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Epitaph

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I’ve recently come under the impression that I am deceased. When I press my fingers to the hollow of my neck or the underside of my wrist, I feel no signs of pumping blood, just the cold dryness of my skin. It’s possible that I’m simply not searching in the right areas, but even placing my hand over my heart reveals nothing, although that might be because of all the layers of clothing between my palm and my chest.

Despite my current state of lifelessness, I’m very well dressed. My favorite suit recently came back from the tailor, and I’m very happy to wear it with the silk tie I received last year for my birthday. The only problem is that something under the fabric emits a potent chemical oder. Is that a symptom of death? I should think that rotting would smell more organic. Should I turn out to be alive, I shall take this suit to best dry cleaner in town. It’s the suit I wish to be buried in, after all, and I must do my best to take care of it.

While I cannot feel my heart, I can feel some kind of hard nub underneath my shirt and vest, like the top of a screw that has been inserted just two inches away from my navel. In fact, the more I let my hands wander across my body, the more I find little pugs and cuts. Under my collar, just below where I attempted to find my pulse, is a rather deep incision into my jugular. if I stick my finger into it, and bring it up to my nose, I can smell the same chemical odor as before.

I initially wanted to retch when I smelled it, but I cannot seem to open my mouth. Pursing my lips and feeling the backs of my teeth with my tongue, I can detect wires drilled into my upper and lower jaws. Is this how I died? Did I starve to death after some villain sealed my mouth shut?

I cannot remember dying, which makes me think that I might very well be alive. One would remember their own death, would they not? Unless I died in my sleep, I suppose. When I try to go back to the last moment I knew I was alive, my mind seems to slow down, like a computer unable to process a request.

How utterly silly of me. This whole time I’ve been lying here, feeling myself up, it never once occurred to me to open my eyes.

Oh.

It’s very dark in here, not to mentioned cramped. The walls appear to be lined with silk, however, so that’s nice.

I had imagined the afterlife to have other people in it, perhaps lost loved ones or ancestors, or even famous historical figures, but it appears that for now, I am alone. I wonder where I am buried. Am I in the family plot? Is my wife next to me, or does she live on? Should I knock on the wooden roof of my casket, to alert her of my presence? I know that she would feel terrible if she thought she were alone in all this.

My atrophying muscles could not provide the force needed to make much noise, but I suppose there’s no harm in trying. Even if I alone can hear my fist against the roof of my coffin, that should at least provide some entertainment until I decompose further.

What’s this? If I-- If I press my ear against the satin-lined wall, I believe I can hear a response. Let me knock again. Ah ha! Splendid!

Don’t worry my dear, whoever you are. Whether you are my wife or a stranger, at least we are not alone.

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