“Alright, so why did you save me from certain death”
“I was following orders. My, well, our objective is as of yet uncertain. My partner will help me make the next objective . . . when they arrive” he said sounding slightly annoyed. I knew then it was something I would have to watch; his temper.
After that I didn’t ask any more questions but instead finished my soup and cleared up the table. I think I had realised that any questions would be answered along the journey that was yet to come; and I received the impression that Mr. Ward approved of this idea. He then handed me a hot chocolate complete with squirty cream, sprinkles and biscuits and sent me off to bed.
“Straight to sleep!” he yelled, turning the lights off.