Some days, things just seemed to go wrong. Today was one of them. As if waking up late for work wasn’t bad enough, another round of layoffs had been announced, and Jeff The Random Paladin just wasn’t sure his luck was going to see him through this time. Plus his kid needed braces, the dog had worms again, the roof was leaking, and his athlete’s foot had come back. And then there was the dragon.
Jeff really wasn’t sure what he had done to offend it, but he had been standing there, wishing there was a convenient way to scratch his feet through his armor, when it had come up, and cast a spell on him. He wasn’t sure exactly what it had cast on him, and that didn’t really matter a few seconds later, because by that point he was writhing on the ground, screaming, and attempting to strangle himself to end the pain.
The worst thing about the pain was that he retained his consciousness. It seemed to him that pain this excruciating should rob him of all understanding of anything other than his twitching body. And yet he was aware of everything around him. Not just aware, but hyper-aware. For one, the dragon was watching smugly and saying something to its companions, who were either laughing or sighing heavily and grabbing spatulas, which would presumptuously be used to scrape his remains off the floor and into a mason jar, which would be returned to his widow with a sticky-note with “Sorry :(“ written on it. That was not a comforting thought.
But it would be his last thought, because next thing he knew, he was in the dragon’s mouth, and only a few moments later, dead.
This would be upsetting to anyone, and Jeff was part of everyone. But he didn’t have time to dwell on the unsettling events surrounding his untimely demise, because a very beautiful dwarfish woman was kneeling over him.
“Is this heaven?” he asked.
“No,” said the woman matter-of-factly. “This is a plane of judgment. I take it you’re recently dead.”
“I am. Eaten by a dragon.”
“Tough luck. I’m Hilgya. What’s your name?”
“Jeff,” said Jeff.
“Any hope for a rez?”
“Not sure. I was a paladin, but not exactly high-ranking, and its not like I was killed in the line of duty, and I’ve got three kids to put through college, and my oldest needs braces, and…” Hilgya shushed him by placing one cool finger against his mouth.
“Shhh… You had me at ‘paladin.’ Let’s have sex.”
“It’s not like there’s anything else to do. Besides, your marriage vows clearly state ‘til death,’ and we’re beyond that, far as I can tell.”
“But…But…But I’m a paladin!”
Hilgya shrugged. “And I’m a cleric. We’re dead and stuck in a waiting room. I mean, look around. Seriously.” For the first time, Jeff looked around, and noted that indeed, almost everyone was either in the middle of the no-pants dance, or standing around, blushing scarlet. Jeff blushed scarlet.
“I see. You’re one of the blushers. Well, nothing I can do there. Bye.” With that, Hilgya walked out of his death, leaving a befuddled Jeff scratching his head.
When Jeff was raised a few days later, he decided against mentioning the incident to his wife. There were just some things she didn’t need to know.