Not Really Dead - 3/2

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PaperDoll
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Re: Not Really Dead - 3/2

Postby PaperDoll » Sun Apr 25, 2010 11:31 pm

There was always something odd about Jimmy. He was a walking, talking X-Files case book with a wild-eyed gaze. A Mister-Smartie-Pants who was always executing daring kitchen science experiments and flirting with obscure but entertaining topics that I could never quite grasp. But that was part of what made him interesting I guess. Part of what made him my friend. That along with his unflinching loyalty, willingness to go that extra mile, love of... well, everything, despite his suspiscion and endless conspiracy theories.

Don't get me wrong. I'm not trying to eulogize him... at least not anymore. Not since I opened my mailbox and found the postcard, no stamp, no return address, from Jimmy. It said simply, "I'm not dead. Meet me tonight at Guido's Pizzeria. Tell no one." I broke out laughing. It's Jimmy. It figures. And he knows I hate Guido's.

It was Saturday. I went through my weekend routine as routinely as possible, all the while wondering what series of events could have led to this. All I got in exchange was a headache. There was no point in attempting to follow Jimmy's circuitous thought patterns. At least not without the risk of brain damage. I would have to wait for the big reveal.

Evening found me in a drizzling October rain, stepping through puddles in the parking lot of Guido's Pizzeria. Inside, I shook off my jacket and glanced around for the familiar mop of unruly hair. There, in the darkest corner, amid dim tiffany-style lamps and the overpowering smell of pepperoni, sat Jimmy. His wide searching eyes finally settled on me. He gave me a nod and a smile and, with a small conspiratorial motion of his hand, called me over.

"Selma," he said quietly, gratefully, "you came."

"What the hell, Jimmy," I answered, "You're supposed to be dead!"

He made an elaborate shushing motion with his hands, and I sat down, glancing self-consciously out into the restaurant. Thankfully nobody seemed to notice.

"Sorry, I mean, of course I'm happy you're not... dead," I said more quietly, whispering the last word. "But I was at your funeral. I even cried. And I don't cry."

"I know," he said with a little half-smile. "Couldn't resist going to my own funeral after all."

"I should have known you'd pull something like this," I sighed, rolling my eyes. "What is it this time? Were you the target of an alien kidnapping plot? Mistaken for an Albanian terrorist? Uncovered the elaborate conspiracy that is the French government?"

"If I didn't know you better, I'd think that was sarcasm."

I huffed, but didn't say anything else.

"I witnessed a murder," he said. His face turned completely serious, voice low and gravelly. He was scared, I realized.

"What? Whose murder?"

"Mine."

"Yours," I said flatly, slowly, my face blank.

"Yes."

My hands went to my head, fingers massaging my temples. The headache was back. Hemorrhage was sure to follow.

"Ok," I said after a considerable pause, then squinted my eyes in an attempt to suspend my obvious disbelief. "Um... How 'bout you explain to me exactly how that happened then."

"That's not important right now," he said with a dismissive wave of his hand, "But I do need your help..."

I shook my head wearily.

"Can you do that for me?" he practically begged. His eyes were wider than usual and he held his breath for a few beats. "You're the only one who can."

How could I say no. He would have done it for me. I knew he would. And how could I have even guessed what was to follow. I abandoned all common sense and let my life be pulled into madness.

PaperDoll
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RE: Not Really Dead - 3/2

Postby PaperDoll » Mon Apr 26, 2010 12:13 am

This is in response to:
FreeFlowing
Posted 2010-03-03 12:42 AM (#343270 - in reply to #343139)
Subject: RE: Not Really Dead - 3/2

Really cool that you did this in poetry. Well plotted with a meaningful ending. Oh, the things people do for greed. I enjoyed it very much :)

Write on!

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Vivian-Wainwright
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Re: Not Really Dead - 3/2

Postby Vivian-Wainwright » Sat May 01, 2010 1:27 pm

I almost didn’t notice it. The postcard was a dark colour, almost the same shade as my poorly painted door. I had just turned my key in the lock when I saw it. Feeling uneasy-after all my mailbox was by the front door- I held it tight. The back door, just a few steps away, was swinging closed when I looked up. A flash of lightning outside showed a dark figure running off. Gulping, I walked into my apartment and put the card on the counter. Locking all the chains -three extra ones Seth had installed- I started to walk through the place slowly. When I was sure I was alone, beside the Boa in the bedroom, I ran a bath.

I heard the water spill over the side of the tub while was getting clothes. When I got in the room bubbles were floating across the blue tiles, taunting me by popped against my feet. I drained some of the water, cursing. I had forgotten about the postcard until I saw it as I grabbed towels to soak up the spilt water. Picking it up, I decided to see what it said. I read the card as I sunk into the steamy water.

'I’m not dead. Meet me tonight at Guido’s Pizzeria. Tell no one.'

Screaming, I dropping the postcard into the tub. I shot out of the bath and wrapped a towel around myself. It was at least a half hour before I realized I was watching the water absorbing into the card. I drained the tub and walked away. There was no way I was going to the Pizzeria. If Seth was alive he could have gone and killed himself for all I cared, I was pissed. My Boa was sleeping as I slipped into my bed. The window was slightly open as I drifted to sleep, not caring that my pillow was getting soaked with tears.

I woke up a few hours later by the sound of something hitting my floor. I almost screamed again. There, lying on his ass under my windowsill was Seth. His dark skin and bright blue eyes shining under overly dyed black hair proved it. I got up, walked over to him and slapped him. Hard.

“The Hell!” He shouted in a mock whisper. I slapped him again. This time he grabbed my hand and pulled me down until our foreheads were touching. His hands grabbed my face and it was like one of those scenes in a move where the guy is going to plant a kiss on a girl to shut her up. I spat at him. He grunted and twisted my body until I was lying in his lap and my hands were behind my back.

“Get off me you bastard!” I shouted. He sighed and just held me down on him harder. My shoulders hurt by then but all I did was shake with tears. He whispered something I didn’t hear but I ignored him and squirmed. I heard something raddling and saw my Boa trying to tip the lid of his cage. It made me laugh slightly and Seth looked up. He started laughing to and let go of me.

“Vi…”

“Get out, I don’t care who you are, get out” it was all I could say after we both stopped laughing.

“Come with me,” I looked at him with wide eyes. “That’s what I wanted you tell you at the pizzeria. Disappear with me.”

“You’re dead.”

“You believe in ghosts.”

“Sure but I am not going to the underworld with you buddy-boy!” By then we were both smirking. He reached over and pulled me into a hug.

“I faked my death. My sister and mother were in on it. I can’t stand my father, I had to get away. That’s why it was closed casket. Come away with me Vi. Your pet over there can come to. Please, I don’t have much time.”

“…How much time do you have?”

“An hour.” I thought about the past as I looked into his eyes and saw my Seth looking back. I decided to go and if it wasn’t really Seth, well then I had an adventure on my hands. I pushed him away and got up. I went into my closet and pulled out a suitcase.

“So… this ‘going away’ a snow sort of thing or can I go swimming when we get…wherever we’re going?” He laughed and walked over, hugging me again.

“Swimming.”

“Sweet.”

By: V.O.W.

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RE: Not Really Dead - 3/2

Postby MaddieB » Sun May 02, 2010 3:24 am

I gawked. There can really be no other word for it. Standing at the mailbox, the mucky world around me dropped away while my attention focused onto the postcard. I flipped it over. The back of the postcard was a nighttime picture of D.C., the Capitol Building and the Washington Monument figuring prominently beneath a purple sky. The writing was careful, entirely written in capitalized letters with indigo blue pen. No signature.

Drops of rain fell onto the tree that covered me, accumulated on the leaves, condensing into one huge drop that finally fell, cold and wet, onto my bare scalp. I gathered my wits and walked inside.

At 7 p.m., I walked into Guido's and looked around. All my thoughts and emotions had been on the backburner. When I saw Jenny sitting at the bar, I walked over and said simply, "Okay?" We hugged, and the tears came for us both. We took a U-shaped table near the bar where we sat close. She looked emaciated and pale, but her eyes were their normal bright green and her lips turned up at the edges in a shy smile.

She began to explain, quietly. When she was done, I nodded as though I understood. Yet, I could feel that my expression did not match what I wanted to show and I laughed nervously.

"So," she said swallowing, "that's where I've been. I can only choose to tell one person, and I think honestly, you might be the only person who could ... accept this."

I nodded again. We sat. The waitress came and went with our drink orders. We did not eat or drink.

"So," I said. "You are going to turn me too, right?"

"Yes." She smiled, and her fangs extended just a little.

patrickarmstead
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RE: Not Really Dead - 3/2

Postby patrickarmstead » Sun May 16, 2010 1:05 pm

When I got the letter, I was shocked and dumbfounded. How could this have happened? Bob was dead. I went to the damn funeral. I read the letter again: Meet me at Guido's Pizzeria, and don't tell anyone. Your friend, Bob. It was his signature, I recognized the writing. I was suddenly angry, old Bob would have some serious explaining to do. The letter said to meet him tomorrow at 9pm.
"Don't worry old friend, I'll be there."
When I entered the pizzeria I saw Bob sitting at a table in the back, near the restrooms. He was holding a newspaper to partially cover his face. I headed for his table. He watched me nervously as I sat down.
"I'm so glad you came, I need your help."
"Help, I'd say. You're supposed to be dead. What happened, Bob?'
"Someone tried to kill me."
"Your joking, right? I mean, who would want to kill you?"
"The same someone that's been having an affair with my wife, that's who."
"Samantha? She's having an affair? How can you be so sure? I mean, that's a serious accusation to throw out there."
I've intercepted her emails and text messages. Plus I recorded several phone calls. I'm a computer programmer, it wasn't hard for me to accomplish."
"Recordings, huh? That's pretty strong evidence Bob. Do you still have it?"
"Yea, it's in my locker at work. You're the only person I've told this to, it's so humiliating."
"I feel for you buddy."
"I'm telling you they're stupid. My brakes went out, someone probably cut the line. The car exploded, they just assumed I was still in the car. I'm gonna fry him and her both, damn bitch!"
"We need to get out of here and get you to my place without anyone seeing you. You were just buried barely a week ago. There we can plan our next step."
"Good idea," Bob said. "And thanks for being a true friend."
"No prob man, now let's get out of here."
I led Bob to my car. He quickly slid into the passenger seat, then I started the engine and drove off. He didn't question the plastic drooped over the entire seat.
"Where are you going?" Bob said. "This isn't the way to your house. This road leads to the cemetary."
"That's right, buddy. We're heading for the cemetary. You see," I said, pulling a 9mm from my jacket pocket. You're late for an appointment with a coffin."
Bob's eyes widened in fear. "So you're the one. You were supposed to be my friend!"
"Being you're friend was okay, but being Samantha's lover was better."
I pulled the trigger twice, sending two bullets into Bob's chest. He jerked, then slumped forward. I pulled onto the gravel road that went through the cemetary. I had a busy night ahead of me.

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RE: Not Really Dead - 3/2

Postby shooterboss » Sun May 16, 2010 2:14 pm

Johnny was a fine man: a little heavy on the lipstick, but good. I remember three years ago we used to travel the heights of the hills in Washington together. Every six miles we'd stop for a drink, and when we did, he would always say "never stop. Just keep hiking through life until you get to the top. Allow your spirit to catch up though," or something similar. A true sage, he was, but he always despised modernization. While the people used computers, he would write on the old, rusty typewriter. While people drove cars, he got around on an old bike. Nothing sounded better to his ears than classical music. He also had terrible vision that bit him hard when he couldn't see the truck coming at him one snowy night in December. A quick pain in the head, and it was all over.

"Honey, I'm home," I said while placing my black Stetson hat on the rack. It was a Saturday night, and the sky was pitch black.

"Why so early?" my wife asked from the kitchen.

"My boss had an emergency meeting again. Apparently someone got fired."

She came to the door where I was. "Excuse me, I'm going to the store. Is there anything you need for me to pick up?"

I hesitated. "No, not really."

"Oh, and I almost forgot." She pointed to the living room coffee table. "The mail came in, and one's for you."

The door closed, and I was alone in the house. The living room was my favorite room, and the television was my favorite appliance. I sat down on the couch, picked up the letter, and tore it open. A form of horror overcame me upon reading the words:

“I'm not dead. Meet me tonight at Guido's Pizzeria. Tell no one.”

There was no signature, but it was Johnny. It had to be. Who else I knew was dead?

Guido's Pizzeria was a two-hour drive. A chill ran through my spine as I wanted to keep driving and never make it there. Unfortunately, I did, and apparently, business was slow for the night because it was pitch black inside with no one in sight around, not even a worker. The door was unlocked, however, and it creaked as it was opened. I walked slowly around the restaurant, being careful not to trip on anything for it was pitch dark except for a little light from an outside street lamp. Suddenly, a force pulled me under a table. I tried to scream, but my voice was muffled by someone’s hand. Underneath the table cloth was truly dark where even streetlamps couldn’t penetrate the thick linen.

“Hey, are you the person?” a voice asked.

I was frozen. “Yes….”

There was a silence and a ruffling of paper. I almost jumped when the light turned on. “I’m glad you’re here”, the person said. It was Johnny. Dead or alive, I could see him now that the hanging incense lamp was working. He closed the curtains. “I can’t let anyone see.”

“What’s going on?” I asked, “I thought you were dead. I saw your body in the casket.”

“Actually, that was a decoy. Sorry for scaring you, but I’m in serious trouble.” He peeked out the window through the blind folds. “They’re looking for me.”

“Who are ‘they’?” I asked, afraid and curious.

“I better hide.” His voice was shaky.

“Who are ‘they’?” I repeated. The room became mysteriously bleak.

“Criminals,” he said, “I observed a robbery a few days back. I got away from the scene but not from the robbers’ eyes. They told me that if I told anyone, something would happen. I don’t want to go into those details right now, but, in fear, I pretended to die. I ran off from my home and left a decoy body.”

“Where did you get a decoy body?”

He stared at me, ignored, and continued. “Things went well, but I was reduced to being a robber myself. Where else can I find food?”

There was a silence.

“Well,” he asked more calm, “what should I do?”

The fright left me as I scanned the empty room. “How about a trip to Washington? Flight tickets are on me.”

-- Jeffrey Zheng
Suggestions are appreciated.

Musician
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RE: Not Really Dead - 3/2

Postby Musician » Mon May 17, 2010 6:24 pm

That was an amazing story, so rich with emotion, and loss. The English language is truly a wondrous thing when its used like that.

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RE: Not Really Dead - 3/2

Postby shooterboss » Thu May 20, 2010 3:24 pm

Johnny was a fine man: a little heavy on the lipstick, but good. I remember three years ago we used to travel the heights of the hills in Washington together. Every six miles we'd stop for a drink, and when we did, he would always say "never stop. Just keep hiking through life until you get to the top. Allow your spirit to catch up though," or something similar. A true sage, he was, but he always despised modernization. While the people used computers, he would write on the old, rusty typewriter. While people drove cars, he got around on an old bike. Nothing sounded better to his ears than classical music. He also had terrible vision that bit him hard when he couldn't see the truck coming at him one snowy night in December. A quick pain in the head, and it was all over.
"Honey, I'm home," I said while placing my black Stetson hat on the rack. It was a Saturday night, and the sky was pitch black.
"Why so early?" my wife asked from the kitchen.
"My boss had an emergency meeting again. Apparently someone got fired."
She came to the door where I was. "Excuse me, I'm going to the store. Is there anything you need for me to pick up?"
I hesitated. "No, not really."
"Oh, and I almost forgot." She pointed to the living room coffee table. "The mail came in, and one's for you."
The door closed, and I was alone in the house. The living room was my favorite room, and the television was my favorite appliance. I sat down on the couch, picked up the letter, and tore it open. A form of horror overcame me upon reading the words:
“I'm not dead. Meet me tonight at Guido's Pizzeria. Tell no one.”
There was no signature, but it was Johnny. It had to be. Who else I knew was dead?
Guido's Pizzeria was a two-hour drive. A chill ran through my spine as I wanted to keep driving and never make it there. Unfortunately, I did, and apparently, business was slow for the night because it was pitch black inside with no one in sight around, not even a worker. The door was unlocked, however, and it creaked as it was opened. I walked slowly around the restaurant, being careful not to trip on anything for it was pitch dark except for a little light from an outside street lamp. Suddenly, a force pulled me under a table. I tried to scream, but my voice was muffled by someone’s hand. Underneath the table cloth was truly dark where even streetlamps couldn’t penetrate the thick linen.
“Hey, are you the person?” a voice asked.
I was frozen. “Yes….”
There was a silence and a ruffling of paper. I almost jumped when the light turned on. “I’m glad you’re here”, the person said. It was Johnny. Dead or alive, I could see him now that the hanging incense lamp was working. He closed the curtains. “I can’t let anyone see.”
“What’s going on?” I asked, “I thought you were dead. I saw your body in the casket.”
“Actually, that was a decoy. Sorry for scaring you, but I’m in serious trouble.” He peeked out the window through the blind folds. “They’re looking for me.”
“Who are ‘they’?” I asked, afraid and curious.
“I better hide.” His voice was shaky.
“Who are ‘they’?” I repeated. The room became mysteriously bleak.
“Criminals,” he said, “I observed a robbery a few days back. I got away from the scene but not from the robbers’ eyes. They told me that if I told anyone, something would happen. I don’t want to go into those details right now, but, in fear, I pretended to die. I ran off from my home and left a decoy body.”
“Where did you get a decoy body?”
He stared at me, ignored, and continued. “Things went well, but I was reduced to being a robber myself. Where else can I find food?”
There was a silence.
“Well,” he asked more calm, “what should I do?”
The fright left me as I scanned the empty room. “How about a trip to Washington? Flight tickets are on me.”

Alessandra
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Re: Not Really Dead - 3/2

Postby Alessandra » Sun Jun 27, 2010 10:52 am

My heart pounded, staccato, as I slid into a booth at Guido's Pizzeria. I blinked a few times. Emily was dead, right? It was murder, right? You couldn't mis-murder someone when you stabbed them in the neck. There was little room for mistake when killing someone. I looked at my two friends who'd received similar messages. We were all seventeen, the popular, pretty girls in school. Emily and Irene had just had a fight when she died. Clair had been intimidated by Emily and hadn't been speaking to her. I was the only one who was really crying inside. Clair looked... well, looked relieved. Irene was staring into her lap, and I knew she felt terrible. We were all in our funeral dresses- Irene's tight gray one with the scooped neck and her slinky silver high heels, Clair's a simple yet elegant black one, and I in my dress that looked like a black tanktop and a gray skirt combined.

"Do you think Emily will actually show up?" Whispered Clair. "I mean, we just saw her in her coffin with that horrible gray thing around her neck."
Irene sat up straighter, her big dark brown eyes flashing. "Clair. She's dead. Of course she's not going to show up."
"Then maybe..." Clair trailed off. We all knew what she was thinking.
Was Emily's murderer coming for us?



A woman paused outside Guido's Pizzeria. Her dark eye makeup made her blue eyes stand out. She looked in the window. There was Clair, Irene, and, of course, Jackie. She smiled, looking at the pretty little girls that never had a problem. She pulled out Emily's cell phone and turned her back to the window. She dialed Jackie's number, glaring at the profile picture of the girl in sunglasses.



"Hello?" I said quietly, looking at Irene and Clair.

"I know you killed Emily," said the person on Emily's cellular, "And it's time you paid."

Crap.

Carolina
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RE: Not Really Dead - 3/2

Postby Carolina » Sun Jun 27, 2010 5:56 pm

The mailman is here. I can see the strained look on his face and figure it may be about time to relieve the stress I have undoubtedly placed on him by not checking the mail for a week. I push myself up off the couch and call out to him as I head outside. He looks up, clearly relieved.
"Hey there, Mr. Brennar. Thought maybe you'd gone out of town."
"Business trip. Kind of a last minute thing. Sorry I forgot about getting one of the neighbors to pick up the mail for me." This is, of course, a lie but he hands me today's mail with an understanding smile before he heads off. I sigh. It had taken two grocery store clerks, the cashier at my dry cleaner and the odd pizza delivery guy for me to realize that telling a stranger your best friend just died is not the best way to get service. You do get mumbled "sorry's" and dropped groceries, though...
"What is this?" I murmur out loud though there is no one within ear shot. I find a postcard of a nondescript dessert with no address. The scrawled handwriting is very familiar, though.

I'M NOT DEAD. MEET ME TONIGHT AT GUIDO'S PIZZERIA. TELL NO ONE.

"What the hell?" The words escape my mouth in a gasp. Tonight? When did this come? I hadn't checked the mail since Chris's funeral a week ago but this was clearly his writing. It occurs to me then the card had been at the front of the almost avalanche of mail so it must be recent. I realize I am still standing by the mailbox just staring at this postcard like its covered in pictures of naked women so I quickly hurry back inside.
The rest of the mail gets dropped on the table by the door as I turn the card around and around studying it from every angle. Finally I realize that I have already lost the only person who was like family to me, what else have I got to lose? I grab my jacket...

Guido's is the place where we'd hung since high school. Those crazy kids we would see now trying to impress the cheerleaders by seeing who could eat the most pizza without barfing had nothing on us. I was watching a couple of them now as I sat at mine and Chris's favorite table in the corner. I had grabbed a slice and drink for show but they were sitting untouched on the table in front of me. My eyes would keep darting as if they had a mind of their own to the door. Two hours. The melted mozzarella on my pizza resembled plastic. "I give up."
Nobody else even notices the jingle of the door opening as I turn to retrieve my jacket from the chair next to me but when I turn back he is sitting beside me.
Surely I was dreaming. The hood of his jacket is pulled so far forward it casts a shadow over his face, but I would recognize it from a mile away.
"Oh my god." The grin was as familiar as my own reflection.
"Hey dude. I'd ask for a bite but I'm pretty sure it no longer qualifies as safe for human consumption." I couldn't believe this guy who had come back from the dead was sitting here making those health inspector jokes that he knew pissed me off. On the other hand if there had been any lingering doubt it was actually him, that was gone.
"How...I don't understand. I saw you buried." He flashes the grin again.
"Man have I got a story for you."

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