“I have been dead a million times,” Milton said. He loosened his black tie while he spoke to the officer directing traffic. His dark suit no longer looked its best; now it was covered in wrinkles and dust. His full head of grey hair looked tangled, he’d been through a few things.
“Pal, we got a lot going on here,” the portly officer said. His hands waved steadily guiding cars around the five car pileup behind him. “I’m gonna ignore that and let you walk away, unless you want me to arrange a straitjacket for you. Milton nodded, and left his head hanging low as he walked away. He shook his head as he reached the edge of the freeway.
“Not here either,” he said. He jumped off the upper freeway without hesitation, and splattered himself against an oncoming semi trailer. He woke up holding a steering wheel, driving down down a long straight road towards the sunset. He quickly checked the passenger side, then the mirror to check the back seats. He was alone in the car. He checked his hand for a wedding band, but found none. He gave himself a weak smile and kept driving forward. After a couple of hours he started seeing buildings, and more traffic. He slammed on the breaks when he noticed a state trooper writing out a ticket to a station wagon. Milton jumped out of the car and ran towards the official. The trooper noticed and pulled his gun.
“STAND DOWN!” The trooper yelled. Milton stopped and his hands flew upward. “On your knees, hands behind your head!” Milton complied, but tried speaking to the officer.
“I’m sorry! I have to tell you something! I don’t mean you any harm. Sorry, I got excited when I saw you.” The officer’s grip on the gun relaxed, but the gun did not dip.
“I suppose you wanted to whisper it to me?” The officer asked with condescension.
“No! I can tell you from here!” Milton yelled back.
“Well? Get on with it.” The station wagon window rolled up behind the officer.
“I have been dead a million times,” Milton said, his voice full of hope. The officer lowered his gun and looked around.
“Is this a prank or something? Man, you almost got yourself killed.” He moved to holster his gun, but Milton already made his decision.
“Not here either,” he said. He jumped to his feet and charged at the officer before the gun was holstered. “I’M GONNA KILL YOUUU!” Milton woke up in a crowded restaurant.
“Milton!” He heard the shout behind him and turned to see an angry man in a white apron staring at him through a small window lined with food. “Get your ass in gear and get those burgers to table three!” Milton sighed. He hated landing in the middle of a job. He looked around the restaurant for any sign of familiarity but found none. He grabbed the two burger plates, then walked to the hostess. He scanned her name tag.
“Hey Brandi, uh. Where’s table three exactly?” The short, dark haired young woman giggled and then pointed at a table occupied by two policemen.
“I know I’m new, but I’m not that new,” she said with a smile. Milton walked to table three.
“At least this one’s easy,” he thought to himself. He reached the table and smiled at them. “Afternoon Officers.” He placed their burgers down, but they immediately swapped plates. Milton decided not to waste any more time with the charade than he had to. “I have been dead a million times,” he said. Both officers looked at him, then one of them lifted his empty glass and shook the ice within.
“Get me a refill before the next one,” the officer said. Milton sighed. He grabbed the knife handle sticking out of the burger, then brought his hand up to slice his own jugular open. Milton woke up laying down on his back staring a light blue sky. The ground beneath him felt uncomfortable, so he stood up. Milton stood on the rooftop of a tall apartment building. He walked to the ledge and sat down on it. He debated not waiting and just moving on to the next world, then he heard the stairwell door opening behind him. Milton turned toward the sound. A slight hope welled up inside him when he saw an officer step out. He looked from the officer, down to the street dozens of floors below, then back to the officer.
“Another easy one.” he thought. He retreated from the ledge and met the officer halfway.
“You okay there, bud?” the officer asked. Milton nodded.
“I’ve been dead a million times,” Milton said. The officer’s eyes went wide, then narrowed.
“How many exactly?” he asked. Milton laughed and smiled.
“One million two thousand and six.”
“How many did you do yourself?” The officer asked.
“About a thousand so far,” Milton said. His shoulders slouched. The officer stepped forward and hugged Milton.
“C’mon, we’ll get you squared away,” the officer guided Milton toward the stairwell. “Welcome to the Quantum Resistance.”