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“Spanish theme music and the fact that he died.
Shiny thread cutting that we shouldn’t have tried.
Mothers in law that can’t cook their own toast.
These little things irritate Gerald the most.”
The melodic sound had surprised Gerald the first time, coming from the purple-robed skeleton. Now, the song just grated on Gerald’s final nerve.
“Would you stop that terrible song!” Gerald finally snapped. “Just stop singing and tell me where the hell I am. Where are we even going?”
“When the pizza’s cold
When the Reaper sings,
When driving my hearse.
I simply remember Gerald’s irritating things
And then he feels wooorrrsseee…”
“That’s not even how the song goes. . .” Gerald complained, the petulance in his voice think.
“You know what Gerald?” Death said, glancing over from the driver seat. “Fuck you. Do you even know how many years I’ve been doing this job for? Do you? And do you think I have ever had such a monumentally idiotic passenger?”
“How was I -”
“It was a rhetorical question Gerald. You aren’t supposed to answer it. Just. . . fuck you.”
The pair settled into an awkward silence as the hearse hurtled along the rainbow coloured road. Gerald tried to ignore the twisting feeling inside his stomach, as Death swerved back and forth across the road, seemingly for no reason apart for making him feel sick.
“Can you please just drive straight?” Gerald pleaded. “Where are we even? What is this place?”
A skeletal middle finger thrust before his face was the only answer he received.
Ten seconds is a long time to have the embodiment of Death flipping you off and Gerald did well to keep quiet. Eventually, Death lowered his finger from Gerald’s eyes and the car began to settle into a smoother drive. It seemed an eternity before either of them spoke again.
“This,” Death said, finally breaking the silence. “Is what we call the Wyrd Road. It’s a place that exists outside of all realities.”
He pointed outside of the car to the myriad of colours hurtling beneath them, wrapping around and joining together above the car to form a complete cylinder of colours. The colours were constantly shifting, moving around and into each other; changing hues as they collided. The road stretched out before them and seemed endless. The extra attention drawn to the kaleidoscope road made Gerald want to empty his stomach, only that his stomach was still on his living room floor with the rest of his corpse.
“The Wyrd Road exists between everything. It is a highway of sorts, between here and there; between your reality and the next; between heaven and hell – if you believe in that sort of thing. Time does not exist here, or at least; time here does not exist out there? The finer details start to get confusing really. Suffice to say that we, the other reapers and me, use the Road to travel. We might spend a few hours in here, but time out there stands still. And let me tell you, people who are freshly dead certainly appreciate a timely arrival. They always seem to be in a hurry to see where they’re going to end up. . . they’re usually disappointed.”
The combination of recent death, motion sickness and the implications of the Grim Reaper’s convenient exposition left Gerald silent for some time, finally snapping from his introspection by Death’s proclamation of their arrival.
“Huh? We’re here? Where’s here?” Gerald said.
Turning the hearse, the Grim Reaper drove through the wall of colours. The swirling patterns eventually faded from Gerald’s vision, to be replaced with the bustling of down-town lunch traffic.
“Charon’s Chalet,” Death said, as if that cleared up everything.
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