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Afterlife Delight

Short Story

Tony had grown old as a bachelor. He never married. He never had any kids. He just grew old. 

That's not to say his life was meaningless. He had his hobbies and his career.  He also loved women and had several "friends with benefits." He just never could replace "the one who got away."

April and Tony knew each other since the first grade, but they were worlds apart. Tony was into video games, comics, and movies. Also, a political junkie, he never missed his favorite talk radio show. April was the popular girl. Despite being pretty and athletic, she was a habitual reader and fluent in three languages by the time she was in high school. She was perfect in every way. Tony knew he would never have a chance with her.

Graduation came and went, as it does, and Tony never told April how he felt about her. She was his every dream, his every thought. Tony believed no woman on the planet could ever be as wonderful as April.

The years went by, and Tony moved into his first apartment alone. He got a good job and celebrated alone. His friends all married, and had kids. Tony just aged.

Tony retired in his sixties, but could have retired much earlier, due to his devotion to his career and financial health. He learned to use all the latest dating apps and maintained a sex life that many men would envy. But his life could never be fulfilled without April.

Finally one day, Tony received a phone call from his niece Allurah. She had heard of April's passing and remembered the stories her uncle Tony had told her and thought he might want to attend the funeral. She offered to drive him there and buy him dinner after.

Tony thanked his niece for the information, but said he would be unable to attend. He ended the call on his phone and walked into the living room where he sat down on the couch. As though his life were being maintained through will alone, he gave up and died.

Tony woke up in a green field, in someplace he had never been. He looked at his hands, and they looked young. Then he noticed other people around him. Some were family. Some were old friends. They were all young.

He noticed also, that while they were young, they also appeared to be transparent. He could see through each of them like holograms. 

"Where am I?" Tony shouted.

"You are the Herd of Souls," said a familiar voice.

Tony looked in the direction of the voice and there he saw April, every bit as beautiful as she was in their senior year of high school.

"How is this possible?" asked Tony.

"You died, dumbass!" said one ghostly stranger, who passed by him.

April moved closer to Tony.

"This is the Afterlife," said April, "I was shocked when I arrived a few days ago, but you adapt and accept your fate quickly."

"My fate?" Tony replied.

"We are all here waiting for our processing," said April. "we are going to become food."

"Food?" Tony gasped, "Food for what?"

"I don't know." Said April. "Food for the gods, I think. All I know is that our souls are grown on earth and when we die, they're harvested and added to the Herd of Souls until we are needed. Then we are processed into ambrosia and placed in a tortilla with beans and cheese to be eaten by someone. That's the rumor anyway."

"Terrific," said Tony. "Everything on Earth, from religion, to culture, to war is meaningless because we all end up as ingredients in a celestial burrito."

"Well, they don't call it that, Tony." April laughed. "They call it, 'Afterlife Delight'".

"April, I never told you I love you," Tony said, "I've always loved you. I could never commit to anyone else because I only loved you."

"I know," said April, "I was never into you, but hey! We're here now. Want to make out?"

"I can't," said Tony, placing his ghostly hands on his non tangible mouth. "My lips are on Earth."

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