Categories > Original > Drama

The Catch

by nerds_assemble 0 reviews

"Death is real. Death is the only thing you can count on." "What's the catch, then?" "There is none." "There's always a catch."

Category: Drama - Rating: PG-13 - Genres: Drama,Horror,Humor - Published: 2013-03-24 - 1453 words

it's fine if you want to die
first you take the wings
and then you hide the lies
see? perfect, looks real
say it's all right, say it's okay
say we don't mean anything
say we don't need anything

Juliek's ocean fake eyes stared vacantly across the room. That orange plastic didn't move. It stood where it was with the same smug grin, dripping with disgusting city water.

“You could try puking it up,” Juliek muttered bleakly. “They'd think you were insane,” He nodded impressively coherent for the size of that bottle, minus the few outlier capsules that refused to go on with his silly plan. “But, you can't face them. So maybe upchucking isn't the best idea.” His throat coughed up something between a sob and a sigh.

Breathe, Juliek. Just...swallow the air---

But I can't! I swallowed th—

There's enough room for it all, zipper lips.

His noisy sadness began to hush down. Under the pressure of being told to shut up, by the drugs, no less, he found the slightest bit of comfort in humming softly.

There. Feel better?

A little bit.

Think. Think back now, Juliek. Can you do that? Can you let something get through that skull of yours?

Yeah. I guess so...

Good. Why are you here, Juliek?

He couldn't think of a reason why. He just shook his head.

[I can't be here just to hear you.]

Oh, come now, baby blue. I'm not a passing phase. I'm the real deal, the final scene to your two-act, the Romeo to your Juliet. I'm here to stay. You're alright with me. Now. Take the pen---

The pen?

Yes, the pen. And that paper-airplane, there.

The one tha---

Yes, that one. Unfold it. Very good, Juliek. I'm surprised you're still kicking around. Tell them why you did it.

But, they won't even notice I'm gone.

You're so desolated. Don't be. They will notice. Tell them.

Juliek sat with the paper and pen. Thinking, or at the least, attempting to. Maybe it was better? No, that's just stupid. He was tired. Had been for a while. Had they all forgotten? Yeah, probably. It didn't really matter. Now he knew sleep would come, wash away all sickness, there was nothing to think about.

It had become rather hard to think anyhow with this new addition to his mind. The shaky state he was in forced him to crumble on the tile, pen and paper gripped like they were the only things left to keep him in the world.

I don't know why I did it.

You're incredibly sad.

That's not an excuse.

You're sick. Delusional. They would've put you down anyway. You saved them the heartache.

They wouldn't have any heartache.

Pity! So much self pity, self loathing---you just like talking about yourself, don't you, blue dove? Well, go on, then. Talk, Juliek. Tell them about you. About all of you. Everything that you don't like talking about. Your chance to shine like a goddamn star.

“You could've saved them,” Juliek's not even sure if what came out was just a puff of air and no actual words at all. “Poor, poor meds...” He laughs sadly to himself. “And they wanted to live so badly.”

Go to sleep, Juliek. Wake up somewhere better.


Of course, Juliek's movements were fatal.

He died, 11:32 PM on a Sunday in December when he swallowed the whole bottle, proceeded to wash it down with chlorine water.

But now, he opens his ocean-like eyes, surprised. Focuses those eyes on a stage, everything else surrounding is blurry. He looks down at the curtain call. Replays the ending in his head. What a stupid way to die.

“Who are you?” He asks a man seated next to him, clapping very loudly. Things were pulling together more. He's in some sort of fancy theater. Chandeliers shimmer brilliant, soft lighting. Sepia skies throw their opinions on the day plainly as anyone could see.

“What a show,” the man grins at Juliek. His Cheshire smile cools and compliments his Gable mustache. The wrinkles lining his face say he's no s, maybe sixty? Possibly older though his dark hair is hardly greying. He stands with such a zest for living that apparently death couldn't even kill. “Ain't that something? Encore!” He shouts, whistling at the departed cast. Juliek looks at the now empty stage, stunned.

“So that's it? That's my life?”

“Hm? Oh, yes. Wasn't it just fabulous? Come now, we have an eight o'clock show to catch.” the man hurries to grand French doors. Juliek glows in awe at unbelievably smooth carvings of cherubs in comedy/tragedy masks. Juliek follows behind bluntly because he can't think of anywhere else he could possible be.

“This is it? I'm dead?” Juliek asks as they step out of the theater. Through his eyes, such a happy sight is displayed outside. He sees other people going on about as if this is a normal thing. He shudders and jogs after the man. “No fiery depths of Hell?” He pauses. “No angels singing my name?” The man stops rushing long enough to turn towards Juliek. His eyes dance over the kid hastily. He notes Juliek's distraught expression, weak stance and of course, those inscrutable baby blues. The man smiles, which Juliek is starting to find a little annoying.

“Kid, I have to see over roughly 155,000 deaths a day. I'm sorry that you don't have a personal heaven filled with lovely angels suiting your hellish thoughts. I really am. But, I can't do anything about it. It's all up to the artists.” the man waves for Juliek to follow him, which Juliek silently agrees to.

“What do you do, then?” Juliek asks as they turn a street corner. This world makes it hard to believe Juliek is even dead.

“I'm a critic.” Juliek's eyes widen at these words.

“You mean to tell're Jesus?”

“No, not at all,” the man chuckles. “Very flattering, but no.” He stops at a poorly designed building. The foundation was definitely not poured correctly, holes where windows should be, a filthy brick background complete with full on graffiti slurs sets the mood swimmingly and to top it all off, it's got a broken wired security fence. The man crawls through the bent diamond shaped ruins and ushers Juliek to follow.

“What are you?”

“Told ya; I'm a critic.”

“Of what? And why?”

“Of life. 'Cause it's the only job I'm qualified for.”

“So, what? What do you do?”

“I criticize the lives of others.”

“And you're the decider?”

“Of what?” the man smirks at the kid as they find themselves standing right out in front of the building itself.

“Of the afterlife?”

“Nope. I just torture the things who make you.”

“Who made me?”

“Your parents, psycho.” the man grinned and held open a rusty door. Juliek walked in, noticing how the only light was coming from the end of the hallway.

“What is this place?”

“Is this twenty questions or something, kid?” Juliek piped down after that. They head towards the light, inside is a surprisingly full theater. Chatter clouds up the atmosphere. People test mics, lights flicker on and off. The man and Juliek take this as their cue to sit down in one of the very cheap plastic chairs. The lights fade around the audience. The stage is lit up as a woman walks out. She holds a mic, smiling in a very soothing way.

“I'd just like to say what a fine cast I've been able to work with and I'm very grateful for this opportunity. Thank you, everyone and enjoy the show!”

“They always start the shows like this,” the man whispered to Juliek, who strained to hear. “Sappho always introduces each show.” Juliek nods though he can't think why this is useful information. The man sits back, pleased for some reason with his own knowledge. “Here,” the man tosses Juliek gold coated glasses with dark lenses. Juliek watches as the man puts on his own pair with ease. Hesitantly, Juliek slides on the funny glasses over his blues.

The lights completely cut out on the crowd while a burning light throws itself onto the stage. Juliek sucks in a deep breath of air, yes, surprisingly there's still oxygen in the afterlife. That's when Juliek is pulled into a world. His earth. Not at all like this afterlife where he was still alive, still him. It was off, right from the start. He could almost sense where this was headed, vaguely familiar. One word popped into his head before he submersed himself absolutely into this lucid play; Monday.

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