|The Outlands of Azure
Author: Bazooka Joy PM
After dying in a tragic accident, Marquisa is sent to a place between heaven and earth where the people there take care of any unresolved issues they left behind.Rated: Fiction T - English - Drama - Chapters: 2 - Words: 2,921 - Reviews: 10 - Favs: 1 - Follows: 3 - Updated: 11-04-07 - Published: 11-02-07 - id: 2433512
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Disclaimer: This plot is borrowed from The Great Blue Yonder by Alex Shearer. All of the characters are my own.
I think I'm alone until I hear a couple of footsteps behind me. I whirl around to find a young girl carrying a baby, an elderly man in a wheelchair, and a woman who looks about a couple of years older than me. The women look almost as confused as I feel. But the man wheels past me, smiling as his chair soundlessly makes its way down the long, seemignly endless tunnel. I'm afraid to speak. Exactly where am I? Am I even dead? It doesn't seem likely. The old man begins to whistle cheerfully. It almost eerily echoes off the thick stone walls. No, I can't be dead. I understand he's old and all but who can be this cheerful when your life ended merely seconds ago? It can't be real. Not when a girl who looks about my age is carrying an infant, making the dreaded walk into the oblivion alongside me. The child isn't even crying. I look at the other woman. She's dressed in a navy skirt and white shirt, like a flight attendant. She smirks at me and shrugs. She and the girl exchange a knowing glance. Right.
Behind them, a horde of people seem to pop out of nowhere, kind of the way I appeared. I notice a couple of them look very confused. Some even angry, others appear very calm. As if they expect this to happen, right on schedule. A balding man even glances at his watch, impatiently. What the hell? I think. I want to ask someone what is going on but other than the flight attendant, the geezer in the wheelchair, and the girl, nobody pays any attention to me. So I continue walking, not knowing what lies ahead.
The farther the walk, the more my mind starts to get the best of me. Maybe, I'm dreaming. Maybe I didn't get into that cab and this is only my subconscious reacting to it. I remember yelling at my parents, hopping into the strange car, and directing the man to take me out of Minneapolis and to St. Paul. The details don't seem very important at the moment. When reason starts to creep back into my mind after endless walking, the group comes to a stop. I want to ask what's the hold up but I then notice before I even finish my thoughts. We are now standing in a line. The whistling old man is a couple of people ahead of me. He turns back and smiles once more, then winks. I shudder. Disgusting. Anyway. What I then see makes my jaw drop halfway down to my knees. The line extends several hundred feet in front of me. No, even farther than that. I am so far back that I can't even see where the queue begins. It's just dozens, almost hundreds of people standing one after the other like at the movies waiting for tickets to an opening show. A traffic jam of people. To be honest, it's overwhelming. Even more so because I don't even know where the hell I am.
I notice a small group of people not too far away. A couple with three young teenagers standing together, all holding hands. A family. Their heads are bent, as if in some kind of prayer. I watch them until they look up again, making the sign of the cross. Tears fill my eyes as I feel a sudden yearning to see my parents. Angry with them or not, I find myself in a foreign place, alone, not knowing what to do. I can't help but hope that someone notices my tears and comforts me. But no. I sniff very loud. The man in front of me glares over his shoulder and grunts. Okay. Fine. It seems like nobody cares about me lately. It's mainly that feeling that pushed me into this situation in the first place. If my parents weren't such jerks to me then maybe I wouldn't have gotten into a heated argument with them. If my sister didn't treat me like I'm some sort of parasite, then most likely I would't have exchanged those harsh words with her that I know I'm going to regret. I just can't think right now. I want to rewind and redo the last few days. To put it plainly, I'm scared.
Seems like several hours go by when I notice that the line is moving. Not just that but I can see where it begins. There's a huge oak desk several yards away with a man sitting behind it in a high swivel chair. He's surrounded by mountains and mountains of paperwork. Paperwork. What, I have to sign a contract before I step into the light or what? I can't help but laugh. This is ridiculous. I'm still laughing to myself when I reach the man at the desk. He's some middle aged man going gray with coke bottle eyeglasses covering his weathered face. He stares up at me with bored eyes.
"Name," he says.
I blink. This some kind of joke? I look up at the heavens, only to find myself staring at the stone wall. God?
"Name," the man repeats. He has a deep booming voice, reminding me of my grandfather. I wrap my arms around myself. Thinking of him and how much I suddenly miss him makes my stomach turn.
The man in front of me removes his thick glasses and sighs. "Kid, I know you have all day. Hell, you have forever. But I don't. What is your name?"
"Marquisa," I tell him. My voice sounds odd to me. It doesn't sound like me at all. My voice has always been low and raspy. But now it's stronger, almost melodic.
The man raises his eyebrows. "Marquisa who?" A flush makes its way across his face and I realize that I'm annoying him.
"Markie," he spits out.
I give him a severe look. Markie is the name I'm affectionately called by my friends and family. No one else. The nerve this man has to mock me like this. As if I'm not upset enough. He highlights something on the sheet in front of him then glares at me some more. The deep baritone goes up a notch.
"Marquisa Scicolone, what have you done? You're not due here for another sixty-five years!"
He's angry. What in the world? He begins to shake his head. "I don't believe this," he mutters, more to himself than me. "The young these days. Always thinking they're invincible. Behaving on impulse, never once stopping to think about the consequences." He sets his glasses back on his face and squints up at me. "You all disgust me."
He doesn't reply, just snarls some more. I try to explain. "But I didn't do anything wrong." "But I didn't do anything wrong," he mimicks. This is unbelievable.
"I was in a cab! He was driving over a bridge and it collapsed," I sputter.
That stopped him. He removes his spectacles and raises his bushy gray eyebrows. His mouth falls open and he gazes at me almost in wonderment. I don't know what to say. It's all the explanation I can give him. I wasn't playing with fire, I didn't kill myself like the boy down the street did a couple years ago. It's seriously not my fault that my life ended. I'm not another stupid teenager. I stick my botton lip out. The man sighs in resignation and writes some more. As he sets the sheet aside in another pile, I notice the writing.
MARQUISA JANE SCICOLONE
JANUARY 1, 1991 - AUGUST 1, 2007