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Everybody lived | Anoushka Dixit

Everyone was dead. They were all having a great time in the Afterlife, and why wouldn’t they. It had everything, from all kinds of delicacies to various exciting places and activities. The best part was they could have it all with no consequences, no money problems, no health troubles, no worries, nothing, just pure joy and satisfaction. Now, who wouldn’t want that right? There were spirits that ran magical places like gardens, halls, cafes and many more. Everyone was content until that day.

“This Jaun-tea is awesome! You guys have to try it,” Phil said, raising his cup while splattering a few red glittering drops of the liquid in it. Andy took a bite of his cloud-wich “don’t you think you’ve had too much? You need to slow down.” “I think I'm fine, and how many of those have you eaten by the way?” “Less than the number of cups you have had.” “You wanna bet?” “Sure!”

“Guys, guys!” a third voice interrupted them. “Calm down. Remember where we are going next, the Souls' Arcade!!! I can't wait, so shut your mouths and finish your food so that we can head to the arcade.'' Andy and Phil chorused, “yes Sam” and quickly finished their meals. These three departed lives met in the Afterlife and became best buddies. They did all kinds of fun things together. They had planned to traverse the whole Afterlife. It being a huge place always had new places for them to explore. Their goal was to go to each and every spot in this place and they had their whole after-life to make their dream come true.

The three friends entered the arcade. It was a large place with the most exciting games. They started browsing the games, action, adventure, puzzle, racing there were all kinds of games one can imagine. But just when Andy was about to press “PLAY”-


Golden sirens started blaring in the sky. A loud announcement was repeating - “all assemble in the Holy Hall!” everyone could be seen rushing everywhere. The three guys looked at each other and then headed towards the Hall. When they reached the Hall, they saw Cheros, God’s first man standing at the center stage waiting for everyone to seat themselves. The center stage was surrounded by a large number of seats. There were so many seats, everyone could easily find a place to sit.

After a few minutes, when everyone was seated the sirens became silent and the announcement stopped. Everyone was murmuring among themselves. Cheros raised his staff and everyone was quiet. “My dear souls,” he began, “I have gathered you all to inform you about something crucial.” His voice was deep and clear, not very loud but audible to even the last seats. “You know that life on Earth and the afterlife here are connected. Without life, there is no afterlife and without afterlife, life is incomplete. However, now this balance between the two has been disturbed, and this disturbance is a grave matter. If not taken care of, it can affect our place and system severely.”

Everyone looked alarmed and scared. There were whispers everywhere. Cheros raised his staff again and the whispers died. “In order to restore the balance,” he continued, “God has decided all of you souls one by one will be reincarnated on Earth. You all will be reborn and live your life on Earth again.” Now there were more than whispers. They were all grumbling. No one wanted to go back on earth. Everyone was shouting and complaining. But Cheros was unaffected by the noise around. He just waved his staff and a large screen appeared over them which had everyone's name on it. “As soon as your name comes, you will be sent to earth. Get ready.” with this, he stomped his staff and vanished.

Everyone started running here and there, trying to hide or find an escape from the Afterlife. But who can run away from God's Hand? Every now and then a large Hand came from above and took one soul. No matter how much they tried, no one was spared, no pleas were heard, and no exceptions were made. Phil saw that the list had Sam’s name first, then Andy’s and then his. The three had determined not to leave this afterlife.

“Let's go to Ellie’s Enchanted Garden. Hopefully they won't see us in the buds. They're magic you know,” Andy said and they all ran towards the garden. Inside there were large, beautiful flowers of all colors. There were some buds too. The flowers were like large beds for relaxing and the buds were like closed private capsules, free from any disturbances. The three friends quickly entered a blue bud. They sat there quietly, hoping when they came out it was all over. Inside they couldn’t hear the screams and resents of others as they were being picked by the giant Hand. After a few souls, it was Sam’s turn. They had thought the magic of the garden was strong but as said before, nothing can dodge God's Hand. The Hand had to just touch the bud and it bloomed into a beautiful vibrant flower. Above them they saw the Hand, it was emerging from the clouds and had a white sleeve with golden embroidery. The whole Hand was glowing and it moved towards Sam. all three of them screamed as the Hand picked up Sam.

“SAAAAAAM!!!!!” Phil and Andy cried out.

“NOOOOOOOO” Sam yelled.

And the two pals saw their f