Marvin's World of Deadheads
World of Deadheads Series
When Marvin Broudstein is killed by a bus, he assumes that’s it, he’s just…dead. But he soon discovers death is a little more complicated than he thought. In an alternate world, he re-connects with a college buddy who perished in a plane crash and finds a new friend in a young hippie who has been dead since the sixties.
Marvin is trying to learn the ropes in this new and strange world, but thoughts of his fiancée, Jenna Wilson, drive him to distraction. Partly because he blames her for his untimely death, but mostly because he misses her so much, he wants to kill her. Unfortunately, some pesky rules still apply and Marvin is confronted with an agonizing choice—let Jenna live, or face a gruesome eternity.
He stood in the living room and loaded the gun, careful not to drop any bullets on the floor, and returned the box to his pocket. With one more look at the hole on the shelf, he strode to the door of the bedroom. If he took any more time, he might falter in his resolve, so he lifted the gun, pointed it at Jen’s sleeping form, closed his eyes, and pulled the trigger.
Nothing. No gunshot reverberated through his ears. He opened his eyes, and a soft snore escaped from Jenna.
“What the… You gotta be kidding me.”
He pulled the trigger again, and again nothing happened. It was like something out of one of the movies Tommy always seemed to go on about; one where the main character is repeatedly pulling the trigger of an empty gun. But he knew this gun was not empty, he’d loaded it not three minutes ago.
He fumbled with the gun in his hand to study it, but it was just a little too dark to make out the details, increasing his fury. Light from the streetlamp poured through the window, which in the past had always kept him awake and was why he made Jen sleep on that side of the bed. He went to the window and brought the gun close to his face for a better look. A deafening roar issued from the gun. Something burned through his right ear. He fell backward and spun around in a complete circle. “Ow! Goddammit.”
The bullet lodged in the crown molding above the sleeping Jenna, and a soft sprinkle of powder dusted her hair.
The sound of the gunshot didn’t penetrate the world of the living; Jenna snored lightly. Marvin turned toward the window and twisted the barrel to catch some streetlight for a better look at the safety when the gun went off again. The glass shattered as the window exploded outward. Small, diamond-shaped shards rained to the alley below. The bullet ricocheted off the next building and buried itself in the wood framing of a window in the condo below theirs.
Jenna sat up screaming, turned on the bedside lamp, and stared at the near-empty window frame. A very frightened Marvin muttered a single “mother-fucker,” ran out with gun in hand, and forgot about the glass cleaner and paper towels on the floor.
Jenna ran for the phone and dialed 911 as lights turned on in several apartments. She sat in Marvin’s chair shaking as she waited for the police to show up.
She heard a loud tapping on the door. “Jenna, dear, are you all right?”
“Oh, Mrs. McClaskey.” She ran to open it and immediately buried her face against Mrs. McClaskey’s shoulder.
“Dear, what’s wrong? I heard you scream. What happened?”
“I don’t know. I don’t know. The bedroom window…it’s shattered.”
Mrs. McClaskey hugged her tight and tried to calm her down. “Did you break it while you were cleaning it?”
Jenna broke the embrace and stepped back to allow Mrs. McClaskey in. “No. I wasn’t cleaning anything, I was in bed, sound asleep.”
“Well, dear, you should’ve put your cleaning things away. Why, you could’ve tripped on this and hurt yourself,” she warned, and picked the items up. “Now, where do they belong? I’ll put them back for you.”