Monique wore a tattered robe of coarse gray fabric. The garment was filty, torn at the elbows, frayed at the sleeves. Her emaciated body shook violently. She murmered an inaudible prayer to an uncaring God. A rat scurried past, clung to the corner where wall met the cobblestone walkway. The air stunk of death. Rotting corpses lay in rows by the burial yard next to the church. A priest with a rag wrapped around his face held a wooden cross and prayed over the bodies, his plaintive drone accompanied by the hum of flies feasting on the rotting flesh.
"She went to school as often as she could. She was a good student, a good girl. She liked to cook with her grandmother on Sundays after church. They made souffle' and creme bulle'--her favorite treat." Henry expained to the spirit.
"Do you want to save her?"
"Can you tell me how many more people like this we are going to see? Is it all sadness?" Henry asked.
"There is neither sadness nor joy. These people you see are not constrained by time. Time for them does not exist. They are in between the realm of life and death where time cannot exist." The spirit swung down closer to the dying girl's face. The light she emitted added color to the otherwise ashen countenance.
"You see, we are here with these people at the exact moment of their demise. The woman in the cave, Maya; the soldier with the bullet boring into his skull; this pretty young girl you see before you, and every other person you will witness on your journey, are in the perfect state of transition. You, beam of light who was once most recently the form and shape of a man called "Henry," are a constant energy form without living or end."
"So why is there a need to choose whose body I occupy? If I exist permanently, if time is no longer a factor, then why do I have to choose?"
"There is only one choice." answered Henry's guide. "No matter who you choose, you will be. . .you. You cannot die, and so neither can they. These lives you see are merely different versions of the same vessel. You."
"So, I could return at any time to these people?"