I See Dead
Meetings were over, and Dan
had a day in San Francisco before his flight home
to England. He strolled across the lawns of the
Presidio and, glancing back at the Golden Gate
Bridge, accidentally collided with a fellow
sorry, apologised Dan, turning to face a
small man in his early fifties. Uncle Alex!
he said in surprise.
I think youre
mistaking me for someone else, the man
Of course I am,
Dan realised, composing himself. Its
just that youre the spitting image of my
Uncle. You cant be him - he died
three year ago. Dan moved to walk on.
Sorry to have bothered you.
No problem Danboy,
the man said - then froze.
There was a long silence
before Dan spoke again: Alex was the only
person who ever called me Danboy
Alex pondered, then
gestured towards a nearby bench.
So, youre not
dead? said Dan as they sat down.
I am dead.
Your Uncle Eric murdered me after I had that
affair with his wife. You were at my funeral -
and his trial. Ten years was bloody letting him
off, I say with remission, hell be
out in another two! They ought to consult the
Alex addressed Dans
bewildered silence: When we die, we dont
go to Heaven or Hell, he explained. We
move to other locations on Earth, far enough away
from friends and relatives that encounters like
this shouldnt occur. The problem with
modern travel is that its hard to find a
place where you can guarantee that no one you
know will turn up. San Francisco was risky, but I
always had a hankering to live in California.
Can you go where you
More or less. It has
to be somewhere we can blend in unobtrusively.
California attracts a lot of famous deceased
because everyone assumes they are just weirdo
lookalikes. Did you see that guy doing Elvis
impressions at Fishermans Wharf?
Yes. He was good.
Hes better than
good he is Elvis. Lives in the flat
next to mine with Princess Di Marilyn
Monroe was pissed off about that, I can tell you.
Dan was astounded. Do
you mean that many people I see every day are
Increasing numbers, Im
afraid. Alex sighed. In some
fashionable places, like Brighton on Englands
South Coast, nearly all the population have
passed over. Its getting difficult to
keep it a secret.
What happens when the
living find out?
Nothing, if they keep
their mouths shut. If they start to exhibit
deadist behaviour then we have to bring them over.
Bring them over?
Most serial killers
are dead, Alex continued. They target
the more radical members of the Anti Deceased
Movement. He stood up. Ive said
too much already. Itll all be explained in
your freshers' week when you join us. Come and
see me after that.
Dan, still stunned, managed
a wave as Alex disappeared into the mist, rolling
off the Bay.