A Year After My Death
When I came to, I recognized where I was. My friends and I gathered at Mike Milligan's, the pub where I had died one year earlier. We were having the first of what we had planned to be many death anniversary parties. Mike, the owner, decked out the bar in black and yellow streamers and balloons, and passed out black party horns and yellow hats. The yellow in the streamers and hats were an homage to my pallid skin complexion at death, after I knocked my head against the bar rail and fell to the floor. The black, of course, memorialized my passing. I now stood directly over the spot where I passed away.
The clock on the wall read eleven minutes before eleven PM; eleven minutes before the exact time of my demise. Mike came out from behind the bar, stood on a chair beside me, silenced the room, and addressed the crowd.
“As many of you know, we are commemorating the death of our good friend, Max Everett, who is standing here beside me. For those of you who do not know Max, he was a loving and devoted compadre, and a kind, giving, and jovial man. He still is.
“Max, in the ten or so minutes before the countdown to eleven, can you inform those of us here who are not familiar the circumstances regarding your death.” Mike stepped off the chair, and I took his place.
“It was a night very much like tonight. The joint was packed. We were celebrating the passing of Shorty Lewis, who was probably the most recognizable patron of Milligan's, in fact, you could probably call Shorty an institution. It was his thirst that single handedly kept Milligan's open when the factory across the street closed up.
“Anyway, Mike asked me to say a few words in memorial to Shorty, because, as Mike put it, I was the most eloquent with words. I knew at the time it was really because I was the least inebriated.
“So I got up on a chair, much like I am now, and eulogized our pal Shorty. 'We have come here to pay our respects to Shorty Lewis...'” I relayed the story for a few minutes, and began to wrap it up as the time approached the top of the hour. I continued, “Then, just before the clock struck eleven, I raised my pint of beer in a toast to Shorty. I was in the middle of the toast, when the clock chimed, and took me by surprise. I fell off of the chair, hit my head against the bar rail...”
Just then Milligan's clock struck eleven. It jolted me out of my story, and I turned around to look at the clock. As I turned, I slipped off of the chair, and hit my head against the bar rail. That is all I remember, until I came to. I recognized where I was. My friends and I gathered at Mike Milligan's, the pub where I had died one year earlier. The clock on the wall read eleven minutes before eleven PM; eleven minutes before the exact time of my demise.
(This piece was written from a writing prompt given at the Algonquin Area Writers' Group Creativity Cafe.)