Dead for Good
“Get your butt off my desk,” a voice ordered sharply as he walked through the door into the dimly lit office.
“Sorry Sir,” Eric replied, giving a cheeky smile but immediately jumping off.
“I have a mission for you, it’s worth eight hundred credits,” Sir announced. An approving smile spread across Eric’s face.
“You are to watch a young woman tonight. You will have to transport fast, Toracs are after her.”
“Toracs, why the hell are Toracs after her?” he asked shocked.
“We believe she’s the last known descendent of the Martorgorn. They want to use her to….”
“Open the slip-stream,” Eric finished, thoughtfully.
“Yes. You know what night it is?”
“Halloween,” Eric replied grimly. “The one night the gate is open and the Toracs can get through.”
“You are the only one who can stop them.” Eric nodded, he needed the credits badly.
Jessie’s head spun as she hurried on wobbly legs down the back alley. She knew she shouldn’t have come this way, but it was late and she had drunk too much, drowning the sorrows of her lonely single life at her mate’s Halloween party. An icy shiver suddenly flooded her body, her heart beating fearfully, she glanced over her shoulder her eyes locking onto a huge black shadow darting towards her. She screamed raising her hands defensively. A silhouette of a man jumped between them, and Jessie’s very soul trembled.
She woke up in bed still wearing her witch’s outfit, not entirely sure how she had got back, her mind vaguely remembering some man helping her. Glancing at the clock, she yawned, it was four in the morning. Her throat dry from too much alcohol she went downstairs and switched the kettle on. Her heart stopped, he was behind her she could feel him. Spotting a knife poking out of the washing up bowl and panic taking hold, she grabbed it. Spinning around she screamed.
“Get out of my house!” The man nearly fell over with shock almost as if he thought she couldn’t see him. Her eyes widening with fear she lifted the knife pointing with it, but she was not looking at the man, it was what was behind him. A huge, two armed, drool snarling creature came out of the shadows, lashing out the creature sent the man flying backwards and he fell hard against Jessie.
Launching himself to his feet and snatching the knife from her hand he swiped the creature through its belly. Grabbing its throat, he said something and in an explosion magical light it was gone.
He stood leaning against her fridge-freezer breathing heavy, glancing over to her he caught her eyes; Jessie’s heart shook, he was gorgeous.
“Who are you, what was that ‘thing’?” Strangely she wasn’t afraid of him.
“A Torac,” he replied. His dark eyes settling on her, he felt his heart begin beating for the first time in years. He smiled.
“What are you doing in my house,” she whispered. “Was it you in the alley?” He nodded. They both jumped at the hammering on the kitchen window. It was her neighbour, Richard.
“I’ll get rid of him.” She tried the door. “I can’t open it, it’s stuck.” Richard peered through the kitchen window, looking down to the floor horror flooded his face, and he was gone.
“Why didn’t he see you?” she whispered fearfully. He walked towards her.
“Because I am dead,” he replied. Her eyes wandered all over him.
“You’re a dead?” Jessie managed.
“Well, temporarily anyway,” he said. “I’ve been sent from between worlds to protect you from the Toracs.”
“What that ‘thing’?” she asked, confused. How could he be dead? He nodded.
“I don’t understand how you can see me. It’s impossible for a human,” he informed her, puzzled. She held her hand to her head feeling dizzy.
“Are you okay?” he asked, concerned. She shook her head just as her legs gave way. Catching her he carried her into the lounge, and sat down with her. She leaned against him, feeling him, hearing him breathe. How could he be dead?
“But I can hear your heartbeat,” she whispered. He smiled.
“Perhaps it’s because it’s Halloween?” he suggested.
“Why were you following me?”
“You are a descendant of the Martorgorn, the creators of the new world. The Toracs want to get to the new world and destroy it. They want to use you to open the slip-stream.” He lifted a strand of hair from her eyes.
“What are they, aliens or something?”
“Or something being the better description,” he said, raising an eyebrow. She looked at him.
“How would I open this slip-stream?” she questioned.
“Just by stepping into it,” he replied.
“Really it’s that easy?”
“It’s not easy, believe me. I have thought about it a hundred times.”
“Why?” she asked.
“I have four months left in between worlds.”
“And then what?”
“If I don’t get enough credits, then…. I’m dead for good.” She turned to him.
“Dead for good, what does that mean?”
“There would be it no afterlife, just dead for good.”
“What are credits?”
“I get credits when I help a human. I need six thousand to get into the new world.”
“How many do you have?”
“How much am I worth?”
“What’s the new world like?” Wandering over to the window, he looked out.
“It’s wonderful,” he turned, smiling at her, “it’s a happy place.”
“Do you have to be dead to go there?” she asked. He nodded, glancing at her, she was so beautiful. She sighed disappointed.
“Can I touch you?” he asked.
“Touch me?” she questioned, surprised.
“Sorry,” he apologised, looking back out the window. Standing up she held out her hand. His eyes meeting hers, he took it, rubbing his thumb on her soft skin.
“I haven’t felt anyone for nearly twenty years,” he whispered. Her heart shook as he moved in closer to her, before she knew what was happening he was kissing her. He broke away.
“I’m sorry,” he apologised, flustered.
“Don’t be. What’s your name?” she asked, trembling.
“Eric,” he replied. Her chest heaved at his name, dead or alive, who cared? They kissed again and for a moment she thought she had died and gone to heaven.
“Eric?” she cried, as sheer panic shot through her, he was gone.
“Send me back!” Eric yelled furiously.
“Send you back, you’ve got to be joking. That’s it for you, your last chance,” Sir growled.
“Send me back now or she’s going to die!”
“She’s already dead, you failed your mission.” Eric’s face froze, a frown creasing his brow.
“What do you mean she’s dead?”
“Exactly that, I don’t know what you’ve been playing at, she went off the chart an hour ago.”
“Impossible I was just with her.” Sir frowned.
“She doesn’t know she has passed, damn it, bloody Halloween. I’ll have to bring her in.” Eric shook his head.
“No, I’ll do it,” he insisted.
“No, she belongs to me.” Eric rubbed a worried hand across his face glancing towards the control panel it was still set for Jessie’s. He dived for the switch, whacking the button down into reverse he jumped into the beam.
“Where did you go?” she cried, throwing herself at him.
“No time,” he whispered, hugging her. “They pulled me back, they said you were dead.”
“I’m dead,” she said, shocked. He nodded, frowning in thought. Taking her hand they went back into the kitchen.
“Oh my god,” she screamed. Her body lay against the kitchen units, blood seeping from her chest.
“I killed you,” he stuttered, glancing to her, “when I fell on you, the knife must have stabbed you!” Her heart lifted at his words.
“Eric, if I’m dead, I can go with you to the new world.”
He smiled astounded.
“You want to be with me?”
“Yes,” she whispered desperately. Grabbing her in his arms his kissed her.
“We have to go between worlds, when we get to the other side don’t let go of me, not for a second.”
“You are sure I can open the slip-stream?” He touched her face.
Taking her hand they slipped, reappearing in the control room. Sir looked at them startled. Eric launched himself at him, knocking him out. Hurrying to the control panel he turned a number of dials, his hand hovering over one button.
“This is it.” She nodded. As his hand rose and slammed down hard they dived into a beam of light. Eric pulled Jessie tight against him, her body shaking as she enveloped them in light.
“Did we make it?” she whispered, opening her eyes, and looking onto a beautiful city. Eric nodded, turning to her.
“I love you,” he said, smiling. It was good to be dead but not dead for good.
“I love you,” she whispered happily, snuggling into his arms.
Richard sobbed as the police broke down the door, heartbroken as Jessie’s dead body was lifted into the ambulance. He hated Halloween.