21 Warning Signs Of Your Imminent Death
You are going to die. We all are, and whether it's seconds from now or entire minutes, this inevitable fact of life is the one thing that binds us all together.
Try it! Whisper, "You're going to die," to someone in an ATM line to remind them of your shared humanity.
I know a bit more about death than most, having spent many hours spying on doctors and magicians to learn their secrets. And because I desire only to educate and terrify, I'm going to share what I know with you below, in the form of a list of signs you're about to die. I invite you to print this list out and carry it around with you wherever you go, so that you might get your affairs quickly in order once your appointed time comes.
Chest pains are famously a sign of a heart attack, and that's probably your main worry here. But they're also indicative of stab wounds, gunshot wounds, and tiger attacks to the chest, any of which can reduce your chances of survival. If you feel chest pains, consult a doctor or zookeeper immediately.
Your Life Flashes Before Your Eyes
If you begin to see past events of your life in great clarity, or experience a sudden slowdown in the passage of time, you're probably experiencing the time dilation effect commonly reported by those in incredible danger. Death or, at the very minimum, a tiger attack, is imminent.
You Develop A Slight Cough
Anyone who has ever coughed in a movie has been dead by the end of it. And although that's only the movies, in a sense, aren't we all the protagonists of our own movies? A single cough is a pretty sure sign that time is running out for you. The good news is that, with nothing to lose, you're now more dangerous than ever, which is exactly what your foes in that drug cartel / spy agency / Congress won't be expecting.
A Red Dot Flickers Across Your Chest
This is a pretty sure sign that someone with a powerful firearm is strongly considering killing you. There's also the possibility this is a teenager with a laser pointer trying to annoy you -- though that also spells certain death for you, given that courts still do not acknowledge the uncontrollable murder-rage laser pointers can provoke. Once the authorities manage to dislodge your foot from the teen's rib cage, you will surely be sentenced to death.
You Find Yourself Dangerously Close To Your Own Petard
"Petard" is the French word for a small demolition charge, and appears in the old saying, "hoist by your own petard," meaning to have your ass handed to you by your own weapon. Should you happen to find yourself in close proximity to any booby traps you set, robots you made sentient, or theme parks filled with escaped dinosaurs (that you helped escape) you're probably not long for this world.
Someone Gives You The Kiss of Death
Most kisses are good and fun, but the Kiss of Death is not one of those. These are often delivered by older, Mediterranean gentlemen, and you can tell them apart from regular kisses because the sound the lips make is that sad trombone noise.
A Creepy Child Tells You You're Going To Die
Children don't normally talk that knowledgeably about death, so if one tells you you're about to die -- say, while you're visiting a foggy town, or after appearing out of the shadows while you sleep -- you can be pretty confident that this child has some supernatural abilities, and knows something that you don't about a tiger attack or a Mediterranean gentleman.
You're At An Abandoned Summer Camp
Think you're having a fun time with your friends at an abandoned summer camp, giving makeouts and lip-jobs to each other? Think again. You're about to be murdered, and the sad thing is, you know from your sinful ways that you kind of deserve it.
You're About To Retire From The Force
Police officers never retire from the force. They're either kicked off the force for playing by their own rules, or killed during their last week before retirement. Knowing this, most police officers who approach retirement age begin playing by their own rules to get kicked off the force and preserve their lives. If you're a sworn officer but have neglected to spend the last few years tampering with evidence, going too deep undercover, or kissing interrogation subjects full on the lips, it's already too late for you.
The Perimeter Of Your Volcano Base Has Been Breached
Even though it's just the perimeter alarms, and you still have your elite Volcano Guardsman standing between you and the intruder, the plain fact of the matter is that 85 percent of all volcano base owners in this situation will die, typically following a lava-related quip or pun.
You've Just Told Everyone You're Invincible
The cruel Gods which watch over this world hate arrogance more than anything (though they're also not huge fans of volcano bases), and if you do anything as full of hubris as declare yourself invincible, or even just pretty durable, you can expect that a lightning bolt or swarm of Mediterranean gentlemen will kiss you down momentarily.
An Austrian Muscleman Promises To Kill You Last
Austrian musclemen are unkillable war machines whose thirst for blood is only matched by their love of wordplay. If one of them ever promises you that he plans on killing you last, he actually plans on killing you next. So, you know, heads up.
The Person You're Trying To Murder Just Drank From Their Poisoned Chalice, Leaving The Almost Certainly Not-Poisoned Chalice For You
This seems like it's going to work out, but it never does. I've lost a lot of friends this way, plus two enemies.
You're In A Secluded English Manor With Twelve Of Your Enemies
If one hell of a scheduling mishap results in you spending a weekend in a secluded English manor with a cool dozen people who despise you for various reasons, you're probably going to die pretty soon. Additional warning signs include storms, cut phone lines, or Belgian detectives.
The Background Music Suddenly Gets Faster
If the background music which constantly plays throughout every moment of your life suddenly increases in tempo, it's a pretty sure sign you're about to die. Make peace with your loved ones, and finalize any plans on how your many gold coins are to be distributed after your death.
A Canary Dies Near You
Canaries were used in mines to serve as an early warning system to alert miners about sudden dips in air quality. If one of the canaries that you carry with you at all times for its beautiful music rolls over and dies, it's a sure sign you are in immediate peril.
Really, Any Type Of Bird Dies Near You
In point of fact, there's nothing about an abruptly dead bird which is good news. Whether it's air quality, shotgun wounds, or a witch's hex, if a bird of any type near you dies, you're probably in a pretty bad situation and should immediately consider applying to major religions if you are not already a member.
Everyone's Watching You Closely
If you're not that popular, yet suddenly have everyone's attention, it's possible that you are now the canary. Everyone is watching you to see if you're about to die because of some poison they know about that you don't. There's little you can do about this now, though if you do manage to pull through, consider becoming more popular.
Hundreds Of Birds Fall From The Sky Around You
See above, although now with a second threat. Not only do you obviously face the same affliction which is causing these birds to perish, but you now risk being buried alive by bird corpses. This is the most shameful way for a human being to die, and if it happens to you, few will even speak your name when you're gone.
A Noise Interrupts You From Completing Something
While working on something of great importance, a noise, likely nothing, can be heard from the basement. There it is again. Although it's almost certainly the furnace, or the settling of one of the piles of bird corpses you keep for research and recreational purposes, it's worth investigating, even before finishing what you're working on.
Chris Bucholz was a Cracked columnist and your best friend. His first novel, Severance, is incredible and available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or Apex Books. Join him on Facebook or Twitter.
For more from Bucholz, check out 5 Pros And Cons Of Leaving Your Child In The Wilderness and So The Walls Of Your House Are Bleeding.
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