The final installment of the "Second Chance" story. Hope you enjoy and thanks for reading.
Four young teenagers stood in blackness, their faces illuminated by a lone candle fixed in a bronze candlestick atop a centrally located altar.
“Where are we?” The blond girl asked. The thin brunette grinned evilly. The regular boy shrugged. The last boy stared at the three with icy eyes, emotionless. His aura seethed of ominous power.
The plain boy looked from Ellison to the powerful boy, “Well?”
“Interesting predicament, three have died. Three different outcomes,” the boy Death spoke in such a monotone that Russell doubted he truly found the topic interesting.
The brunette folded her arms. Russell again shrugged at Ellison.
Death positioned himself opposite the others. “To hell with you,” he waved his arm.
The brunette descended through the floor slowly, as if succumbing to quicksand. She did not protest or fight, Russell and Ellison watched her departure in amazement.
Ellison finally spoke, “that’s it for Campbell? Why did she just accept her fate?”
Death spoke, “I am returning her from whence she came. Some people are placed on earth to do great things. Others rise only to carry out evil.”
“That explains Hitler and Bin Laden,” Russell thought aloud.
“And Charlie Sheen,” Ellison added.
The emotionless Death continued, “Campbell was sent from hell to carry out a task, and her task was thwarted.”
“Thwarted,” the blonde Ellison squealed, “but, but I’ve been shot!”
Russell lowered his head. All about you, Ellison.
“Campbell was stopped before she got to her intended target,” Death turned his head, “you did well, Russell.”
“My death means nothing?”
Death’s failure to mention, or even acknowledge Ellison irritated her further. He glanced from the candle, back to Russell, “Dr. Peyton Rousseau was the intended target.”
“Doctor… Peyton?” Death spoke of the Hannah Montana clone? She becomes a doctor?
Ellison argued, “Rousseau isn’t her last name, that’s…”
Death interrupted, “Doctors Javier and Peyton Rousseau move to Ghana after medical school. They play a big part in abolishing AIDS in Western Africa.”
“Wow, that’s great,” Russell smiled.
“She marries Javier!?” Ellison scoffed.
“So does that mean I have succeeded what was asked?” Russell looked to the stoic boy with a hopeful expression. He thought he saw Death curling his lip, the faintest indication of a smirk.
“Yes, Russell, you stopped the shooting.”
Ellison’s jaw dropped, “Stop the… helllooo. I’m dead! Doesn’t anyone care I’m dead?”
Death waved his arm again. A glowing circle appeared, levitating over Russell’s head. A feeling of bliss pulsed through Russell’s body.
“The halo will grant you the power to see the light. Go towards the light.”
“What about me?”
Russell stared at his new halo until a bright light appeared over his shoulder.
Ellison fidgeted, wearing a worried expression. “So, one went to hell. One went to heaven. Where’s that leave me,” she cried.
“You’re what we call an Almost.”
Russell observed her reaction as the conversation played out similar to the one he shared with Death just days ago. Ellison slumped, facing the candle with an empty stare.
Russell leaned towards her and whispered. She straightened her posture. “Is there anything I can do?”
“I’ll pretend I did not see that,” Death said, “Russell, you are dismissed.”
Russell left Ellison in Death’s hands. The affinity to the soothing glow intensified, overtaking his entire being. He entered the kingdom of Heaven, and the dim room disappeared forever behind him.
Ellison snapped her head back and snorted. She must have dozed off. She examined her surroundings. A stranger sat in the seat to her right. To her left, an aisle separated herself from more strangers. The “room” was a giant sphere with many rows of occupied seats. She wiped her chin, checking for drool.
Her hands were aged, larger, well manicured. A black business suit covered her curvier, heavier, older body.
“I’m, like, old!”
Laughter came from all directions, then ceased with an intercom announcement, “Ladies and gentlemen we have reached our cruising altitude of thirty five thousand feet. Please remain seated while our staff provides a complimentary beverage.”
“We’re on a plane? Wow, never been on one before,” she said, facing the old gentleman alongside her. “Where are we going?”
If an expression could have called her crazy without saying a word, the gentleman wore it.
A long legged stewardess in a short skirt travelled the aisle, stopping at Ellison’s chair. “May I get you a drink,” she asked with an icy stare and monotone voice.