The Dead: Book 11 (frag. 2)

The Book of the Story

DAHLIA smiled.

"Because there isn't any God."

"Not in the sense you used the word."

"Or life after death?"

"That you do not already know—at least not consciously. It is why I am here."

Dahlia leaned back in her chair.

"So you're avoiding contractions on purpose, or what?"

The figure was silent. Dahlia sighed.

"Sorry. I'm about to die, or I already have, and you're here to tell me about the afterlife."

"Yes."

"So where do we go from here?"

The figure was silent again.

Dahlia sighed once more.

"Okay, sorry. Not funny, I suppose. What I meant was, what happens to me now I've kicked the bucket?"

Silence.

"Oh come on! That wasn't even a joke. What happens when I die?"

"You do not die."

"But you just said..."

"You do not cease to be."

"So what? Heaven?"

"No."

"Hell?"

"No."

"A ghost? I'm running out of ideas here."

"First you must understand what you are."

"I'm a healthy female mammal, of the homo sapiens persuasion. Well, apparently not so healthy..."

"What you have described is your body. You are another matter."

"Another matter? As in ectoplasm ? Who's making puns now?"

"You are. I did not intend..."

"No matter. Go on."

"Matter, your body, is, in a sense, hardware. Souls are software."

"I'm a program?"