I always told my friends that if I were to die I would somehow send a message from the afterlife to tell them what it was like. How fortunate that Fakiegrind is still up and running, and that I can manipulate the subtle energies of the world-wide-web from beyond the grave!
Actually, the afterlife is pretty sweet. At first, it appeared as a vast field of green grass with a line of verdant trees in the distance that didn't get closer no matter how long you walked towards them. A kind of spectral, haunting wind perpetually blows across the place--like the phantom drafts found in high-rise condos--and a bright, white sun blares down on the landscape, lending colours a sort of bleached-out look. There were no other people around, that I could see, though I often felt as though I had caught glimpse of someone out of the corner of my eye, only to turn and find myself alone.
After wandering thus for some time--though time here really has no meaning, since there is no way in which to measure it--I was surprised to hear the familiar sound of wheels striking pavement. Skateboard wheels? I followed the sound and soon came upon a great, outdoor skatepark facility, replete with ramps, bowls, ledges, hips, curbs, rails, embankments and large, smooth open stretches--a flatlander's paradise!
The park was surrounded by a ring of eldritch tombstones inscribed with the names of fallen shredders. I didn't recognize many of them, but I came to one, newer looking stone and was startled to see my own name inscribed in the stone. Beneath it a two word epithet was printed in gothic type: STAY OLD. Well, that shouldn't be too hard, now that I was dead. Pushing past this reminder of my new metaphysical status, I entered the park proper.
There were a few skaters here and there, but everyone looked to be about the same age: thirty-five. Never had I seen so many "mature" skateboarders congregated in one spot. Where were the obnoxious kids? I guess in the afterlife everyone remains in the prime of "life", forever.
I wanted to skate the park, but didn't have a board. I felt like I was in one of those dreams where you lose your shoes, or your car or bicycle, and you're searching all over for them. Then a fellow sort of materialized in front of me--"people" seem to do that in the afterlife. At least, I hadn't seen him there the moment before.
"Dude!" he said. He was wearing a Skull Skates black logo cap, a Thrasher t-shirt, knee-length neon shorts and red and white checkered Vans. He looked a little too old to be attired so, but the goofy grin on his sun-tanned face transmitted to the afterworld that he didn't care.
"Welcome to Heaven, dude! Let's shred!"
He was carrying an extra skateboard tucked under one arm, which he handed to me. I couldn't believe my eyes: it was a vintage Ray Barbie deck with oldschool Indy trucks and big, red T-bone wheels! I loved that board so much as a kid it was all I rode for a whole year. I noticed that the fellow's own skateboard was a vintage Skull Skates Street Sickle--the one with the Grim Reaper on the bottom framed by a wall of leering skulls. It was a rad deck, to be sure.
Without further ado, my guide pushed off down a slight embankment and into the fantastic architecture of the skatepark. Dropping my new slab beneath my feet I hesitated for a moment. Never had I seen such insane terrain. I wasn't even sure I could skate the bizarre transitions that unfolded before me, some of them looping overhead onto platforms that looked as though they were designed to be skated upsidedown.
Reminding myself that I was already dead and had nothing further, apparently, to lose, I threw caution to the ghostly wind and dropped in.
...to be continued.