It was midnight by the time Frank Thompson decided to light a cigarette and watch whatever late night TV shows popped on before he went to bed. With his newly lit tobacco in hand, he gently blew out the smoke with exhaustion in response to his long day at work. With his other free hand, Frank grabbed the remote that was wedged into his old couch cushions and mashed his thumb on the power button.
He stared with glazed eyes at the screen that sat on a cheap end table placed a couple feet in front of him. His small studio apartment was lit with flickering bright lights that shot out through Frank’s TV further weakening the strength to hold his eyes open.
And with in a moment Frank awoke to a room full of fire. Sometime between Jimmy Kimmel and the crazed inferno that was surrounding the room, Frank had unknowing dropped his lit cigarette on the floor next to the morning’s newspaper. At this moment Frank realized that he was trapped on the couch amongst the flames.
He was definitely panicked, especially as he felt the smoke of the fire burn in his lungs. Coughing and gasping for air, Frank yelled for help.
“Help!” he screamed as he gasped for dear life.
Frank was without his cell phone, and he felt himself slowly asphyxiating from the huge amounts of thick black smoke. No longer coughing, Frank fell over as he wrapped his hands around his neck as he struggled for air. And before the fire even began to creep near him, he passed out chocking on the flames smoke.
Ten minutes or so passed before Frank was rescued by the firemen who burst through the doors. One fireman dragged Frank out from the burning studio apartment and laid him down on the damp grass. The fireman ripped off his mask and began performing CPR on Frank’s limp body.
“Come on, breathe! You can do it!” Another fireman kneeling behind the fireman performing CPR yelled to Frank.
Finally after a few minutes or so, the ambulance came. The paramedics came running out to the front lawn in front of the burning one room apartment that was being put out by the other firemen. The raced with the gurney and equipment and quickly lifted him up and into the ambulance. Speeding towards the hospital, the paramedics in the back assisting Frank started bagging him with air.
When they arrived at the hospital, Frank was rushed into the ER on the rolling gurney still unconscious and not breathing. The respiratory therapist at the head of the bed immediately began intubation while the ER nurses helped perform CPR
Frank didn’t respond to any of it, and fifteen minutes after he was rolled into the room, the ER doctor decided to call in the time of death.
“1:13 am.” The doctor read off of the clock.
One of the nurses wrote it down while the respiratory therapist removed the intubation tube. One of the other nurses covered the body with a sheet while the process of contacting the family began.
Frank’s body was then left alone in the room. And like it was all a dream, Frank sat up and began getting out of bed. Confused at the fact that he had somehow made it out of the fire and into a hospital and unaware that he was now pronounced dead, Frank began to walk towards the opening in the curtain. He was stopped immediately by a girl no older than what it looked to be sixteen.
She had long black hair that contrasted greatly against her pale white skin. She was dressed like a Goth with her nails painted black, her black pea coat layered against her black shirt.
“I need to show you something.” She said still blocking Frank’s exit.
“Show me what?”
The girl pointed to the gurney in the ER room. There sitting as it was all this time before was Frank’s body covered with the sheet that the ER nurse had placed over him.
“What is that?” Frank asked looking at the lump in the bed.
“If I’m not mistaken, that’s your body Frank.”
Frank walked slowly over to the bed, just as one of the hospital workers came into move his body to the morgue. He pulled back the sheet and unzipped the body bag. Frank still standing next to the hospital bed looked onto his lifeless body in shock as the morgue worker began shifting Frank’s body into the body bag. The worker zipped the bag and began rolling Frank’s body out of the ER room.
“What the hell is going on?” Frank asked the girl now standing at Frank’s side next to the empty bed.
“Well, you’re dead, and I get to cross you over.” The girl responded with an eerie smile.
“You’re going to cross me over where?”
“You idiot, I’m crossing you over to the other side. You know, to the afterlife. I’m the Angel of Death.”