Here’s my Author Aerobics: Telling Challenge entry and #FridayFlash
Through the Pearly Gates
by T.S. Bazelli
“You died. You may be feeling a little disoriented, but don’t you worry, you’ll have plenty of time to relax now.”
Carl, in fact, was feeling pretty good. He’d expected to wake up to a hangover, or the apartment manager banging his door down for the rent, but at least he wouldn’t have to worry about the old bag now.
He stuck his hands in his pockets, and looked around. It was exactly what he’d imagined heaven to be. It was almost trite: fluffed clouds, golden sunshine, and the faint sound of harp music in the distance.
“First a little housekeeping.”
The man at the desk was all white curls and tan skin. He reminded Carl of an ancient Greek god. The man flipped through a huge leather bound tome and dragged his finger down the a page. “Carl Faustenberg? Born in Portland, Oregon, February 23, 1967?”
Carl nodded, and nodded, as the man began to read through the abject details of his life.
“Ah, you’re a writer!” The man at the desk shut the book, and stood up. “Of course, this is the perfect place for you.”
He gestured for Carl to follow, and Carl did. Soft music washed over him as he entered through the gates. There were other people around, they peered at him with lamb like eyes and polite smiles, but no one said a thing.
“This will be your room for the next few centuries. I’m sure you will find it very comfortable. You’re free to wander as you wish. There are just three simple rules however.” The man pointed to the wall. It was slightly gray, as if it were composed out of compressed rain clouds. In the wall, a few brief lines were chiseled. The man wished him a good day, and left Carl alone.
Carl sat down on the fluff of cloud that he assumed was the bed. It was springy, with the firmness of a mattress. The temperature was a perfect 77 degrees Fahrenheit – he wouldn’t even need blankets. He lay back and stared up at the ceiling. Death wasn’t half bad, he thought as he lazed about.
A few hours later, or so, he couldn’t really be sure, Carl got up, feeling refreshed. His eyes were drawn to the letters chiseled into the wall.
No yelling or screaming; please speak softly.
No runing, in the halls.
You may not ask for an pen, chizel, or any other writing implement.
Carl fought the tick in his brow. Who did they hire to write this stuff? He huffed out of the room and into the hallways. There were other signs around, clearly demonstrating a lack of basic spelling and grammar skills. He thought his head might explode. At a near run, Carl made it back to the gates where he had entered.
He called to the man at the desk, who walked over with a knowing smile. “You didn’t think this was heaven did you?”