Afterlife Unassigned: A Short Story

Hi there! Please enjoy my latest short story, brought to you by my narrator, Alex, a dude who has unfortunately already died. But much to his dismay, his misfortunes don’t end there…

Afterlife Unassigned

When Death came for me, I wasn’t ready. I was still fairly young, had no illnesses, wasn’t particularly risky – but accidents happen. So here I was.

They were fairly unusual looking – none of that traditional grim reaper, long black cloak and scythe nonsense. They looked like a regular person, only their edges were almost… I don’t know, blurred. It was hard to get a full picture of them, something always shifting in the corner of your eye. They were holding a bit of paper, a long list.

“Well Alex,” they said, and I wasn’t surprised that they knew my name. “Nasty car crash that one, eh? Let’s see where you belong…”

“Belong?” I asked, confused.

“Oh yeah, sorry, forgot the spiel. Hi, I’m Death, my job is to take you to the relevant afterlife. No, you can’t go back, no, you can’t challenge me to a game, yes, you really are dead, no, you can’t say goodbye to anyone, yes, it is unfortunate, no, I’m not going to eat you.” They paused. “It really is surprising how many times I’ve been asked that last one.”

“There are multiple afterlives?”

“Oh yeah, loads of them. You go to the one relevant to your religion and or culture, and depending on their rules you go to their heaven or hell equivalents.” They were still scanning the list, a frown appearing on their face. It didn’t seem like a good sign. They read the list again, tracing lines with their finger

“Huh,” they said.

“What?”

“You appear to be… well, unassigned.”

“Unassigned?”

“Quite. Look here,” he said, showing me the list. “Look, it should say, like it does here – Eva, Heaven; Mike, Hades; George, Nirvana; and so on. But…”

He pointed at my name. There was nothing next to it, no indicator at all. Just a blank.

“What does that mean?” I asked. I was trying not to panic. Death seemed confused.

“Well… I don’t know.”

“What do you mean you don’t know?”

“I mean I don’t know,” they said defensively. “It’s not like this has happened before. Everyone gets assigned an afterlife, and I take them to it, and that’s that. But not you.” They cocked their head and peered at me. “What’s so special about you?”

“Uhh… Nothing?”

“Hmmm.”

“Do I get reincarnated?”

“Oh no,” they laughed, “no, no, no. There’s a specific protocol for reincarnation, you know.”

“I don’t know anything, I just died.”

“All right, cool it, no need to bite my head off.”

I was starting to get rather annoyed with Death.

“Look, just wait here a sec,” they said, “and let me go talk to some people. I’ll be back in about…” they thought for a moment. “seven days, I’ll be back in seven days. Just don’t mess anything up, ok?”

“Mess what up? What do you mean? What will I do? Where even am I?” I asked frantically, but Death had vanished. Great.

I took in my surroundings properly for the first time. It was seemingly dark, and I wondered if there was anything lurking in the shadows. Other than that, everything was featureless, no distinction between floor and wall and ceiling. There was just dark.

“I wish there was some light,” I said to myself.

And then there was light.



What did you think of Alex’s situation? Where do you think we go when we die?

This piece was inspired by a writing prompt I found on Reddit – the subreddit r/WritingPrompts is really good for getting your inspiration flowing for a short story when you’re stuck although be careful not to get drawn in by too many of the great creative responses you’ll also find on there!

This was quite a fun piece to write, but I would really like some feedback if you have any! Do you think this piece would work as a longer story? Why/not? Are there any confusing or hard to read parts? Please let me know down below!

Remember to follow me on here or over on Instagram, and I hope you have a great day.

~ Lucy x


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