The Angel of Death. Harvester of Souls. The Grim Reaper. He goes by many names and recently he’s been turning up to work late. Three minutes late to be precise.
Scientists around the world are scrambling to understand exactly how a being that transcends both time and space can be late. Regardless of the reason the implications are startling.
The first recorded case of delayed death was witnessed in the Royal Edinburgh hospital, Scotland, when a patient who appeared to be clinically dead became disgruntled after nurses told him to get back into bed.
Harold MacAra had been a long time patient at the hospital and is believed to have passed away peacefully. That is until he stood up and began to remove his IV drips.
“My alarm sounded, so I ran to the room only to find Harold standing there with a flat line on his heart monitor” recalls nurse Magee McGregor. “I immediately called out to my colleagues and tried to get Harold back in to bed but he was having none of it!”
This struggle continued for two or three minutes until Harold died with several bemused nurses by his side.
In the weeks since there have been thousands of online eye witness reports of delayed death. In one case a man who held up a bus full of tourists at gunpoint in Egypt was shot several times, twice in the head, by police. The man apparently laughed, shouted ‘I am invincible!’ and continued running for two minutes before dying from his wounds.
In the US police have issued a warning about a dangerous cult that has surfaced in the wake of this strange phenomenon. News outlets in Kansas are reporting that one chapter of the Death Defeatists ingested poison at a gathering, waited for the poison to kick in and then celebrated for three minutes before promptly dropping dead.
Using highly sensitive atomic clocks scientists have been measuring the expected time of death against the actual type of death in order to more accurately determine the time delay, which currently stands at three minutes and twenty seven seconds. Death row inmates and hospital patients on life support are of particular interest to the scientific community due to their highly predictable nature.
In news that is almost certainly related, researchers have also reported a notable decline in reports of near death experience over the same time period.
At the time of publication Death could not be reached for a comment, presumably busy working through his backlog of souls.