The girl in the dress smiled at me from the swing set. I remember her, because she had
blood on her face, but was acting like nothing happened. I stared at her for a long time,
and in the background I could hear two little girls chanting a jump rope rhyme. No one
else on the play ground seemed to notice her. My best friend Katie shook my shoulder.
“Hey, Jocelyn? You alright?” she asked me.
“Huh?” I said, startled. I turned to face her. “Oh, yeah.” Katie looked at the
“Think it’s going to turn into money or something?” she said, laughing. I tittered
“Maybe.” She clapped me on my shoulder and walked off to talk to someone else. I
shivered as the bloody girl stood up and started walking towards me. I was paralyzed with
fear as she touched my eyes, but suddenly the whole playground was filled with people,
some bloody, some regular looking, mulling about and chatting silently. She giggled at the
dumbfounded expression on my face, and then the wind whisked her away. I stumbled
backwards and into one of the people who looked plain. He smiled up at me, he couldn’t
have been more than six, and passed me a box. It felt solid enough, so I clicked it open.
When I looked back at him, he too was gone, as well as all the other people. Everyone was
gone. Wait, everyone?
“Oh no!” I muttered, realizing my class had gone inside without me. But how didn’t
they notice me? I was just standing there, in the open. I quickly run into the building
and burst into my classroom. Strangely enough, no one reacts to my appearance and the
teacher doesn’t punish me for being late. They just stare at the door and someone gets
up to close it.
“Hello?” I whispered. I tapped Katie’s shoulder, but she just brushed it off as if
my fingers were a bug. I panicked as I walked to my seat. I slammed down the box, but once
more nobody looked up. “Hello?” I said again, a little louder. “HELLO?” I yelled.
I ran from the room and out of the building. I had my bags and books, and I headed back to
the playground to see if that girl was still there. She was, along with someone laying on
the ground. I crept closer to see who it was. Blood ran from her eyes like tears, and then
I realized it was me. But how could it be? The girl beamed up at me.
“Hello Jocelyn. Welcome to Our world,” she said pleasantly. I screamed and tore away.
I was too afraid too cry, thinking I might cry blood like that body. I refused to think of
it as me. I glanced back. The girl was kneeling with one too-pale hand outstretched
towards me. “Jocelyn!” she cried out. “Come back!”
“Get away from me!” I screamed at her. I was almost to the road, I could get away!
Suddenly, three huge boys appeared in front of me. “Go away!” I sobbed. “Leave me
alone!” I crumpled down on the curb, and two of them hoisted me up. I don’t remember
after that, because I blacked out.
“Hello Jocelyn, can you hear me?” asked a polite voice. I blinked. Bright lights
surrounded my head.
“Yes,” I croaked.
“Good. Now, Jocelyn, I’m here to help you come to terms with yourself, or rather,”
he paused, looking at a heart monitor, and chuckled. It showed no signs of life. “Your
non-self.” I looked up at him. He was wearing a white coat and was holding a clipboard.
“What do you mean?” I asked even though I knew.
“Jocelyn…you’re dead,” he said slowly, as if I were a kindergartner. “You’re
going to stay here until you’re strong again, and then you’ll move on to Phase Two.”
This was too much for my groggy brain, so I just nodded.
“M’kay,” I agreed, then fell back into darkness, although not the eternal kind I
I could walk again, and I got out of my dressing gown and back into my regular clothes.
The nurse turned her nose in obvious distaste at my torn and faded jeans along with my
striped tank top. “When you’re finished, go out this door and follow the Doctor,”
she ordered me, and promptly dressed. I obeyed grumpily, and as I followed him down a
white hallway, my Converse squeaked on the floor. He looked back at me, mildly annoyed. I
just grinned humorlessly. He led me to a door with a sign over it that read, “Acceptance
Course 1.” He opened the door to reveal a room holding about 15 people of all ages. The
only thing similar about them was that they all looked lost and a little angry. There was
a woman standing in front of the room. The Doctor ushered me into a seat, winked at the
lady, and was gone. I blinked at the suddenness before staring at the woman.
“Class, this is Jocelyn Grant. Please make her feel,” she said with a chuckle,
“accepted.” A few of the people smirked at her little joke. “Jocelyn, please feel
free to ask questions.” I nodded and made myself comfortable.
“As I was saying, you’re all here because you weren’t ready to go, and you didn’t
expect it. Most people who die in car accidents and common things like that tend to accept
their deaths as inevitable right before they move on. You, however, are special cases. You
weren’t ready to be torn away, and your deaths are usually the more bizarre
one-in-a-million accidents. All of you can’t accept that you’re dead,” she said
severely. I sighed. This would be boring. While the instructor turned away to the big
white boards behind her (was everything here white?) the girl next to me leaned over.
“Hi, I’m Lauren,” she whispered, and I smiled at her.
“I’m Jocelyn,” I replied. “Guess you already knew though, huh?” Lauren
“I guess I did.” The teacher turned around and we fell silent. After “Acceptance”
she showed me around.
“Man, they should’ve given you a schedule,” she said, exasperated. “I mean, I
don’t mind taking you around, but still!” I nodded in agreement.
“Totally.” I glance down the hallway. “Um…do dead people sleep?” Lauren
collapsed in hysterics. “What?” I asked sheepishly. “I mean it!” I insisted. When
she recovered her breath, she got back to her feet.
“I’m sorry, it’s just that most people assume they still do. I guess you’ve
really though about this, huh?” she said, and I nodded.
“Guess I have.”
“Anyways, to answer your question, yes, we do. In fact…” she said, flagging down a
nurse. “Excuse me, but could you find the sleeping arrangements for a Jocelyn?” The
nurse nodded and briskly walked off to presumably find the paperwork.
---If you guys like it, I'll continue it. If you don't... I'll probably write another