Matthew Blake was dead.

He was absolutely certain, after that bastard shot him straight through the heart. He glanced around at the funeral procession. Right beside him was his own body, carefully laid inside a glamorous coffin. The paparazzi's camera flashes bounced off of it wildly, like- well, like bullets. They at least allowed his face to show itself to the mourning crowd, huddling together as the sun set behind it. His long dark hair was cut to his shoulders, and the morticians had molded his face to look pleasantly asleep. Upon his brow were his trademark purple-tinted glasses, which he had worn even after he started using contacts. They had even dressed up his corpse in a nice tuxedo, not the ragged jeans and hoodie he had worn in his final hour.

Matthew Blake's spirit hovered over one of the speakers, some bloke he had done a charity concert with. He listened for a bit, grew bored, and started scanning the crowd. Right up in the front row was most of his family, next to Tanis, his girlfriend- ex-girlfriend, he corrected himself. But next to the family were three empty seats, each with a great big sign-



"RESERVED FOR RACHAEL BLAKE"- That seemed to be the emptiest of them all. But the five-hundred-plus mourners behind the empty seats almost made up for it. Almost.

Oh, now the priest was giving some big sermon to the masses. Matt hated priests. He reached down to slap him on the back of his balding scalp, but the hand passed through it as if it were nothing more than a priest-shaped fog. Matt tentatively pinched himself, just to be sure. Yes, it stung, and he could feel his own body as if it were still breathing.

Somehow he was floating above the whole procession. He tried venturing out into the crowd, but was forced to stop. Something prevented him from going any further. He turned back to the coffin, and saw a thin blue strand tied to him and the corpse. He floated back to his body. So his spirit was still tethered to his cadaver. Matt leaned back in mid-air, crossed his legs and began to enjoy his funeral.

There were a few more artists to give their final words, all dressed in their most respectful and modest bling. At one point he saw his mother burst into tears, and was shocked when he felt nothing. Sure they had a few court battles the last few years, but that was his mother, for God's sake. To distract himself, he tried swiping at the priest a couple more times as he sat in the folding chair behind the coffin. He found it odd that the priest just stared out into the crowd, trying as hard as he could not to face Matt's corpse. Matt's spirit shrugged, and looked out into the crowd. There was a little girl, no more than nine years old, staring right at him. He hovered there for a second to examine her. Her copper hair refused to stay in the red bows her parents had forced them into, instead draping over her two-sizes-too-big black dress. Matt had a sneaking suspicion he had seen her somwhere before.

Before Matt could get a further glimpse at the child, the mourners rose from their seats and candles were handed out. Two men in nice suits picked up the coffin, unknowingly dragging Matt's spirit along with it. The priest spread out his arms, and spoke to the crowd.

"My children, as we honor today the passing of Matthew Blake, I would like everyone to help him along with one of his own songs. Please join me as we sing Wossname's "Lulla By the Sea".

Oh, take me down

To that place I found

So many years ago.

Where the rivers fall

And the mountains crawl

Back into the earthly womb.

Matt strained to see the display, but he was pulled further down by the coffin. As the song continued, dirt began to fly past Matt, and through him. The weight of the dirt on his casket began to pull Matt's spirit further down.

Where all things come,

And all of it goes,

I hope you'll stand by me

As we dive back into the boiling sea

Not living, not dead,

But somewhere inbetween.

Matt felt himself yanked closer and closer to his body. He began panicking. Maybe this was it, all there was after life. Just dirt and darkness, nothing more. By now the hole was more than halfway full, and Matt was brushing up against his coffin. It felt warm and inviting to the touch, but still he resisted. Finally, the last of the dirt was piled on, and the grave was complete. Matthew could still hear the mourners singing, though now heavily muffled. He settled back inside his coffin, inside his old body, and began to sing along.

Oh, I hope you'll stand by me

As we dive back into the wretched boiling sea

Not living, not dead,

But somewhere inbetween.

Matt closed his eyes, and slept.

Not dead, not living, no,

But somewhere inbetween.