Frank died. “WELCOME FRANK!” the banner above the crowd read. Frank stood at the entry way to the ballroom, confused. Everyone cheered. Frank slowly approached the crowd. There was a large screen behind him with a massive still frame of his corpse, wrinkling in the water. A man from the crowd approached him.
“Welcome! Tough ride you had but it’s over now.”
“Is this heaven?” Frank asked, hopeful.
“Oh dear, no. No, this is what is next.” He smiled.
“And who are you?”
“I suppose you might say, I am you. We all are.”
Frank looked at the man. He had a thick dark complexion that somehow complimented his cowering hair-line. He was not much younger than Frank, yet they certainly did not look alike. Frank looked around at the rest. They all stood silent and smiling. There were men, women and children. No two alike.
The Dark Man smiled, reading his mind. “We’ve all been through it. We are your past lives. We have been watching you your entire life! You are closer than family to us. You will understand soon. Watch.” He motioned to the massive screen and the image began to fade. A new one took its place. A new born baby curled up in the arms of its sweat-stained mother.
“It’s a boy!” someone yelled out of the crowd.
“Oh dear, look at the mother! She’s hideous!”
A few chuckles mixed with some remonstrative shushes.
“That is the new you, the new me, the new all of us.” Said The Dark Man. Frank stared up at the screen then scanned the crowd.
“Are my wife and son here?” Frank asked.
The Dark Man turned away from the screen. “I’m afraid we are all you’ve got. I’m truly sorry. But you will have plenty of time to get to know everyone. Babies are boring for the first few years so everyone will be wanting to get to know you. Come!”
“I know” The Dark Man sighed “I know. Come.” He took Frank by the hand. Frank allowed himself to be led into the crowd. Everyone embraced him with welcoming smiles and open arms.
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