She stood there. There was nothing. Literally nothing. Just white. She knew what it meant.
'Hello Charlie' came the rasping voice. The voice she knew although had never heard.
'So I didn't land the jump then?' She replied. Resignation in her voice.
'No. No you didn't' said Death. 'If it helps the crash was spectacular. You've already had 2,537,367 you tube hits' A flash of what would normally be described as a grin.
'Not really' She sighed. 'Is my bike OK?'
'Well, you and the bike might have become a bit, well, conjoined in the crash. You know. But a spoke through the eye really is THE look this season'
She looked around 'But I can see here'
'Oh yes' Said Death. 'You don't bring any illness or injury here. Its proper ace'
He was spinning his scythe.
'So that's why my kit is really, really clean?'
Death laughed. It wasn't pleasant. There were undertones of eternal misery.
'Oh God no. That was me. All that mud, you looked a right bloody state. Cant have you going 'there' looking like that'. Massive grin. Like looking into a black hole before it ripped you apart.
'Erm....Death? Erm...which 'there' exactly...?' finally she was nervous. The reality of the after life finally sinking in.
'Well that's the fun bit! You get to chose. I cant decide. Your life has been, well, quite evenly balanced in the good and bad stakes'
Excellent. This was a total no brainer.
'Well I guess the smart move would be to go 'up' wouldn't it? I mean who the hell would chose to go 'down'' she paused. He would have raised an eyebrow. 'Sorry' she said apologetically 'No pun intended'.
'Oh its OK. I get worse. Way worse. And hell, its better than those arseholes who come and 'challenge me' to a game of chess. I mean, I fucking hate chess me'
A rumble of laughter from under the robes.
'Look' he said 'If you want a heads up, its not quite what the fire and brimstone lot would have you believe'
'No. now. Just think back to your days of breathing' death giggled 'Sorry, that never gets old 'Anyhoo. Just think about the people who are certs to go up....and the ones who are certs to go down. Now think about who the hell you want to spend an eternity with'
His pause was timed intentionally...
'Up'...they don't have bars. Bunch of bloody tea teetotallers. In knitwear. And slankets. I fucking hate slankets you know. Get right in the way of a good swing of the scythe'
'Erm....so you're suggesting I chose down?' she was genuinely confused.
'Well, down has bars, rock music, drugs, fast cars and fucking. Lots of fucking. For eternity. I know where I would go if I could ever quit this damn job'
'Can I have hell then please Death?'
Swinging the scythe he looked up 'and I will keep spilling your secrets til you let me quit'