Prompt for September 20, 2016

Complete the short story/flash fiction, that has the following opening:

“But professor, wouldn’t you say that dearh is actually harder on the living than on the recently deceased?  Isn’t that the reason for elaborate societal customs with regard to mourning the dead?  Are we not really trying to assuage our own feelings with regard to the loss of those whom we hold dear?”

Professor Anthony Coruselki looked up from his tea at the young woman who had asked him the question.  As was his habit, once a month he held his class at a local coffee house and invited all of his students to attend and ask whatever questions popped into their mind.  He felt that the open ended nature of the discussions was more likely to produce thinkers than doers.  He kept his eyes on those that asked the most questions and those who didn’t ask but were enraptured with the discussion.  

This woman fascinated with death was a newcomer to the group of those asking questions.  Previously she had attended the sessions but had never asked a question nor did she seem to pay much attention to the answers.  Tonight, however, there was something different about her, something in her eyes that made him wonder why she was so curious about  death and societal customs.

“That is an interesting question in so much that it a more generalized observation about society in general.  And not just our current society, but all societies throughout the ages.  Death holds a morbid fascination for the human mind.  What happens after death?  Few people can comprehend the fact that their consciousness is gone.  The human mind is driven by electrical energy, much like a computer.  In the absence of electricity the computer is dorman until electricity is re-applied.  The human mind, however, once the electrical signal has faded there is no way to restore the consciousness, no way for someone to be ‘rebooted’ back to life.  This lack of a reset button is the heart of many religions and of almost all of our customs with regard to death.”

“But I think you knew that, didn’t you?”  He continued without letting her speak.  “You know this because you’d recently experienced death haven’t you?  You’ve come face to face with the fact that our lives our finite and you’re scared of what is on the either side of the veil.”

The woman looked at him with a hint of a smile.  “Your analysis is almost correct, professor, but it is missing one key fact.  The person that died was me.”

Post a link to the story in the comments.


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