‘Turn on the headlights.’
Brine saw the environment around him become darker and darker, accompanied with the sound of wind. The wind played it’s sound of hollowness, soothing and rhythmic; a sound everyone hears when entering the forest. In the middle of the road stood an erect looking man, wearing black and white leather armor with a strangely white gas mask, holding an electric baton and a rifle wrapped on his back.
Brine stopped his car next to the strange figure and rolled down his window.
“Your purpose in visit?” His voice was muffled and full of static as it emanated through the small speaker in the mask‘s mouth.
Brine felt a little nervous, “I’m here to see a friend.”
“The girl with the brown hair and sundress?” asked the guardian
The guardian pulled out a small device, tapped the touch screen which printed out a small ticket from a thin slot and handed it to Brine.
“Be careful not to touch her.” Said the guardian.
Brine stored his ticket onto his jean pocket and drove his Volvo further down the road.
‘There she is.’
There stood Brine’s friend Alice, wearing her white summer dress as she skipped stones onto the glowing blue creek.
“You’re here.” said Alice.
“Well, my parents think I’m at the local library so we better make the best of it.” Brine pulled out his picnic basket and mat from the trunk.
Both Alice and Brine sat on the picnic mat, began eating the sandwiches he brought and washed it down with apple juice.
“Did you make these sandwiches?” she asked.
Brine began to chuckle, “Hell no, me make food? No, my older sister made them. If I made these sandwiches they’d would be burned and tasteless.”
“Quit exaggerating Brine.”
“I’m not exaggerating, I can’t cook.”
“They’re good though, your sister knows how to make a sandwich. Been long since I‘ve ate some.” Alice wiped her mouth and savored the sandwich in her stomach.
Brine grabbed the plastic wrappings and tossed them onto the basket. “Don’t they have sandwiches where you live?”
“They have everything.” Said Alice unenthusiastically.
She stood up and went back to the pond where she stood before. “Have you ever tossed a stone into a pond, sink deep then rise afloat?”
“No. Stones can never float.”
“Just like dying, no one can ever come back.” She then rushed towards Brine and grabbed his waist in a tight hug.
A stinging pain began to burn where Alice’s hands touched. “Aw-bloody..!!!”
“I want you to do something for me, I want you to join me. I’m so alone up there. Everyone has someone there and I‘m alone. Heaven can get me everything, but heaven can‘t get me you.”
Alice continued interrupting, “I‘m Christian and you‘re the only one who knows. You’ve had a crush on me since sophomore year right?”
“Alice, you have to….let go-”
“No brine, I have a crush on you, I’m never letting go. Do you like, want to go out with me?”
“LET GO!!” Brine yelled to the top of his throat.
Alice’s arms unwrapped and saw Brine’s waist burning with black and red.
“Oh my, I’m sorry. I didn’t know. I didn’t mean to.”
“I know, no harm done. I’m just going to need a bunch of ‘anti-burn’ ointments for this.” Groaned Brine.
“I can walk it off.”
Alice felt nothing but guilt, she forgot she could not touch him and felt guiltier seeing his burn marks. It was common law for the living to never touch an ‘L.G.U’.
“So, what do you think?”
“I cannot do what you are asking me to do Alice, I’m sorry.”
“Why?…..Are you seeing someone else? I’m alright with that.”
“No. It’s not that.”
“Is she beautifull?”
“No, listen. I cannot join you Alice, I’m turning my life around and I’m making myself better. Sure before I’ve always contemplated suicide but now I’m loving life. I’m starring a fanzine and as you already know I’ve just got my licence and-.”
“Does she satisfy you? I can do twice as better, this girl taught me to use my-”
“I’M GAY!” Shouted Brine before Alice said anything more absurd.
“You heard me, I’m gay, fruity, queer, faggot. CALL IT WHAT YOU WILL, I AM HOMOSEXUAL!”
“Oh.” Said Alice quietly, shocked and overwhelmed.
Both Brine and Alice where silent through the remainder of the time, until Brine decided to cut the awkwardness.
“So, I saved all of those phantom letters you sent me. Kept every single one of them in Mylar bags, they’re important memories for me.”
“I have to go now, see ya.” She said without emotion.
“WAIT! We still have half an hour left till I have to get home. We can chat some more and reminisce of the old times we had.”
“No, I have to go, I have to go back and read my bible. This is the last you’ll see of me till we meet in the same realm, Jesus loves you.”
She was gone, back to the realm she belonged to.
‘Sigh. She was the only female friend who I knew living, and the first one I had to burry on the day of the funneral. I thought she would understand me, guess not. What a world we live in where people, both living and dead, cannot understand a person’s way of living.’
Brine got on his car and began to drive away and wonder what went wrong.
“How did it go with the L.G.U?” Asked the guard.
“Not well.” replied Beine.
“Well, it’s not easy. L.G.U’s have everything up there, but they always miss things down here.”