There was a dead man sitting on his chest.
Roughly two hours and eight cans of Bud Light ago, Jann passed out on his couch. Then, halfway through an unusually comforting dream of three well-endowed strippers giving him free lapdances in turn, he was rudely awakened by a sudden application of uneven pressure right below his sternum accompanied by a stench of rotting meat.
Initially, he thought that he was finally dying of a heart attack. He patiently waited for the white light to appear (or burning flames, whichever), but as the brunette with the lacy stockings continued gyrating in his face, he figured that it was probably the meatloaf in his underwear drawer reaching its final throes of freshness.
Slightly disappointed that his body had not yet given up, Jann reluctantly opened his eyes and –
‘WHAT THE – ‘
‘Shhhh….man, you’ll wake the baby next door.’
The thing sitting on his chest was probably once a man with roasted-coffee complexion, dreadlocks, and a hippie rainbow shirt that said ‘WAR IS A WHORE’. However, the creature that Jann saw had a hole in head where its right eyeball should have been, black fingernails, and gums that had shrunk back so far Jann could nearly see the roots of its teeth. Jann choked back a scream.
It gave him a lopsided smile. ‘Hey, man. I’m – ‘
At this point, Jann’s resolve broke and he opened his mouth to scream. Before the ‘agh’ could turn into an all-out ‘AAAAYEEEEEEEEEEEE’, the creature tightened its strangely sinewy legs around his chest and all Jann managed was a small ‘eeek’.
‘Can’t alert anyone, man,’ the creature said, shaking its head.
As its head turned from side to side, Jann felt small objects falling onto his week-old polo shirt. He gulped. Whatever it was that was falling onto his chest, Jann did not want to see it. He decided that the best course of action would be to close his eyes and pray that this thing would disappear soon. Unfortunately, he could not spare his olfactory nerves.
‘Yo, man. Sorry ’bout this whole sitting-on-chest thing, but I figured I’d better else you’d run.’
Nope, Jann thought, this is all a bad dream.
‘I’m Declan, by the way, but you can call me Dede. That’s what everyone calls me.’
Strippers. Three strippers. At a strip club.
‘Well, damn, man. I thought you’d be friendlier. You could at least look at someone when they’re talking.’
Jann felt something push up against his eyelids. He fought it, pressing his eyes shut. The force intensified.
Nope, nope, nope nope, absolutely –
All of a sudden, the force tripled in magnitude and Jann felt his eyelids fly open.
He found one cataract-afflicted eye staring at him. He whimpered.
‘What…what are you?’
The thing’s grin widened.
‘Who, man. Who. I’m your – ‘
He felt something cold and wet flop down onto his chest.
The creature reached down and picked up a limp, grey thing. It examined it for a while, as if wondering how to fit it back in where it belonged. Then it nonchalantly put it into its mouth and pressed lightly downwards.
It smacked its lips and cleared its throat.
‘Sorry ’bout that. Been dead too long, man. Things start falling apart. What was I saying?’
Jann stared in horror.
‘You sure don’t talk much. Well, I’m your guardian angel.’