Death City
Craig Snyder

(A short story written by June Star on a yellow legal pad, late one night when she could not sleep, because it was too hot and muggy out, and there was no wind at all.)

There are many dimensions we cannot see, and in one of those dimensions there is a place called Death City. It is a place of steel towers that pierce the sky like giant needles. People ride around in air cars painted all the colors of the rainbow. Who lives in Death City? No one lives there, duh. All the people are dead, and waiting. They are pretty cheerful for the most part, but sometimes they remember the good stuff from when they were alive and get terribly sad.

When this happens they jump into their air cars and go tearing off, trying to escape from those memories, but they can't. A lot of times they end up smashing into the steel towers, but that doesn't matter. No one can die in Death City, because they are already dead.

Maybe you think they are ghosts but they're not. They are special cases because of the Love Rays. This is very important to understand! Always when people die, the people that love them shoot out these Love Rays at them, even though they don't know they're doing it. Love Rays are invisible, of course. So anyway, sometimes (only sometimes, not always) if you are a person who's had a tremendous amount of Love Rays shot at you, then you go to Death City and wait. You are waiting for just the right baby to be born, back on Earth. You might have to wait for like a million years, or whatever, but then when that baby is born your soul gets, like, automatically ejected from Death City and plugged right into that baby, so you're born again.

Why is this, you might ask? Some people are too special to stay dead. They have to come back, because that is the way the universe works, because God says so. Gandhi has already been born again, twice. The first time he got hit by a car when he was only six years old. Boy, he sure was mad when he had to go back to Death City. But there was nothing anyone could do about it. He's all right now. He's back on Earth again, in Sioux City. He loves it there.

So you see how important it is to love all the people who are close to you. Try to imagine all the invisible Love Rays shooting out of your fingertips into those people. Keep shooting them like crazy all the time, so they can come back again. This is the lesson of life, to spend all your time loving the people you love as hard as you can, because it's like insurance.

Craig Snyder edits Rumble. He has stories in Juked, elimae and others.

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Photo detail on main page courtesy of Gisela Giardino.

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