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Afterlife Protocol: Farewell

By LuckySapphirePenny All Rights Reserved ©

Thriller / Adventure

Blurb

Andria Archerman was a grieving granddaughter full of regrets when she went looking for a Protocol cellphone. She often wonders to herself, if she had been thinking clearly- would she have done this? When the first email in history was sent, it discovered that the dead could communicate to the living. After a series of incidents, the United States government implemented the Afterlife Protocol policy series to control this activity. Under law, people must request Protocol cellphones, if they wish to speak to the dead. To further advance the research, the government called for all any person born with a supernatural ability to participate in the studies. It was not long before the research projects were exposed as torture, and for the government to mandate the order regardless. As Andria wrestles between her guilt and staying alive, she finds herself as the unwilling bodyguard of Willow Riverrock, a young Medium desperate to escape the Afterlife Protocol.

Life in Death

It was a small service in a little town, so it was quiet preceding the sermon.  Looking at the urn on the podium, no one seemed to care that droplets began to fall or that a downpour was soon to follow.  The town they were in had no more than 1,000 residents, but the funeral seemed to have temporarily populated the town to its brim.

Andy looked around herself and noticed the tears gathered in the eyes of her family members, as well as the other attendees she didn’t recognize.  Most likely friends of her grandfather, she supposed.  Then her eyes narrowed and her mouth thinned into a frown, noting some people who showed only for the sake of saying they paid their tribute.

Her attention suddenly shifted when she noticed movement in the crowd of mourners, quickly followed into step.  They were walking towards her family’s cemetery plots, and the ashes were to be scattered.  As much as Andy wanted to steal the ashes and scatter them into the ocean, her grandfather wanted to be with her grandmother.

Andy loved both her grandparents, they were the typical all-American couple who planted their roots in this small coastal town and grew into a blossoming tree of love and warmth.  However, many health complications occurred as they aged that eventually led to the death of her grandmother.  She was a husk of her former self, barely remembering Andy or any other members of their family. Her grandfather died of a heart attack several days later, leaving Andy just as disoriented as the rest of her family.

Despite the despair that followed, Andy and the rest of her family were looking forward to their deaths in some way.  They would be at peace and be reunited as they once were, and would finally give Andy the chance to speak to her grandparents properly before she passed on completely.

Seeing the ashes pour onto her grandmother’s grave, Andy felt tears falling down her cheeks.  As much as she looked forward to speaking with them again, she was by no means happy with their deaths.  She was glad to see her mother, sister, and the rest of the select family members felt the same.

“Andy...” The twenty-something woman looked to left, and saw her sister Lilly. She held an umbrella over Andy in an attempt to shield her from the downpour.  Andy hadn't even noticed it started raining.

“Yeah Lil?” The older girl turned back to the grave, which named both her grandparents as loving spouses, parents, and grandparents.

“It’s time to go back to house. There’s a representative meeting us there, to discuss the Protocol cellphone,” Lilly solemnly explained.

Andy snorted, of course she knew that.  The Protocol cellphone they would receive would probably be an old brick model, without any of the conveniences of the modern counterpart.  The older the age of the deceased, the older the model of the mobile phone tended to be.

“There probably won’t be many calls, you need to make your case if you want to say goodbye,” The younger girl pointed out.

Andy inwardly groaned, but knew Lilly was right.  Even though she was the black sheep, she was easily the most favored grandchild in her family.  Whether it was because she was the oldest of her generation or because she reacted differently to most situations, her grandparents had always paid extra attention to her.  Even so, it was doubtful that spiteful the aunts and uncles would respect her grandparents’ sentiments.

“Grandpa will probably just tell them to give me the phone,” She shrugged and began to follow the crowd back to the cars.

“You cried... that’s pretty rare.” Lilly ignored the mud splashing into her socks, noting the ache in her eyes after her own breakdown. “Thought you gave that up.”

“Should I not have?” Andy sent her an annoyed look.  Being born half a decade a part, the sisters certainly had their differences.  However, the habit grating the other’s nerves would probably always be a constant.

“No.  Mom and I were actually happy.  You have a bad habit of keeping everything in, and it’s nice to see you not force yourself for once.” Lilly said as she closed the umbrella.  Andy opened the driver’s side, and waited with Lilly as the procession of cars began to drive away.  As they waited, Lilly turned to her older sister. “What are you going to say to them?”

Andy leaned her cheek against her fist on the car window, and briefly glanced towards to other occupant.  Lilly was expecting something snarky or sarcastic, as the older girl had always had trouble in these situations.  However, her sister surprised with her with a rather regretful answer.

“I’ll tell them I’m sorry and I love them...”

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