The beach was empty. There was no wind. The sky, a blank faded canvass of nothing. The water, a dark slow river masked in fog.
Frank looked down at his open wrists. They look like photo-food; lifeless. No blood flowed. He looked further down the beach. A long dark strip of wood stuck out from the shore. He began towards it.
It didn’t take long. He walked down the dock to the end. A pale man stood. The man’s face was blank of features save one eye, slightly off center.
“Where am I?”
The man didn’t move. Frank frowned. The man had no ears, no mouth.
“Why am I talking to a man with no ears and no mouth?” Frank asked.
Frank waited. He sighed.
“Good talk,” he said, turning around. He made his way back to the beach. He continued along. He walked for some time before finding another soul. A large man in jeans and a T-shirt sat by the shore humming to himself.
The man turned. He smiled.
“Howdy. Who are you?”
“I’m Frank. Who are you?”
“Charlie. Care for some sand? It’s all I got to offer.” Charlie said. He held up a fist full of sand and let it slide between his fingers. He chuckled.
“Where are we?” Frank asked.
Charlie shrugged. “Not a clue.”
“Who is that guy on the dock over there?”
Charlie shrugged again. Frank went closer. He sat in the sand a few feet from Charlie.
“Are we dead.”
Charlie looked out over the water.
“I suppose so.” He said.
Frank looked passed Charlie, down the beach.
“Where is everyone?”
“Oh, no one sticks around long.”
Frank looked around for something he might have missed.
“Where do they go?”
Charlie waved his hand toward the water.
“They go into the water.”
“Only place to go.”
“Where does it lead?”
“Everyone goes that way?” Frank asked.
“Everyone I’ve seen.” Charlie said, nodding.
“Why haven’t you?”
Charlie laughed. “I’m dead. What’s the rush? Occasionally I go to that dock and just talk at the guy who looks like a pecker.”
Frank laughed. “He does, doesn’t he?”
Charlie smiled and nodded.
“But, don’t you have anyone to look for, to find?” Frank asked.
Charlie shrugged. “Not really, I’m supposing you do?”
“My son, he was killed. And, my wife, well…” Frank held out his wrists.
There was a silence. Charlie broke it. “I suppose that means you’ll be heading off?”
“Any chance you’d stay and chat with me a bit before you go?”
Frank thought about it for a minute. “Okay,” he decided.
“Great. It’s been a while since I’ve had someone worth talking to. Hey! Do you want to see what happens if you try to push pecker-head off that dock?”
Frank smiled. “Sure.” He stood up. He held out his hand to Charlie. Charlie took it. They headed off toward the dock.
**For more Frank, click “series” on the menu and go to “What Happened When Frank Died”***