The first time I died it was a sunny day, and Death approached me quickly and caught me off guard. The second time, I saw him coming for me and I escaped, or at least I thought I had.
My feet hit something solid and my legs fell out from underneath me. I tucked myself into a ball and tried to roll with the force. Except I found myself gathering speed and I could hear the crash of an ocean’s waves growing louder.
“Halt!” The voice boomed, causing me to cry out in pain as I tried to stop myself from rolling farther. I flipped a few more times then stopped, face down in some mud.
I pulled myself from the oozing substance and stood on my now wary two feet. I looked around. Death was waiting for me, though he appeared somewhat restrained. By what, I could not tell.
“Silly girl, what are you doing here?”
“Escaping him? Oh, I see.”
Death struggled against his restraints.
“And why do you see the need to escape him? Is death not an escape in itself?”
I nodded, “Usually it is, but I’m not ready. Not yet.”
“So instead you slip through his grasp and drag him into another realm. One you have no idea about. Hm. I see. Now what shall your punishment be? After all, I’m the one running the experiment here in this realm.”
“What experiment?” I dusted off my well worn jeans as much as possible. “Can I help?”
“Well my dear girl, I think you just have. With your presence and whatever living organisms you’ve left in this ooze.”
Death growled. “You cheat.”
“And you lie. But, what’s done is done. Now, my dear girl, what do you want most in your life?”
I thought of all those fairy tales, the ones my Ama had read to me. “I wish for nothing more than to return home. On Earth. And alive.”
“That is all?”
“Then you shall have it. But first, tell me your name.”
“Reah. Reah Locke.”
“Very well, Reah. Go back to Earth and continue your existence.”
Dizzily, I stepped out of the alley where I had tried to run from Death. The sun shone brightly and I swore I heard distant laughter.