When Lucas awoke that morning before the sun had even begun to rise, he knew that something was horribly wrong. The place on his belly where Pumpkin usually slept was strangely cold, and when he looked down, he saw nothing but the crumbs of the donut he had eaten the night before.
"Pumpkin?" He shouted, immediately jumping up from his sofa. "Pumpkin, baby, where are you?" He looked in the kitchen, no luck. Underneath his old bed, no luck. In his closet, no luck. Eventually Lucas found himself searching in the oddest of places including the toilet, the long broken refrigerator, his old shoes. Nothing.
His heart began to race. Oh where oh where had his little Pumpkin gone? His heart sunk when he saw that his apartment door was slightly ajar, letting in a small stream of light from the hallway. He must have not closed it all the way last time he went out.
"Pumpkin? Pumpkin! Where are you?" He shouted down the empty hallway, but his voice was swallowed by the stuffy walls and filthy carpet. The black cat did not come scampering towards him.
He skittered down the hallway on light feet, occasionally calling out the name of his beloved cat.
Without Pumpkin, he was all alone in his personal limbo. He had no one else to keep him company, for death had veiled him from the rest of the waking world.
The elevator doors opened, and Lucas let out a little eep! of surprise. Another man was in there. Hopefully he wouldn't be too worried that the door opened on a floor where no one was there. In fact, he hoped that he wouldn't worry if that happened on all the floors. So, Lucas smashed all the buttons with his fingers.
The doors opened, and he poked his head out. "Pumpkin?" He cried into the empty hallway. He did this multiple times before the man finally spoke.
"Are you looking for something?" The man had said. "I've been here for a while, maybe I can help you find someone?"
Lucas coughed, then choked, spattering saliva everywhere. He wasn't talking to him- no way, no way. He was probably just talking to himself, or maybe he was on his phone! Lucas decided not to look at him.
"Man, what's going on? I need to get to the lobby. I gotta go to work."
Lucas spun towards the man, his purple rimmed eyes wide. "Huh?" He said meekly through chapped lips. "Are you talking to m-me?"
The doors opened with a bing, but Lucas was too distracted to do anything.
"Uh... Yeah?" The man seemed rather confused. "Come on, man. Why're you doing this? I gotta go, I'm gonna be late."
Lucas coughed more. "A-are you some kind of clairvoyant?" He stepped towards the man, and reached out to stroke his cheek. He couldn't be real.
The man visibly retracted from his touch.
It was a sign- it had to be. He never had to be alone, ever again. Once one presence in his life leaves, another will enter. Maybe his new presence would be this man.
"I'm Lucas, and I'm dead, let's be friends."