Leaving Our Bodies
John A. Ward







It happens to people who are dying.  It happened to me before, but only when I was dying alone, not when so many were dying at the same time.  We couldn’t see each other.  We could only see our own bodies.  I know, because I asked.

“Carol, are you up here looking down?”

“Is that you, Fred?”

We weren’t speaking, because our spirits didn’t have voice boxes to make the sound.  It was thought transference, but it seemed natural. 

“Yes, It’s me,” I said.  “What happened?

“Someone started shooting,” she said.  “He looked like one of us, but he’s not one of us or he wouldn’t be killing us.”

“Can you see him now?”

“No, I only see my own body.  I don’t know how I can talk to you.  I can’t see you.”

“That’s all right.  Don’t leave me.  Maybe we can get back into our bodies.”

“We can’t get back into our bodies.  We’re dead.”

“I don’t think we’re dead until we see a bright light and follow it through the tunnel.”

“Why would we want to go back?  It’s going to hurt so much,” she said.

“Because somebody has to bear witness.  He has to pay for what he’s done.”

“But how will we get back?  Our souls have separated from our bodies.”

“Just will it,” I said.  “And float down.  We have to do it.”

“OK,” she said, “I’ll try.”

She must have done it at the same time I did, because my eyes opened and I saw her looking at me.  I couldn’t transfer my thoughts anymore.  There were other bodies, but they were dead.  Their souls had left for good.  The shooter was down and guards were surrounding him.  I reached out and squeezed Carol’s hand.  She squeezed back. 

“Are you all right?” I asked.

“No,” she said.  “Are you?’

No,” I said.

It was over a year, before we could testify, not because we weren’t ready, but because it took so long for the trial to begin.  After we testified, he was condemned to death.  Now we have to wait through the appeals until it is over.

“Do you want to wait?” she asked.

“Do you?” I asked.

“Let’s see it through,” she said.

“OK,” I said.


First published: November 2017
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