Thursday, August 30, 2018

8/30/18

Final Journey
By C.E. Gee


The door was closed; the sounds of the busy hospital were blocked out. Soft sobbing of Pappy’s wife and occasional beeping from equipment monitoring Pappy’s vital-signs were the only sounds in the room.

Pappy’s wife was in one corner, by the window. Other visitors were gathered together, surrounding Pappy’s deathbed.

In addition to Pappy’s adult son and daughter, there were in-laws, Pappy’s brother, grandchildren, nieces, nephews, grandnieces and grandnephews, a couple of cousins, old friends.

In his far distant youth, Pappy was once a trooper in the Army’s First Infantry Division. Because of his service, Pappy became interested in military history. Pappy smiled as he remembered a classic quotation from a World War II general.

Pappy now knew it was time to repeat the quote. As if delivering a blessing, Pappy placed one trembling hand upon the head of a small child standing bedside. In a deep, smooth voice Pappy declared, “I shall return.”

Pappy laughed. He had achieved his lifelong dream; Pappy got the last laugh. Pappy died.

***

The darkness was deep, infinite. Far off, a slight speck of light beckoned. Pappy moved toward the light, then remembered.

When still among those not yet dead, Pappy, had formulated many unusual, unique theories.

One theory was that after death, embracing the light eliminated the sense of self, wiped clean all impressions experienced in previous incarnations. Thus, when a soul was reborn it would know nothing of the material world.

Pappy turned away from the light, returned to Earth. Pappy’s spirit sought out and found a human egg at the moment of fertilization. Before any other soul had a chance at it, Pappy occupied the fertilized egg. Pappy had nine months to transfer his knowledge to the fetus as its mind developed.

Shortly after rebirth, Pappy, tightly swaddled in a receiving blanket, found himself in his new mother’s arms. Father stood nearby. Pappy cleared his throat, licked his lips. Pappy had spent much of his previous incarnation as a telecommunications technician. It was time to bring his experiences as such into play.

In a high, squeaky voice, Pappy said, “Audio check. Testing, one, two, three, four, five; five, four, three, two, one. Testing, testing, testing.”

Pappy gazed up at his mother as his father exclaimed, “What the . . . ?!”

Pappy then declared, “I have returned.”

Pappy laughed. Pappy got his first laugh of a new age. Humanity would never be the same. Pappy was reborn. He had achieved eternal life.


- - -
C.E. Gee (aka Chuck) misspent his youth at backwater locales within Oregon and Alaska.
Chuck later answered many callings: logger, meat packer, Vietnam war draftee infantryman, telecom technician, volunteer fireman/EMT, light show roady, farmer, businessperson.
Chuck now writes SF stories, maintains a blog

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