Ezey Answer

“That’ll be 12 dollars,” the cashier said. She smiled politely. Luther looked around the cafeteria-style cafe. He saw people in dark business suits sitting and talking, drinking coffee and eating like a normal business day. He patted his pockets for show, then looked at the cashier. He knew something was wrong.

“Can you help me?” Luther knew he would sound crazy, but maybe he was crazy. The last thing he remembered was sleeping in his mansion. Then, he felt a floating sensation as if he were leaving his body behind and all his worldly concerns with it. “I..  This might sound strange, but I’m positive I died last night. I don’t know where I am,” he glanced around the cafe again. “I followed the smell of food to get here.” The cashier sighed heavily, obviously annoyed. Despite that Luther noticed her light pink eyes soften.  She looked past him to the other patrons.

“Hey, Ezey! ONE OF YOUR GUYS MESSED UP AGAIN,” she shouted and blatantly tilted her head at Luther.

“Thanks for keeping it quiet, Lily,” a man behind Luther replied sarcastically. Luther turned around and discovered a clean-cut man wearing a dark pinstripe suit. Ezey pulled $12 from his pocket and placed it on the counter. Then he nodded at Luther. “Let’s have a seat and sort you out.” He patted Luther on the shoulder. Luther nodded and sat at a small red and white booth with Ezey.

Once they were seated, Ezey’s hand dipped under the edge of the table and returned with a manila folder. He opened it and glanced at the single sheet of paper inside.

“Luther Johnson,” Ezey mumbled to himself as he read the document over. “Wow, pretty impressive for a first timer. You worked hard, made a fortune, and spent it all to leave the world a better place than you found it,” the man nodded in approval.

“First time with what? I don’t know where I am,” Luther said.

“Oh that’s easy, you’re dead,” Lily replied from the edge of the table. She placed a steaming pepperoni pizza in the center of the table and gave Luther a plate.

“C’mon, Lily. Where’s the finesse?” Ezey complained at her. She shrugged and smiled.

“He already knew that much, I just saved you some time. You can thank me later,” she said, then returned to her seat behind the cash register.

“Well, she’s right. You died,” Ezey nodded. Luther looked at the pizza, and at the other patrons. Initially, he saw several suits and assumed that most of the patrons were dressed like Ezey. On closer inspection, he realized all the other patrons dressed like Ezey.

“Is this Heaven?” Luther asked. He focused his attention back on Ezey and found him with a string of cheese extending from his mouth to a slice of pizza in his hand. Ezey used his other hand to break the cheesy strand and chewed quickly. After he swallowed he looked at Luther.

“Does it look like Heaven?” he asked Luther shook his head.

“Then where am I? Why’s everyone dressed in business suits?” he asked. Ezey dropped the bitten slice of pizza and glanced at his black wristwatch.

“Well, thanks to Lily I guess. We have some time, I’ll answer one question, then we gotta get you going again. By the way, don’t waste your question on, ‘going again for what?’. You’ll get that explanation as part of the process.”

“Are you an angel?” Luther asked. Ezey’s right eyebrow raised slightly.

“Is that your question?”

“Who or what are you?” Luther asked a revised version. He realized a simple “yes/no” question was a waste. If he knew what Ezey was it would help him figure out where he was.

“That’s better, you’re going to progress pretty fast,” Ezey smiled. “Okay. I, and the rest of the of the well-dressed around here we don’t have an official title, but we like the name, ‘Middlemen’. We guide souls through the afterlife. I’m like you, a soul whose body died. Except instead of going around again, they offered me a job here. Speaking of which,” Luther glanced at his watch. “Time’s up. Normally, there’s a whole thing for first timers, but you’re smart.  I’ll see you next time,” Ezey smiled while the cafe around Luther grew dark and disappeared. Soon the light and reality around Luther faded until everything, including Luther, disappeared. Then, he went around again.

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