So yesterday I failed miserably at trying to improve my layout. Here’s to trying again today. This redesign will not get the best of me!
In the meantime, here’s another flash piece.
Prompt: You have just passed away, and you find yourself at the Gates of Heaven. You were not evil, but you weren’t the epitome of good either. So you are offered a choice: Wait your time in Purgatory, or become a Guardian Angel for an individual until they die. You choose the latter.
“Does anyone ever pick Purgatory?” I don’t expect the angel to answer my question, but the silence is beginning to get to me. We’ve been walking for what feels like hours. I’m not tired – the dead don’t get tired – but I am bored. Instead of answering me, the angel in front of me just turns down another hall.
“Wait here.” They step aside and gesture for me to enter through a door. Entering the room, the first thing I notice is that there’s no one else, though it looks like a waiting room. You’d think there would be others. “And to answer your question – you’re the first in a millennium not to.”
“What?” But by the time I turn to ask, they’ve closed the door and I’m alone. Is there something everyone else knows that I don’t? Why would anyone pick Purgatory? With no one left to answer my questions, I take a seat on the far side of the room, near a small window. The glass is foggy and I can’t see to the other side but there’s a door a few feet down from it. I assume that’s where they’ll call me.
Maybe I waited for hours, or seconds – there’s no way to tell since time runs differently – but eventually static comes over an unseen intercom calling my name. “Sasha Contreras, please approach the door.”
When I do, the door opens by itself and I’m greeted by yet another angel. This one sits on the other side of a desk and doesn’t bother looking at me as I enter. Their focus is on a set of files lined up on the desk. “Take a seat.”
I manage an uncomfortable silence for about a second. “So you’re going to give me my assignment?”
“Yes.” But they still don’t look up. “So you perished in a fire, correct?”
I flinch at the memory. “Yeah.”
They consider this for a moment before finally looking at me. “Your assignment is a man named Malcolm Turner. He’s the firefighter who recovered your body.”
If I could feel winded, I would. He didn’t just recover my body – he watched me die. He did everything he could to save me, but it was too late by then. That pillar had crushed me beyond repair. “W-Why?”
“He needs you. Your job will be to watch over him – make sure he survives his assignments. We have big plans for him.” They rearrange the stack of files before shuffling through the contents of one of the desk drawers. A moment later they pull out a watch and hand it to me. “Should you need guidance, you can use this to reach me.”
I take it, noting that it looks like a smart-watch. “How do I…how do I watch over him?”
“Befriend him, follow him around, do what you need to do.”
“Won’t he recognize me?”
“No. You’ll have a new face, new identity.” They hand me a manila folder. Inside, there’s a picture of a woman with deep blue hair and thoughtful brown eyes. Her name – my new name – is Chris Sanders. “Everything you need is in that folder.”
“Okay.” I’m beginning to understand why people prefer to just wait around in Purgatory.
“Head out that door behind you. Your assignment begins as soon as you do.”
I nod, closing the folder and standing. “Thank you.”
With a deep breath, I move to the door.
And there’s that. In my mind, this happens in the same universe as Secondhand Soul and Provisional Freedom.
As always, think happy thoughts!