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It was a dark and stormy night. Myles Raynwood was driving down a long country road. It was the kind you might expect to see in a horror movie; a shot of a car driving down the road in the dead of night to reach an old manor or a secluded hotel. Myles Raynwood’s actual destination was far worldlier.

He had gotten up at two in the morning when he had heard his wife’s car pulling out of the driveway. He had been expecting this, half hoping that his sleep would go uninterrupted and that in the morning he would have to explain to his wife why he had been acting strangely. He would apologize to his wife and they would make up like they always did. But his sleep was shattered, and so Myles Raynwood had gotten up and followed his wife through the night.

Myles Raynwood had considered himself to be in a happy marriage. It was not like the Hendersons, where the couple could be heard arguing from two houses down every other night. Myles and his wife talked, they shared the troubling and exciting points of their day, and every Saturday night was date night with cards and their favorite movies. They had been married for 24 years.

But during the last couple of weeks she had been acting strangely. She had gotten home from work later and later, she didn’t talk as much, and she had started worrying about finances excessively. At first, Myles hadn’t worried, he just figured that it was a worry streak and that it would pass. But when it didn’t, Myles asked about it.

She had tried to deflect him, in the hopes that it would blow over. But then she started sneaking out. The first time she snuck out, Myles hadn’t noticed until she had returned; sleepy, burned out, and yet somehow overjoyed. Then it happened again, and again, and Myles had come to a realization; she was cheating on him.

All the signs were there - the lying and sneaking out. Myles had racked his brain to see if he could remember what he might have done to cause her to cheat on him. He had always loved her, ever since he laid eyes on her in college, in fact. Then he had realized that things had never really been the same since the accident.

Myles had been in a car accident shortly before the strangeness had started. Myles had been badly injured, and had technically been dead for about two minutes. Nevertheless, Myles had opted to stay at home for his short recovery instead of stay at the hospital.

Myles had come to the conclusion that during the two minutes that he had been dead, his wife had realized that she was in an unhappy marriage. Myles didn’t know why she would think this but he could think of no other explanation. He had made a decision; he needed to know exactly where his wife was going every night. Now Myles was getting himself worked up in the car ride, imagining romantic getaways and his wife running off with whomever it was she was seeing.

Myles snapped out of his daydream and saw his wife’s car pull into a secluded back road. He turned off his lights and pulled over a few yards before the road. Myles’s whole body tensed with anticipation. What was he going to do when he caught his wife with another man, he wondered. He waited a moment, then got out of the car and walked toward his wife’s car. It was parked right in front of an old shack. Myles was about to enter, when he heard talking from the other side of the decrepit building.

He walked part of the way around and stopped when he saw his wife speaking to someone. Because of the angle he was standing at, he could see his wife, who was standing almost with her back to him, but not the person she was speaking to. Myles had enough. He stepped out from behind the wall and stopped dead in his tracks. Myles’s wife turned and stared at him wide-eyed. “Myles” was the one word that crept out of her mouth with pain and sadness.

The man she had been talking to said in a low tone, “He is here now, our bargaining for his life is null.”

Death walked up to Myles, put his hand on his shoulder, and took the two minutes owed to him in exchange for eternity.

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