"What do you want?"
"I'm here to tell you that it is not your time. You still have work to do, down there. Your mission is not yet over." The voice was male, but at the same time genderless. It was the inaudible thrum that remained in the air after a string was plucked. I did not hear it, so much as felt it resonate within my essence.
"The ... the thing. You know? The stuff that's ... ah ... OK, listen: We just really don't want you up here yet, all right? Someday, maybe, sure. But just not right now, man. We're all having a pretty good time; Ezekiel was just about to set up the ping-pong table and Samael is pretty sure he can get these two bitches to kiss later if we keep feeding 'em margaritas, so like -- 10 years? Can you give us 10 years?" The voice began to recede.
"They just look bi, man. Sometimes you can tell, you know?"
"Wait," I said, desperately trying to seize onto something, though I had no limbs to do so, "don't I get to relive the best parts of my life here first?"
"You don't even remember half of it! Most of your memories fall firmly into the 'morning after' category. Do you really want to relive throwing up candlewax into a sombrero for six hours?"
"No! But for the record, I'm pretty sure I won that bet. Come on! At least teach me some great truth about the cosmos before you send me back!" My distress became manifest, and I somehow managed to claw into the meat of the sparkling non-flesh around me. Something with a voice like the sound between notes squealed; I was pretty sure I'd seized onto some soul-ass.
"OK, sure, whatever. The secret to making love last is independence and indifference, infused with affection and generosity." The voice answered, each syllable like harmonic vibrations in a set of train tracks that ran straight and unbroken to infinity. Then it kicked me in the face with a foot of pure glory, and I spiraled back downward into the muffled dusk.
My first living breath was ragged with spit and disuse. My eyes refused to focus. A blinding light, figures, splotches of vague coloring resolving and dissolving with every heartbeat.
I instantly decided to hate the one on the left and bone the one on the right.
"What is this? Heaven?" I rasped. "Are you guys angels? If you're angels, you have to tell me. This is entrapment!"
"No," a dark splash of blue spoke. "This is St. Augustine Hospital, and I'm afraid you've been in an accident. I believe you may have experienced something called an NDE."
"Yeah, you know me!" I reached my hand up into the nebulous shape for a high five, or however many a nebulous shape has.
"I'm sorry ... you?"
"Know me, yes." My hand still hung.
"Who's down with it."
"Down with what?"
"OPP." Still nothing.
"I don't under-"
"You know who's down with it."
"Who's down with what, OPP?"
"Every last Home-ey!" I took initiative and slapped at what I hoped was the area's hand or hand-analogue. I swung through it, hit metal. Something crashed to the floor.
"I'm afraid there may have been some brain damage," the shape said to a thinner, whitish blotch.
"What's up, baby?" I said to the blotch. The blotch did not reply, either because it was a stuck up bitch, or possibly a drinking fountain.
She either thinks she's better than me, or will give me herpes if I drink from her. Probably both.
"I'm going to sedate him," the blotch answered the nebulous shape, and then stabbed me with something.
"I'll cut you back," I mumbled, fading. "Nobody punks me! Noboooo ..."
When I awoke again, a patient-looking doctor was smiling down at me benignly.
"Good to see you're up," he said, when I finally stopped swinging at his stupid face. "Still some loss of impulse and emotional control," he said to the nurse, as an aside.
"No, that's normal," I gently assured him.
"I'm sure you have a lot of questions," he began. "So, please, feel free."
"Just one: What's your fucking problem?"
"I'm ... sorry?"
"You should be! I had a death grip on what I think was angel-junk, and I was totally going to crash the shit out of that heaven-party. Then you soul-blocked me! Motherfucker!"
"Aren't you worried about time paradoxes?"
"I don't think I follo-"
"I only ask because you just