My roommate arrived home from her death coughing between fits of laughter. Her hair was freshly dyed, evergreen on brown, and her shirt was soaked in blood (hers, this time). She ran over to squeeze my daylights out, pinned me against the counter, then shoved my hand into her chest. Her skin was cold, adhesive, and pale- already blue in a few patches. “Check it out!” She yelled, grinning madly, and staring into me with inch-wide pupils. “No pulse! It’s finally over!”

I felt a bit awkward about the whole thing, but that night, we cooked up a celebratory dinner just the same. She’d been planning on registering as a post-life citizen for several months now, but I never thought she’d actually gather up the courage to go through with it. Then again, she’d surprised me many times before. “So, uh, you can still eat?” I asked.

“Yeah, basically.” At this point, she was already pouring Mountain Dew into our stir fry, but I couldn’t bring myself to get in her way. “I can’t digest anything, though. Any food that I eat gets pressurized into crystals by that engine they installed.”

“…Engine? Crystals?”

“Damn straight,” she replied, and a muffled roar resounded from somewhere within her abdomen. She coughed again, and soot-laced smoke curled out from between her teeth. “My friend Ellie, the other dead girl who was over? She hacks one up every two weeks. Makes 'em into jewelry, then sells ‘em on Etsy.”

“That’s… pretty disgusting, Suzie.”

“It’s nowhere near as disgusting as the alternative.”

“Well, maybe, but look at what you’re-“

She wasn’t stirring the wok anymore. She was kneading its contents with her bare hands, crushing raw eggs into the mix, shells and all. Her fingers were turning red. She turned around to look at me again, still all smiles, but with teeth chattering wildly. “It’s just a little cold, you know? Otherwise, it’s a pretty sweet gig.”