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Dead on Arrival


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Travis Faulkner

***********TW: Suicide, Domestic Violence***********

September 24th, 2018
17:30 PM
New York City, New York

"I'm sorry, mom."

The whimper echoed against the porcelain and off white bathroom walls. Dim light illuminated the grimy bathroom despite the second bulb's lack of functionality. Soft sobs accompanied by the dripping of water into a full bathtub filled the silence. Dreary, impoverished scenery for a dreary, impoverished man.

Crimson streams dripped down the sides of the bathtub. Inside the murky,red water sat Travis in all his broken glory. Tears rolled down a beaten and bloodied face. The more his wrists released the less he began to feel.

Finally, it would all be over.

Drip, drip,drip.

All the hopelessness. All the mediocrity. All the failure. In his twenty five years of life, Travis made nothing of himself but a fool. This wasn't some spur of the moment action; it was a long time coming. For years Travis had wanted to end it all but, somehow, always found a reason to smile. Yet, everytime, the smile grew weaker and weaker. The list of reasons grew shorter and shorter.


Tonight, the pain of his father's knuckle against his skull drove home his motivation to stop it all. All he ever wanted to do was help. Make people happy. To finally feel as if he belonged. His father would never have it. Travis was the source of all his suffering so he had to be punished. For years, his father came up with unique ways to break the man while keeping him silent. Even out of the house, his father owned him. There was no escape. No escape, except...


Only a handful of people ever regarded Travis with love, and each one had passed away or moved on while he was left to rot. He didn't blame them. How could he? He was just some city kid who couldn't get his sh!t together. Or at least, he was.


Travis' body had become numb. The tears stopped and breathing had become shallow. Could one feel freezing cold yet numb? From outside the bathroom there was a banging on the door followed by a woman's voice. It didn't matter anymore. Nothing did. Darkness came and finally, it was over.


Darkness lingered for a while. Travis felt light, but also heavy. Energized, but completely exhausted. The living paradox moved through the darkness until a faint glimmer could be seen in the distance. Travis' eyes (if he even had them right now) stared at the white shimmering and, before he could even think about it, he was gravitating towards it. As he moved closer the soft murmur of voices could be heard. They were indistinct. Unnerving, even.

Voice got louder, Travis got closer. Their words remained a garbled, inhuman mess though they became violent. Travis wanted to run the other way, away from the light. He was scared. This was wrong, it was unnatural and still he moved closer and closer.

The light was before him with the murmurs now shouts in his ears. Ravenous shouts with no words, no meaning! He tried to raise his hands to muffle the noise but he had no hands!

Just when he thought he could take no more it all went quiet. Despite his desire for silence, it was only worse. The eeriness gave way to a sense of foreboding. The whispers were behind him now. Their eyes were all on him. From the light came a different voice. Human. Intelligible.

"You are worthy, Travis. It is time."

With a loud shriek something began to move in what felt like a herd behind him. The man's vision looked to the endless void only to be met by nothingness. A presence unknown to him was on the move and wanted him Not the light.


Without a second thought he jumped into the light expecting to be met by a blaze of Hellfire. He waited. And waited. And waited...wait...

Was that elevator music?

A single grey eye opened to scan his surroundings. An office. A desk. Papers. Blue walls. Lush rug. If this was Hell, they sure knew how to decorate.

"Open your eyes, Travis." The woman's voice was surprise enough to make both eyes open wide. At the desk was a motherly looking woman with a warm expression on her face. Plaid skirt, wool top and fancy looking glasses. Travis felt too poor to be in her presence.

His mouth opened to speak but a raspy exhale was released instead. "Don't speak. Your body is still adjusting to your revival. I know you are very confused. And I know you passed under unfortunate circumstances, but I'd like to welcome you."

She stood, both hands clasped infront of her. "Welcome to Heaven. You are worthy."
September 26, 2018 11:05 pm

Travis Faulkner

Eyebrows furrowed in confusion. Was this just the pre-death hallucination? It had to be. Heaven was a fake paradise created by religious institutions to manipulate he sheep in their steeple to do as they say. Despite his fathers rather anti-Christian life, he forced Travis to go to the service for appearances. It was great for publicity. Once or twice he read a few scriptures but typically couldn't make it far before tearing out a page to roll a joint later.

Take that, God, he would think as he huffed the paper away.

This? This was an office. Either paradise had fallen on hard times, or his mind decided to throw one more disappoint into the mix before the lights turned out for good.

"I know what you are thinking, 'Is this truly heaven?'" The man gave a slow, solemn nod while suspicious grey hues watched the woman closely.

The woman, who he found out was named Teresa from her nametag, pulled out a large file and slammed it down on the desk, making Travis jump a bit. With an apologetic smile she opened it up to a random page.

"Travis Austen Faulkner. Born October thirty-first of nineteen ninety two. Same night your grandfather passed from lung cancer. Right?"

Hazel eyes gazed up at the wide eyed man. Why did she have a file on him? And why did his fingers feel like they had pins and needles in them? What in Hell is going on.

Teresa continued on.

"Fast forward to first grade. You saw a girl's pigtails being pulled by two boys during recess and what do you do? You push one over and kicked the other in his little coin bag." An angelic laughter left the woman's red lips. "That scar on your chest was from a knife fight in high school. Some guys were pestering a female teacher, you stepped in and got stabbed. You have a heroic streak, don'tcha?"

Upon mention of his scar Travis reached up to rub just below his left collarbone where he had, in fact, been stabbed by a wanna-be thug outside of school which, in turn, got him expelled. Those were recorded in the schools' files on him. Anybody with the right connections could find that out. With skepticism still in his features, she continued on.

"Every night before you go to bed, despite being an avid atheist, you say a little prayer asking God if you can see your mother one more time."

If his jaw could hit the ground, it would. Never had he shared such a fact with anyone before. Not even his father cared to listen to his prayers despite standing within proximity to him. This had to be his mind playing tricks on him. This couldn't be real.

"Go on, pinch yourself. Close your eyes and say 'There's no place like home.' I think deep in your heart, you know what I say to be truth."

A few more pages were turned and a pen produced. A few taps to the tongue then placed on the page she began to write. "I just need to confirm a few statistics, just as a precaution. Sometimes bodies get mixed up and souls spliced. It's a messy business, really." Another musical laugh fluttered from her despite the rather terrifying subject matter.

"We got age, name, and date of birth confirmed. Height, one hundred eighty three centimeters?" He stared at her. "Six feet, darling."

Oh, he mouthed. Travis gave a nod.

"Marital Status: It's complicated with Rebecca Meunes?"

A roll of the eyes gave her the answer she desired.

"Sexual orientation-"

"Undecided." His words caused the pend to stop and eyes to focus on him.

"Well, you are regenerating at a lovely pace, Travis! You are quite the fighter." The pen and eyes returned to the the papers. "Weight, 79 kilograms? Eyes, grey? Natural hair, brown? "

As facts were spat out he gave nod after nod after nod. With all pleasantries out of the way his file was slammed close making him jump once again.

"Alright, let's get down to business. You were brought back for a reason. We need people like you. Individuals who, in spite of a life of misery, continued to bring light to others. We need you to continue bringing that light to the world." Theresa stood from her seat, directing Travis to do the same. the male did as he was instructed and began to follow the woman out of the office. Tired eyes looked all around at what seemed to be a plain old office building with plain old people doing plain old work.

It wasn't until they walked out of two large blue doors that a bright, blinding light caused him to shield his eyes. When his hand was removed they were in a familiar place. Were they in a Starbucks?


At a table in the middle of the cafe was a man in a white suit sipping from a dainty little mug while reading a newspaper. Theresa gestured to the table.

"Good luck. I'm sure he will love you," she whispered enthusiastically. A humorless smirk was flashed in her direction before his attention returned to the man. Slowly his feet carried him across the floor towards the table, his hands in fists at his sides. On the table sat a to-go cup labeled 'Mr. Faulkner.'

"Iced Double Shot White Chocolate Mocha with extra whipped cream. Truly, how did you not die of a heart attack?" The man's voice was a shock to Travis, as was his favorite beverage being recited. The elderly man looked form his paper to the young man, a dazzling white smile spreading across his visage. "Take a seat, Travis. We have much to talk about."

What had he gotten himself into? Where's the rewind button?
September 27, 2018 08:11 pm
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