Fried brains and Sam:

As transmitted through Corey King:

Today was as tough as it was enchanting. I pushed the big red button on a real charmer named Patty. I stared into her eyes until her light went out and she vanished, a real dream.

I noted her big bright eyes and infectious laugh in my note book. Gave her a 4.5/5 for compatibility with heaven. Really she was only a four — due to her foul mouth in life — but she made my morning, so 4.5. It’s not like those board of review asses ever investigate this stuff anyway.

The lady that came after, though. Christ almighty! I really need to file for a transfer or quit. If I could quit.

Why did she keep screaming? We get screamers all the time but she went on for over 20 minutes. Not a record by any means, but still. She barely let me get a word in edgewise.

“Madame Rose?” Infuriately deceptive name, she was as difficult to look at as she was to listen to. “Madame Rose?” Again no response, beyond the screaming of course.

She seemed to have no respect for anyone but herself. I’m just trying to do my job; I don’t need all that fuss. Ignorant. They’re almost always ignorant of anything but themselves. Thank God for the earplugs. They took them off my first paycheck though. Bastards.

The file said she was stabbed to death by a priest. Priest Sullivan. I processed him last night. He got a four, despite the stabbing, and his suicide. Members of the clergy get bonus points and he somehow maintained his virginity, so that’s like a whole point there when you’re a priest. I wished I could change the record for poor old Sullivan, for I had a sudden sense of empathy for him.

“Madame Rose,” I screamed.

Suddenly she stopped and looked at me, smacking her lips together like I was a well-cooked turkey or something. Maybe it was the costume I was wearing. Casual Friday.

“You know you’re dead right?”

“What! Really?”

“Ummm, yes. Really.”

“Oh goody. I heard there’s good food here.” Man, is she going to be disappointed. I couldn’t come to inform her that as a spirit, she doesn’t need to eat. They often arrive wanting the last meal a criminal would get that they missed out on, due to the “untimeliness” of their death.

“Any thoughts before your judgment? So you know, this does count towards determining your final place of residence.”

“Well I always wondered, is there really nothing that travels faster than the speed of light?”

“Sorry, Madame Rose that’s not my department.” Something about my answer made me feel terrible. So, I pushed the red button and gave her a four. She did offer her organs to research, and I suppose that counts for something.

Then like the lovely dream before her, she faded away.

I wonder if she’ll end up living beside Sullivan. Fuck it, not my problem.