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"So, where am I exactly?"


"Hmm? Are you talking to me?"


"Yes. No one else seems to be moving. Where am I?"


"My best guess? You are frozen between your last breath and the rest of the world."


"What? Does that mean I'm dead? That's impossible, I don't remember dying."


"You really didn't see that truck coming, did you?"


"What truck? I was walking just a second ago!"


"A second is all it takes."


"Apparently. This is a lot to take in."


"Do you want to take another second?"


"Sure. Wow, I feel better already."


"Told you. A second is all it takes."


"So who are you then?"


"You might need a couple more seconds for this one."


"Just tell me."


"You haven't figured it out yet? The robes don't give it away?"


"You are... Death?"


"Yes!"


"Oh."


"That's it? That's your reaction?"


"What? I'm dead, I'm obviously not thinking straight."


"Yes, but I've just single-handedly shattered your entire conception of the universe. There is no god, no religion, no repentance, only the personified avatar of death who just reaped your mortal coil into oblivion, and your first reaction is 'oh'?!"


"Sure, that's all amazing and whatnot, but to be honest I'm more surprised that I'm still here."


"Is it too much to ask for a little reverence?"


"You don't talk to the recently dead often, do you?"


"No. I don't. But that's why I'm here. You, my good man, have broken Death."


"I'm both flattered and terrified."


"You see, the way it works is this: you live your life. When your time is up, I kill you. I sit back, watch the life drain away, and your soul moves on from this life to the next. I don't follow your soul, I just watch to make sure everything goes according to plan. Souls can't see me. They can't talk to me. They certainly can't stop time, either."


"I screwed that up, didn't I."


"Yep. You've broken a flawless system that has worked for billions of years."


"Just because it's been practiced for a while doesn't mean it's flawless. I mean, how do you know it's flawless? You're just the middleman that transports the living to the 'afterlife'".


"Ouch, that one stung."


"No, seriously. If you've never seen the place you send people to, how can you claim that the system is working?"


"No wonder you broke the system, you think too much."


"What if I'm the warning sign that something is wrong on the other side? The sign that people aren't being sent to where they're supposed to go? The sign that you need to start regulating both sides of "Death"?


"Ok, ok, I get it. Jesus Christ, just shush for a moment."


"Christ? I thought you said there was no religion."


"I say a lot of things. Anyway, assuming what you say is true, what should we do?"


"I have a feeling that I can take you with me to the other side, so we have two choices: either come with me, or sit here for eternity waiting for something to happen."


"I like the idea of waiting, personally."


"Forever?"


"You'd be surprised at how good I've gotten at killing time."


"Har har. Come on, you're coming with me."


"You know, for someone who was having trouble grasping the fact that he is dead, you're remarkably sure of yourself."


"I don't understand it myself, but I feel like dying has given me a concrete purpose in life, ironically."


"You're welcome."

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