I walked to the door and as I reached for the knob, a noise behind me made me freeze. Someone was breathing. I turned around and stared at a tall man wearing an expensive suit walking toward me. Something about him made me tremble. There was something in his eyes; something very ancient and powerful.
"Alice. So nice to finally meet you, Alice. I have been watching you for a very long time." His voice made me feel unnaturally calm, which instead of making me comfortable, put me on edge.
"What are you, a pervert?" I retorted.
The man laughed and then shook his head, "You've lived a very difficult life Alice, and you deserved better. Beaten everyday, forced to clean after your parents habit while avoiding your father's drunken rage, and everyday you wished you could die. You wanted it all to end and hoped that you'd feel no more pain."
He knew too much of my thoughts, of my life. I stepped back, "Are you God?"
He stared at me for a long time and then smiled, "No. I'm as far from a God as you can get, and I'm not even sure if the big guy even exists." He stepped forward and held out his hand, "My name is Patrick Bernauw, and I'm here to give you what you really want."
I'd always read stories of deals made with the devil and this sounded like one of those times. I shook my head and stuck my tongue out at him, "No way. You'll ask me to do something later, something I won't want to do."
"There is no catch. In fact, I'm not doing this for you at all. I only choose you because your life needed a change and I felt generous." The way he said generous made the incorporeal hairs on the back of my neck stand on end.
"You killed me to make my life better? Did you flunk out of grade school?"
He laughed again, "You are so smart, Alice. Yes, as a matter of fact, I did flunk out of school. Except it wasn't grade school. Have you ever heard of a place called the Other Lands?"
I shook my head still not trusting his words. This could all just be a plan to get me to go along.
"Well, you are a ghost, also known as a Walking Soul in the Other Lands. Walking Souls are the only beings capable of instantaneous travel between this realm and the Other Lands without training. With training a Walking Soul can become a very dangerous being, but that is not important to you. What's important is that you understand that the afterlife humans refer to is the Other Lands."
"Why is that important?"
He stared at me, "I'm trying to give you a better life, Alice. You need to trust me."
"I don't. You're a smelly old man that likes watching a fourteen year old. Even if my Mother couldn't teach me to be careful of guys like you, I'm not stupid." I stepped back again.
He nodded and stood up, "Well, I'll be seeing you again sometime. When we meet again you might think I'm doing the wrong thing, but I swear I'm not the bad guy. The bad guy is a lot worse than me."
"I don't even know who you are! I'm dead, remember?! I'm not supposed to matter anymore!"
He laughed as he walked toward the opposite wall, "Alice, your life is just beginning. Give my regards to Ben."
"Ben? Whose that? Why me? Hey! Stop walking away!"
He turned and smiled, "Ben is the guy that killed you, Alice."
And then he vanished and I was again alone.
But even more confused.