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Paying the Toll by Eddie Flotte
Paying the Toll by Eddie Flotte

Paying the Toll

For the living, the toll is $1.50. Unlimited crossings are permitted. To the Limbo bound souls at Grassy Sound, things are different. We can't know for sure our allotted number of crossings, only that each becomes more difficult than the one before. Thelma is the keeper of a finite power and she thriftily and cautiously uses it. She has at times gifted me with charmed tokens which have allowed me to breach my confines with ease, but she warned me against asking "Divine providence," she explained. During my first few years here, I could move easily; stay away for weeks and months. In the earlier days it was simply a compelling desire to return that brought me back. Later my time away grew shorter, more agitating until finally I was unable to leave at all. Marooned, ...cut off from the people I loved and the life I had lived. In my early days at Grassy, I was oblivious to my condition. I looked back at my crash. I remember the impact. I remember looking back at my SUV in it's completely demolished condition. I remember the angel, dressed in rescue gear, I saw him pull my twisted frame from the wreckage. One day this angel appeared at Grassy dressed as a postman, with golden wings on each epaulette. He handed me his gilded pen and one piece of beautifully delicate paper. Somebody likes you up there, he said with a smile. I wrote one letter addressed to list of people I loved. I thanked them dearly for having loved me in return, I promised to remember them forever. I said goodbye in the hope of seeing them all again in heaven. The postman folded my letter and slipped it into a gold trimmed lace envelope. It's nice here he said as he looked around. He turned and walked away. I watched him disappear as he moved down the crooked boards.
— Eddie Flotte

410

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