[SP] “you died, I literally saw you die.” “Death is a social construct.”

It was six in the evening. The work day was over. The sun had furtively ducked behind the horizon. Justiciar Singleton buzzed herself through the final checkpoint and left the grounds of the Agency.

It was time for her evening commute. A ten minute walk down Derrida Drive, a short wait for the Route 58 bus towards Graysburg, another half hour in transit and she would be home.

Her new home, she reminded herself. The previous proprietor had fallen afoul of the law and was convicted for subversive acts against the state a day prior. As the next in line on the housing waiting list, the apartment now passed to her.

The bus arrived, sparsely occupied as was the norm. The Agency finished work an hour after most factories and offices did, and the first waves of workers had abated by the time she clambered aboard.

"Good evening," a voice drawled from the row of seats behind her as Linda Singleton sat down.

She turned to see over the backrest.

"You!" she exclaimed aghast. "You died! I literally saw you die!"

"Death is a social construct." the man said with a shrug, resting his newspaper on the seat beside his.

"I..but..what? How can death be a social construct? You were biologically dead. You had no pulse, no brain activity. For Marx' sakes, you were shot by firing squad!"

"Death is a social construct." the man repeated, somewhat bewildered. "Isn't that what you said about gender? I figured it applied to other things biological, as well."

Linda Singleton's body was discovered by the driver later that night as he brought the bus into the depot. An autopsy revealed a fatal concentration of wtfomine in her bloodstream, a hormone normally associated with incredulity. The Coroner remained rather stumped as to what might have caused such a reaction, as it was previously thought medically impossible.

The Agency collapsed some sixty years later, along with the state which nurtured it, amidst economic stagnation, widespread unrest and infighting.

And of the man there came no word. Was he a ghost? Was he even there at all? Or was death really just a social construct? Few knew to ask, and even fewer dared.

/r/WritingPrompts Thread