To all my friends in CIE. You know who you are.
“Welcome to Death,” I say. The morgue is full of the new arrivals, shuffling incorporeally through the gurneys and equipment. They’re a motley group, from the peacefully departed to the violently wrenched. There’s no fear among them, just mild confusion.
I, however, am a nervous wreck.
I cough. “I’m here for your orientation. There are going to be several sessions, from the dos and don’ts of haunting to astral plane immigration policies. If you’ll all look at the screen on the wall—”
They’re not listening. Most are wandering away. One is inexplicably sleeping. I start to panic. I am not even supposed to be here. My boss Larry always did these, until he died last week, somewhat ironically. I wonder briefly who did his orientation and if he found it helpful.
Specters are disappearing through the walls. It’s my neck if they get away without some basic training. What’s worse, they’ll all be haunting my office the first time a graveyard bully crosses their path. I’m sweating and scrambling frantically for what to say.
“Who you going to call?” I scream suddenly.
Every eye swivels slowly until the whole, ethereal crowd is looking at me, real fear evident in their wraithish eyes. Then they trundle towards me.
“Good,” I say. “Now, let’s get started.” I click the remote. “Slide 1: proper mausoleum maintenance—”