I enjoyed doing this quick fun fiction, which lines up with several spirit reports.
Auntie’s Final Escape
by Diane Stallings
“We love you,” they said. “Just let go, Auntie. It’s okay.”
“Uhg,” I replied, my vocal cords now defunct.
Didn’t they know that I knew it was okay?
Didn’t they see I wanted to let go?
Didn’t they surmise that it was not so simple?
“Mom is waiting for you in heaven. You’ll see her any minute.”
But all that came out of my throat was, “uhg.” Fifty years of teaching English and this was all I could produce?
“Let yourself float away.”
Easy for you to say.
I was ready; I was willing; I was stuck.
Again and again I tried to sleep, go unconscious, but part of me stayed awake to see what would happen.
It’s like the night before a fabulous trip. You must get to the airport before dawn, and you don’t want to accidentally sleep in. So you can’t sleep at all. Your mind stays alert, watching.
This is the ultimate flight. Don’t miss it!
I was drained, wrung-out.
Sometimes I slept a minute.
I’d awaken with a bit more vigor, saying, Let’s die now.
“Shouldn’t we feed her something?” asked the older sister.
“I guess?” the younger replied.
Now that’s a logical fallacy.
I can’t leave my body if you shake up that smelly canned protein-vitamin drink, pop the top and stick the straw in my mouth.
The straw sat on my lips.
I blinked twice, our code for “no,” but were they paying attention?
“Hey, I know!” said the younger one. “Put your finger on top of the straw and carry a little into her mouth.”
I rolled my eyes and tightened my lips. Those were the only muscles I still had. Eyes and lips.
“Oh, Auntie, we’re only trying to help.”
Then get logical. Neither one of you is trained in hospice. Your mom went quickly, without any supervision from you. You haven’t watched anybody die. You don’t know how to do this.
“Don’t be cross with us, Auntie.”
Was I frowning? Did I have eyebrow muscles available?
“You gotta relax.”
What do you think I’m trying to do?
“What about some music? Let’s get her some old-time songs?”
“Yeah, from her era!”
I blinked thrice, my code for “yes.” This time they saw it.
They left for the day, hallelujah.
My caretakers turned me to my other side.
That night again I tried to die and couldn’t.
I was stuck in slow quicksand that refused to swallow me.
Dammit, please, swallow me! Let’s go!
Years ago through a medium, my sister told me her death felt like she dissolved into champagne bubbles. She sailed away on the delicious bubbles. It was a ride so sweet, she wanted to stay on it longer.
That sounded like fun.
But, dissolving? Oy.
Must I dissipate into billions of molecules? How could I be “me” if I dissolved?
Yet my sister had re-formed into a person after that.
Anyhow she sounded like herself. She claimed that she worked and played on the other side. Like a person.
So? Maybe I could trust that?
I could imagine becoming bubbles, for the ride.
Fizz seemed worse.
Who wants to be fizz?
The next morning I finally fell asleep.
But here they came again, the good-intentions girls, paving my road to Hades.
They brought a fist-sized drum that turned out to be a music speaker.
Mysteriously, wirelessly, it connected to their smart-phone.
The first song was Tiny Bubbles.
My eyes shot wide open.
“She likes it!”
“Tiny Bubbles, Auntie!”
Yes, those champagne bubbles.
Was this a message from my sis?
Could I latch onto those bubbles?
The soothing Hawaiian urged me to feel fine.
I groped for those bubbles.
Something started to feel slippery, like I could slip down or slip up into the air.
I was I finally ready to fly?
My younger niece squeezed my hand in time to the music. Bad idea.
Her touch trapped me in my body.
She closed her eyes and swayed to the music.
I couldn’t blink at her, so I blinked at her sister.
But she was busy messing with my blanket, saying, “We get to be here all day, Auntie. This could be your special day.”
Everything went downhill from there.
They played a dozen songs from my generation, all too perky to put me to sleep.
We kept rolling back to Tiny Bubbles, where my sister nagged me.
I could practically see her do the cha-cha, riding her freaking bubbles.
Weaker and weaker, I couldn’t die because the girls kept stroking my hands and feet, pulling me back into my body.
My jaw clenched at the next Tiny Bubbles.
“You’ve played that fourteen times,” said the older one.
“She likes it.”
“I’m sick of it. Let’s take a lunch break. Is that okay, Auntie?”
Go! Go already! My eyelids refused to open.
My room went blessedly quiet.
The noisy caretakers flipped me again.
Then I settled into my silence.
I figured I had an hour to catch my flight, if only I could.
Here I go . . .
Really now . . .
A subtle buzz crept through my body.
Gradually I ballooned out a few inches larger than my body.
Let’s go now…
Oh, please, not the fizz.
I don’t want to feel fizzy.
I want the bubbles?
Was I too weak to make my move?
Was it not even “my move” to make?
Must I wait for the busy Almighty to move me?
Was I on the short list or the long list for death this day or week or month or year? Please quit dragging this out.
Beyond exhausted, I lay in a miasma of fizz.
The girls returned and started that stupid music again.
The younger one, obviously refreshed from lunch, sang out those jolly Tiny Bubbles.
I desperately wanted to choke her.
But I was a limp rag.
One good thing. Anger gave me energy.
Anger, fire, energy seeped into my cells and tasted delicious.
Anger raised my strength and determination.
I refused to stay in this bed one moment longer.
That inane song was driving me out.
So be it!
I had not the physical strength to grit my teeth anymore, but the anger directed itself beautifully, burned into every cell.
I began to taste the pressure of release, like an astronaut’s g-force liftoff.
I felt a pop in one of my toes. This microscopic explosive spark became a teeny bubble, an orb.
Pop, pop, dozens of pops in all my toes.
Then up into my feet, my calves, my thighs.
Pop, pop, pop, all over my hips and torso.
Millions upon millions of tiny golden orbs.
Yes! The champagne was upon me!
I rose smoothly out of my body, bubbling up, laughing out loud into the spirit realm.
I sailed within a magic cloud of golden orbs.
We could cross oceans!
We could cross worlds, and we did, my bubbles and me.
My sister couldn’t quit grinning.
(Thanks to PxHere for this image.)