by James Wyatt
Rated: 13+ · Short Story · Tragedy · #1204444
The tale of a man being judged.
| Though he had been a man once, he was no longer. He was a spirit, a judging spirit, whose purpose was to send others to their rightful place. He had no emotions, no bias, no remorse and no pity; those were things for mortals. Emotions were things of the past for him, his only purpose now was a judge. Heaven, or Hell.|
His duties were performed meticulously. There was not a soul who could cheat him, not a line he couldn't read, not a speck of dust he could not see. His word was law, and he gave it without hesitation.
The man who made the spirit falter was just the same as any other man. He stood an average height, he had average colored hair, a nice face and generally warm eyes. This man, Daniel, stood before the spirit calmly, awaiting any sort of word.
The spirit opened his book to Daniel's page, and reviewed his life. Daniel was born into a middle class family with a sister and two parents. It was in a decent town, in a decent area, nothing extraordinary at all.
As the spirit looked at Daniel's life, it began to feel twinges of sadness, something it hadn't felt in the longest time. When Daniel was 12, his friend and him had stolen some candy bars from a convenience store, which led to a down on her luck store clerk getting fired for constant stock shortages. Her resulting depression caused much pain for her and her family, putting Daniel in a very bad spot, and he hadn't known any of it.
In high school, Daniel had lied consecutively to spend time with a girl who his parents didn't want him seeing. Manipulation was not to be tolerated, even with the intentions of bringing a smile to a young woman's face. When that young woman had played with suicide to cope with her abusive parents, Daniel had to be by her side. He told his parents the truth that night, and punched his father to let him leave. Violence was not to be tolerated.
Pausing to look at the man before him, the spirit continued reading.
Just before his twenties, Daniel was down on his luck. Working a dead end job with an unappreciative boss was tough enough, but Daniel kept piling other things on top of himself. He had just fallen in love, and lost his virginity to the girl of his dreams. They scavenged up a relationship, and Daniel couldn't be happier with her. This lasted for a little while, until Daniel's busy schedule got the best of him, when his girl decided to look somewhere else. Daniel's unsympathetic boss took no pity on Daniel, and fired him for lack of commitment to the job. Even more so, Daniel heard that he had a child on the way from the girl who had left him, and vowed to support her and his child by any means necessary.
Unable to find work and stuck with a new babe, Daniel had to resort to other means to get money. Breaking and entering was the beginning, stealing small bits of this and that, always leaving a heavy heart behind. His child needed more, and so did it's mother. Loans were taken out and credit cards were maxed, and Daniel had to step up his income. Still no employment was to be found, and Daniel was getting desperate.
Drug trafficking became Daniel's next income, and he hated it. Not wanting to expose his child to his practices, he moved away and wrote the toddler a letter a day. Usually money was sent with each letter, but whenever it wasn't he was rewarded with a phone call describing how bad of a father he was. Daniel held his head up high though it all, at least he knew he was doing all he could.
The spirit knew it was too late for Daniel at this point, but was inclined to continue reading.
In this new city, Daniel had found new opportunities. He got a job at a restaurant, and was soon promoted to Assistant Manager. He sold drugs on the side to make the bills, and no longer needed to steal. Loans were starting to get paid back, and bills were caught up. His child was old enough to hold a conversation, and Daniel called him as much as he could to tell him how much he loved him. Unfortunately, there was a fire in the building he lived in. Everything Daniel had was destroyed. His customers from his side business demanded more and more, but he didn't have anything to give. Within days, threats on his life were being issued.
Daniel was at a loss. One night at the restaurant, something inside Daniel snapped. He took all the money from the safe, and drove to his child. Moments after he had burst inside and dropped all the money he had, police were at the door. He was thrown in jail, all with tears running down his face.
Daniel was not the type to go to prison. Abused, used and beaten, he tried to hang on. In the end, it was all he could do to hang himself.
Above all things, suicide was not tolerated. The spirit knew this, and only hoped that Daniel would understand.
"If anyone deserves to get into Heaven, it is you." the spirit said. Daniel looked at the spirit and opened his mouth to respond, but then disappeared. Daniel would be spending the rest of eternity burning in Hell.
The spirit looked at the long line of the dead, and wondered to himself, just as he did after every soul was judged, if anyone would ever be allowed into Heaven again.