Disclaimer: Not mine, not making any money. Just a simple one shot to deal with my emotions after learning of the death of Michael Clarke Duncan.
Buffy didn’t know where she was. All she knew was she felt safe and loved. The stress of her life and the worry for her friends had melted away. All that was left was sense of peace and happiness.
The scenery here was beautiful. She was in a high mountain meadow with trees in the distance and tall grass and wildflowers covered the ground in front of her. The sun was high in the sky and the warmth felt wonderful on her skin. She had spent so much time in the dark she had almost forgotten what the sun felt like.
In the distance she saw a large lake and the blue of the water beckoned her closer. With no fear or reservations, Buffy began to make her way through the field of colorful flowers and headed toward the water.
As she made her way closer to the lake, she heard the sound of children laughing. She listened closer and realized it was two little girls.
As she made her way toward the sound, the deep laugh of a man joined that of the children. The laugh was the sound of pure joy.
Buffy hastened her steps toward the sound wanting to be part of such joy.
The scene that she found was so perfect she couldn’t do anything but stand and watch.
In front of her, near the water’s edge, was a huge, dark skinned man dressed in a pair of denim overalls with a dark tee shirt underneath. The overalls were too short and Buffy could clearly see the man’s bare feet.
In front of the man was a tall pine tree from which hung two rope swings. Each swing was occupied by a little blonde headed girl. The girls were absolutely beautiful. Both had their long, blond hair in ponytails and both were wearing old fashioned gingham dresses.
The girls were shrieking and laughing as they were pushed higher and higher on the swings by the large man. As though the laughter was infectious, the man laughed with the girls.
After what seemed to be a few moments, the man sensed her presence and turned toward her.
He looked at her for a long moment before starting to slowly make his way toward her.
The closer the man got, the more Buffy realized just how big he was! Still, she had no fear of the man. She could sense nothing but peace from him.
When he reached her, he inclined his head and said, “Ma’am.”
Buffy smiled and stuck out her hand. “Hi, I’m Buffy.”
The large man stooped a bit and carefully took her small hand into his large one. “Pleased to meet you, ma’am. My name is John Coffey, like the drink, only spelled different.”
He spoke slowly and softly and immediately Buffy knew this man was special.
“Glad to meet you John.” She replied. “I’m new here. Can you tell me where we are?”
His reply was short and meaningful. “We are in heaven.”
As Buffy was about to reply, one of the girl’s called out to John to come back and push them on the swings some more. John turned to look at the girls with a brilliant smile on his face. “There’s something I need to tell this young lady.” He replied gesturing his hand toward Buffy.
The girls seemed to understand and without another word began playing a game of tag.
“Ma’am, it is not your time to be here.” John told her.
Buffy shook her head. “Yes, it is. I died to save my sister, my friends and the world.”
John looked sad as he said, “No, it is too soon. You still have more trials to endure.”
Buffy tried to summon up some anger but the calm that radiated from John seemed to deflate her anger before it could get going. “I’m dead.” She replied. “I don’t know what more the Powers that Be can throw at me.”
“We do not always know why the Father allows things to happen as they do. There were so many things I did not understand during my time on earth and I still don’t.” he told her. “All I know is that he has plan and while we may not understand it, we must place our trust in him.”
“I don’t know that I believe in God.” Buffy told him.
John gestured to the beauty around him. “The proof is all around you. I saw very bad things when I was on earth. My heaven is to be surrounded by the beauty of nature, the sound of children laughing and, most of all, peace. One day, when your trials are over, you will have your own peace away from the pain, ugliness and death you have had to endure.”
Before Buffy could reply, the scene around her began to fade and, suddenly, she found herself in pitch black darkness.
AN: I couldn’t believe it when I heard the news that Michael Clarke Duncan had died. He was a great actor and, from everything I’ve heard, a great person. I don’t normally have an emotional reaction when celebrities die but his death has affected me and I needed to do something to deal with my emotions. This is my humble tribute to great man. May he rest in peace in his version of heaven.