My name is Fynn, and for as long as I can remember, I've alternated between the Land of the Living and the Land of the Dead. In fact, I switch off every other day. So if I spend Monday among the living, that means when I wake up on Tuesday, I'm in the Afterlife. Makes it a little hard to have friends, and even harder to have lasting relationships. In fact, I'd say my closest friends are a trio of skeletons who I play poker with at the Tavern. The Tavern is where most dead people head to get a drink and have a good time, and it's where I spend most of my time as well. Think of it as Melrose Place for the dearly departed. I can't drink most of the stuff they serve there since I'm not actually dead (it'd kill me, for real), but they keep a few bitter ales on tap, just for me.
When I'm not playing poker with the skeletons, I'm working. What does a man in my particular position do for a living, you might ask? I deliver messages from the dead to those they left behind. They're not always good messages. In fact, I get doors slammed in my face a lot. But as long as I get paid, I'm OK with that. Well, at least I think I am. I've kind of resigned myself to it by this point.
So that's me, and that's my "life". It'll go on indefinitely, for all I know. After all, everyone has to die once. But I "die" every other day of the week. I'm practically immortal. Best of both worlds, I guess...
The funny thing about the Afterlife is that once you're there, you're there for good. So I see lots of people I know. My friend Trent, he's one of the skeletons I play poker with, has been hanging around the bar for the past 300 years! And every so often I meet someone I've met before in the Land of the Living, back when they were a gas bag (that's what Bryan calls the ones who are still alive). Like Ivan. I met this girl, beautiful, intoxicating girl, and she has this adopted grandpa named Ivan. We became good friends, but then he died, right there in front of me. And the next day, I bumped into him at the Tavern. Now, that was awkward. I had to explain everything to him, why I was there, why I wasn't really dead. The works. It's a little too uncomfortable for me for the most part, so I try to avoid it. I think maybe that's why I'm friendlier with the dead than the living. That way, there's less to explain.
I don't know who my mom is or if I have any siblings. I don't even remember my childhood. Like I said, for as long as I can remember, I've been doing what I do now, hopscotching back and forth between worlds. I could have been doing it for centuries and I just don't remember. Sometimes I wish I did though. Sometimes I wish I knew where I came from. Maybe it'd tell me a little more about who I am.
I have a boss, but I never see him. We all just call him The Judge and he keeps to himself in his office all day. Oh yeah, his office is kind of like a labyrinth of books, so it's not worth looking for him in there. If he wants you, he'll find you. There aren't really benefits other than the whole immortality thing (at least, I assume I'm immortal). It's just something I do because what else is there to do with my life/death?
You know, I don't know if I could quit or not. I think that's something I'm trying to figure out. Could I choose to just live one life, and that be it? And would it be worth it?
I get paid in gold coins though, that's generally the currency of exchange here in the Afterlife. It pays my way through poker and buys me a beer or two. Not much good with the Gas Bags though. No one takes Gold coins anymore.
I think the biggest difference in the land of the living is that you actually need a place to live. In the afterlife, it's not like you really have to worry about the elements, or someone sneaking in and killing you in your sleep. So my friend Charlie who works as an embalmer at a funeral home usually sneaks me in the back door at night and that's where I go to sleep. When I wake up the next day, I usually just head to the Tavern. That's where I find my customers at least.
I don't know if there are animals in the Afterlife. I haven't seen any, but then again, they don't drink.
"Flynn, First off, you sound interesting, and the world of your story is fascinating to me.
Some questions, What's your mom like? Do you have any siblings? In the land of the dead do you see anyone you know?
When was the first time you went to the afterlife? How did you get this position? Do you have a boss? Are there benefits to the position, for example, do you get dental? Could you quit?
What is the pay like? Do you collect anything? What do you have in the land of the living that you don't in the land of the dead, and vice versa?
Also, are there animals in the land of the dead? Have you seen my pet goldfish(s)?
Fynn, it sounds like you can take stuff from one world to the other (messages, coins)--what are the limits on what you can carry? Like, what if you fell asleep holding onto a skeleton? Or a "gas bag"? Have you ever experimented with a small animal?
Does anyone pay you to take messages the other direction? I can just imagine couples trying to keep their relationships going via letters across the divide, or people getting a chance to say I love you or I'm sorry to the deceased; I'd think it would be pretty lucrative both ways, with people who believe you're legitimate. Wow, what a service to humanity!
Have you ever been asked to appear on TV, or do you strive to maintain a low profile?
Really, few friends in the land of the living? You spend half your time there! What do you do there besides deliver messages? Where do you hang out?
Does the afterlife have politics, news, stuff like that? Do you care about any of that stuff in the living world? I would imagine you don't feel tied to any particular country, but where are you when you wake up? Always the same place? Have you traveled widely in all that time?
Is there more to society in the afterlife, and do you go anywhere else there? Do people just sort of give up when they die? I mean, what do they "live" for?
Do you ever try to make either world a better place? Sounds like you don't have any goals, just playing poker, drinking ale, making a buck here or there. Did you used to strive for something?
Have you always had this particular boss?
What ticks you off the most, and when are you happiest?
(Sorry, I'm so focused on the cool idea I'm having trouble with character-oriented questions.)
[This message has been edited by MrsBrown (edited September 22, 2010).]
Thanks everyone for the good questions and help on this one! I ended up writing a feature length screenplay based on the character and am currently working on revisions.
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