Flumes Vol. 5: Issue 1, Summer 2020 - Page 37

It was all so casual, Matt had thought. There he was, lying dead, and these guys were debating whether the overpriced drinks at Glitter were really worth the view. He should have been offended.

But he wasn’t. Not really, anyhow. It was like his emotional response to things had been knocked out along with his body. He even followed the guys later - they went to the bar.

The light turned green, and the grocery lady rolled forward toward Matt, then through him. For just a moment, he was standing in the car with her. She was eating Doritos. Then she was gone.

After the paramedics had stumbled back to their cars from the bar and gone home (which, he noted, was a poor decision based on their current state, and in light of their occupation), Matt had gone back to the morgue, and sat with his body through the night. The room was cold, Matt had thought - one of the few sensations he had been able to feel - but that may have just been in his head. It was a refrigerator with dead bodies in it, after all.

It was in the morgue that he had seen her. She was young, maybe ten, wearing a flowery blouse under blue overalls as she walked in through the wall, long braided pigtails swinging. She looked up at Matt, then turned, and proceeded down the hall. Matt had followed, stepping through a door a few yards away. The thing most people never realize is just how long it takes to cremate a body. The little girl stared at the small window, and the bright flames behind it. After a long while, she turned, and looked at Matt again, and then was gone. Just walked back through the door. Matt had thought about following, but... why?Matt let several cars pass through him at the intersection, taking in the details as they passed. A man reading the sports section of a newspaper. A mother with two kids in the back, all singing along to something.

That’s when he heard it. It started softly at first, and took him a good few moments to recognize, but soon, clear as day - organ music. It sounded like it was coming from his left, slightly in front of him.

He looked around, but the intersection was empty. Slowly, an idea dawned on him, and he drifted back into town.

Matt hadn’t been there since an Easter a few years back, but it was the only place he could think of with an organ. Outside, he recognized a few faces, gathered near the church doors. Mostly extended family, some friends, all wearing black. Matt trailed along, up the steps to the door. He drifted toward the doorway, and...

Matt hung in the air, unable to move past the threshold into the sanctuary. It was the first thing he had encountered since he died that he couldn’t pass through.

Puzzled, Matt raised his hand to reach through, and again, it was stopped. It was an extremely odd sensation - there was no resistance, and he didn’t feel anything pushing back. He just could not physically reach in the doorway.

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