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Rated: 13+ · Short Story · Contest Entry · #2241548
St. Peter processes three new arrivals by giving them a brief return to their lives.
Three men bump heads arriving at the Pearly Gates.

"What is your name?" St. Peter asks. Confused, they try to answer. "Ah..." "Oh..." "Not sure."

"Hmm...." St. Peter thinks. "OK. You'll temporarily return to observe three lives. You will recognize yourselves, and report on what you've learned."

First is a high Manhattan office; "Richard Avery" engraved on the door.

"Squash that little company like a bug." snarls Richard. "Look where my deals have gotten me," he says with an expansive wave at the skyline.

"Just a few hundred people out of work, a few hundred more that will hate me."

"I'm Richard," admits one of the visitors.

To the next visit. A rainy, gray night. The driver staggers out of a car, with a license plate "LARRY1", swerved to the side of the road. A half empty bottle of vodka in one hand.

"Come on fella..." he mumbles to a small dog, collapsed under the bumper. Licensed; someone's pet. "I didn't see you, honest." A whimper, then nothing.

"I'm Larry," whispers the second visitor.

Finally to Hollywood. A movie idol leaving the cottage of his latest conquest, a young starlet. "She was sweet," he thinks, smoothing his clothes.

He returns to his cottage. A big star on the door, "George" in gold letters below it.

"I'm George," smiles the visitor.

They report back to St. Peter.

The first - "I'm Richard, a rich man, who got that way by destroying others that I shouldn't have."

The second stands up with his bottle - "I'm Larry, an alcoholic, killed a helpless animal. I should have thrown this bottle away."

The third - "I'm George, I miss my girls."

"Richard, Larry, welcome," St. Peter says, waving them through the gates, taking Larry's vodka. "George, you get the vodka to enjoy on the down escalator."
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