Relax With Me
rating: +7+x

Flora's eyes fluttered open to a brief sense of relief, followed by a horrible aching. Every bone in her body was screaming at her not to move. She blinked, and stared into the starless sky. After a moment, she tried to slump upwards, only for a sharp pain in her side to force her back down. So she sat still, and reflected on how much she'd wished to have been employed into a safer occupation than the one that landed her…

…where was she?

She rolled her neck to the left, noticing the ground was orange and dusty, unlike anything she'd ever seen. A few feet away, the horizon lingered. Maybe it was some kind of… asteroid? Definitely a smaller planet.

After a few moments, and a deep breath, she forced herself to look right to see, near the curve of the planet, a small wooden chair.

Flora rose, walking towards it, barely noticing the bone sticking out of her forearm, or the blood dripping down her thigh. And as she moved, she saw him sitting there. A man in nothing but an oversized black tuxedo that flowed down to the floor like a robe. He smiled warmly, and gestured to the table before him, covered in all kinds of sugary treats and cups of tea. "Take a seat," he said, his voice echoing in Flora's mind.

"…on the table?"

He blinked, and then his eyes widened. "Ah! Right." Snapping his fingers, a chair materialized on the other side of the table. "Now you can take a seat." Grabbing a cup of tea, he rose it to his mouth, blew on it, and then took a bite, crunching away at the ceramic. The tea itself, meanwhile, proceeded to burn a hole into the table and plop onto the ground underneath. Flora watched it sizzle for a moment before evaporating instantly, leaving a black scorch mark on the orange dust. The man simply looked down and snickered. "Kopi luwak tea, am I right? Who knows what's in that stuff!"

So she took her seat, opting to not to grab a snack.

"You're Flora, aren't you?" The man asked, taking another bite of his teacup. "Pretty name."

"Thank you, I guess. Uhm. What's yours?"

"I don't have one."

"Then… who are you?"

The man paused, then shrugged his shoulders. "I dunno."

She glanced into the sky. "Why are there no stars?"

He sighed. "You're full of questions, aren't you? Just relax. We've got all of eternity! And seriously, feel free to grab something. I don't really care for cleanliness, you can just hog out all you want. No judgment here. I recommend the croissants. The chouquettes and moorkops are close seconds, though!"

"I…" Flora sighed, rubbing her eyes for a few seconds. "Sure. Okay. Croissant it is."

In one swift motion, she grabbed the pastry and stuffed it into her mouth, at which the man let out an amused chortle. "Yeah!" He cheered. "Go crazy! Eat 'em up!"

Flora was too distracted to be embarrassed. She quickly chewed, swallowed, and raised a hand to her mouth. "I— I can't taste anything. Why…?"

The man didn't even look up at Flora as he reached for another cup of tea. "Oh, yeah. Being dead will do that to you."


"Mhm. That crash sure did a number on ya."

"So, uh…" Flora scratched her head, bewildered by the fact that she really didn't feel panicked at all. She just learned that she was dead! By all accounts, she should've been screaming and flipping tables and sobbing all over the place! But instead, she was reaching for another croissant, and talking to a clearly insane man. "Is this hell? Heaven? Or… I dunno, something in between?"

"This is my tea party." The man finally took a proper sip of tea, then coughed. "You're just here to relax, with me. Is that alright with you?"

Flora paused, and looked back to the starless sky. And she spoke:

"Yeah, I think it is."

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