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The Flip

Joshua A. Colwell | James Brown

“Heads, we get married; tails, we break up.”

The sentence echoed in the back of Jason’s mind. His girlfriend, Alice, was dead. She had been dead for nearly two days, yet here she was, standing right in front of him.

“How can you be here? You can’t be alive.” His stomach turned over. The thought of Alice being here was almost too much, then again, this wasn’t a thought. She really was there. Her pale green eyes pierced his heart, taking away his breath.

“You can’t be here.” His eyes welled up as his voice became soft.

“I can, and I am.” she smiled at him. She pushed a strand of loose hair behind her ear and took a step forward.

She faded in and out, her silhouette gleaming against the backdrop of what was to be their townhouse. Jason took a step toward her. Everything about her was the same. Her amber-colored hair even danced in the breeze, just like the old days.

“How are you here?”

“Because you want me to be.”

“I wanted you to live. I wanted to marry you, Alice. But, I don’t even know what this is.”

“It’s me, Jason. I’ve been given a second chance with you. Fate brought us together once, it can do it again.”

Jason’s heart was pounding. She was dead. This wasn’t Alice. Or was it?

“What do you mean again?”

“I flip this coin, if it’s heads, we get married; tails, we break up.”

“Break up?”

“As in you never see me again. I’ll just drift away to the Otherside.”

Jason couldn’t believe it. Did things like this really happen? Did people actually come back from the dead?

Alice took another step forward, he could now feel her breath on his neck. “We don’t have much time, Jason. I feel myself slipping.” She blurred in and out, sometimes holding her solid form, other times, she was merely a whisp of air.

Jason saw the coin in her hand. It could have been a quarter, judging by the size of it. But Jason doubted the afterlife used the same currency as he did. “Please don’t go. I’ll do anything to be with you. Flip the coin, babe.”

“No matter what?” She held the coin in the palm of her hand. “This coin means everything. If it works, you have to marry me. They don’t do this for just anyone.”

“I’ll do it.” His eyes welled with tears. “I’ll marry you, I promise.”

Alice took a deep breath, her solid form barely able to keep shape. She blurred, in and out, the way a T.V. does when the picture is out.

“One, Two, Three!”

The coin turned over in the air, again and again. It came and went, just as she did, but it never left Jason’s eyes.

Alice’s mouth curled into a smile as the coin hit the ground.


Jason’s heart nearly left his chest.

“You get to come back!” He jumped and ran over to hug her. He put his arm around her shoulder, but to his shock, it went right through her.

Alice only smiled at him. “It worked.” She pushed another lose strand of hair behind her ear. “You’re all mine.”

“But, you said if it was heads we would get married. You were supposed to come back.”

“I never said I would come back.” Her smile widened. “You’re with me now.”

Jason looked at his hands and arms. His body became more and more transparent by the second.

“How could you do this to me? I trusted you!”

“You said you would marry me no matter what. I took you up on the offer, babe. We can be together, forever. Just like we planned.”

Jason looked around in horror at all the other spirits that passed through. Some dead for centuries, others, like himself, were still in shock.

Alice walked over to him, eyes full of satisfaction.

“Come, the Otherside is waiting.”

About Joshua A. Colwell

Joshua is a professional writing/editing student at Youngstown State University. He has been published at Every Day Poets, where he currently works as a slush reader.

Visit the author's page >

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