by C. E. Gee
The door was closed; the sounds of the busy hospital were blocked
out. The soft sobbing of Pappy’s wife and occasional beeping from
equipment monitoring Pappy’s vital-signs were the only sounds in the
Pappy’s wife was in one corner, by the window. Other visitors were
gathered together arround Pappy’s deathbed.
In addition to Pappy’s adult son and daughter, there were in-laws,
grandchildren, Pappy’s brother, nephews, nieces, grandnieces and
grandnephews, a couple of cousins, old friends.
In his far distant youth, Pappy was once a trooper in the Army,
fought in a war. Because of his service, Pappy became interested in
military history, was a student of the subject. Pappy smiled as he
remembered a classic quotation from a World War II general.
Pappy knew it was time to repeat the quote. As if delivering a
blessing, Pappy placed one trembling hand upon the head of a small
child standing bedside. “I shall return,” declared Pappy in a
surprisingly deep, smooth, firm voice.
Pappy laughed. He had achieved his lifelong dream; Pappy got the
last laugh. Pappy then died.
The darkness was infinite. But one blazing sphere of light beckoned.
Pappy moved toward the light. Then, Pappy remembered.
When still among those not yet dead, Pappy, a genius, had formulated
many unusual, unique theories.
One theory was that after death, embracing the light eliminated all
sense of self, wiped clean all impressions experienced in the previous
incarnation. Thus, when a soul was reborn it would know nothing of the
Pappy turned away from the light, returned to Earth.
Pappy’s soul traveled around North America, sought out and found a
human egg at the moment of fertilization. Before any other soul had a
chance at it, Pappy occupied the fertilized egg.
Pappy had nine months to transfer his knowledge to the fetus as its
Shortly after rebirth, Pappy, tightly swaddled in a receiving
blanket, found himself in his new mother’s arms. Father stood nearby.
Pappy cleared his throat, licked his lips. Pappy had spent much of
his previous incarnation as a telecommunications technician. It was
time to bring his experiences as such into play.
In a high, squeaky voice, Pappy said, “Audio check. Testing, one,
two, three, four, five; five, four, three, two, one. Testing, testing,
Pappy gazed up at his mother as his father exclaimed, “What the . .
Pappy then declared, “I have returned.”
Pappy laughed. Pappy got his first laugh of a new age. Humanity
would never be the same. Pappy was reborn. He had achieved eternal
Pappy had a mission. It was his destiny to teach others what he had
Soon, humanity would join other immortal beings of the universe in
achieving eternal life. Earth would become as it is in the heavens.
Pappy was amused.
© 2018 C. E. Gee
Born in 1947, C.E. Gee misspent his youth at backwater locales
within Oregon and Alaska.
He’s answered many callings: logger, factory worker, meat packer,
infantryman (Vietnam war draftee, 1968), telecommunications technician,
volunteer fireman and EMT, light show roady, businessperson, webmaster.
Retired, also a severely disabled veteran (PTSD), Chuck now
writes Science Fiction.
His blog is at https://kinzuakid.blogspot.com
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