A bug looked down at him. No–not a bug, bigger, with lips; sickly fat ones.
“Frank? Are you with us Frank?”
Frank focused on the bug, the room, his own skin. He looked down at his own naked body.
The Bug sighed, as much as a bug can sigh.
“Death number forty-two is a success. Frank, what do you remember?”
Frank tried to sit up. But, he couldn’t. He noticed thick white straps holding down his arms and legs.
“What is going on here!”
The Bug stepped back, looking hurt.
“Frank? It’s me.” As a sign of good faith the bug unstrapped Frank and stepped back. If bugs could manage a hurt frown, this one sure could.
“What, what do you mean it’s you?” Frank stared the bug up and down. It’s body was mostly human.
“We–we’ve been working together for years.”
Frank almost laughed but instead felt very confused. “I–I died?”
“Well, yeah Frank, a few dozen times now. We–oh.” The Bug looked down at the electronic chart in its hands. “I forgot to bring back your memories from after the incident. Oh–you must be confused, hah, sorry Frank, just a moment.”
The Bug started tapping away at the chart in its hands, but Frank lunged forward and snatched the chart away.
But Frank was backing away, looking at the chart. There were different files.
Frank looked back at The Bug. “Wha–what is this?”
“Frank,” The Bug said, holding up its claws, “Frank we work together. Try to remember, your name is Frank, you’re a parapscientologist, we study afterlives Frank. Ten years ago you committed suicide, I was investigating that afterlife at the time and I agreed to help you find your real wife and son if you would subject yourself to different afterlives and report on them to me and–”
“My family! Did you find my family?”
The Bug sighed, scuttling slowly toward Frank. “Of course Frank, many times. You just–you’ll remember if you just let me–”
The Bug lunged, faster than Frank could move. Frank tried punching and kicking but The Bug had him pinned.
“Get off me you cockroach!”
But the Bug didn’t budge. With one arm, he clicked something on the electronic clipboard. A flash jumped from it, into Frank.
Franks topped punching, he focused his eyes on The Bug.
“What the hell Jak–get off me.”
Jak stepped back. Frank stood and stretched.
“What was all that about?”
Jak sighed, “my fault. When I brought you back I didn’t update your memories and you thought you’d just died again.”
Frank took a deep breath. “Damn, that must have been rough on him, huh?” he said, rubbing his own scarred wrists.
“What?” Frank asked.
Jak rubbed his head-pincers together.
“What?” Frank pressed.
“You called me a cockroach,” Jak mumbled.
Frank sighed, “sorry Jak.” He walked over and put a hand on Jak’s shoulder, then gave him a big hug.
“Home on, let’s go have something to eat, huh?”
Jak nodded, placing the clipboard down on the bed.
**Click HERE for more What Happened When Frank Died.
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