Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/view_item/item_id/2245883-An-Encounter-With-the-Reaper
Rated: 13+ · Short Story · Religious · #2245883
Will they survive? Christian story inspired by "Jumpsuit" by Twenty One Pilots
         On a Saturday night in 1956, Freddy Hamilton borrowed his dad's 1956 Chevy and picked up his girlfriend Sadie at her house. After arriving, he honked his dad's horn, and Sadie came out in a gorgeous sapphire blue dress. "Ready for the school dance?" asked Freddy.

         "Sure am! How about you?" asked Sadie.

         "Couldn't be more ready," said Freddy.

         "I could use a break from studying for AP Bio," said Sadie, brushing her long, blonde hair. "I have to pass if I want any shot at getting into nursing school. These new AP classes can really whip you."

         "Good thing I don't need AP classes to become a mechanic," said Freddy. "I'll be able to keep this Chevy running for decades. Hopefully, Dad will let me keep it. We'll need a nice car to take our kids to football practice."

         "And to church," said Sadie. "Can't forget that."

         "You Catholic girls! We don't have to go to church," said Freddy.

         "Church is essential, Freddy! Unless you form a relationship with Jesus, you can't go to Heaven. When will you realize how important it is?" said Sadie.

         " I don't need to worry about getting into Heaven until I'm dead," said Freddy. "That's like, 50 or 60 years from now. I've got time." He drove with only one hand on the wheel.

         After about fifteen minutes, they arrived at the high school gym, with its low lighting and paper decorations everywhere. An Elvis Presley song played over the sound system, and the smell of punch and appetizers permeated the air.

         "Dang, it's an antsville in here," Freddy said as he went over to the punch bowl, watching as Sadie swing danced with other boys. If they can do it, so can I, he thought. I've been too chicken to do it up until now, but screw it, I am going to try.

         After the current song was over, Freddy approached Sadie with the words, "C'mon, snake, let's rattle!"

         "Actually, I'm a little beat right now. I need to rest for a song."

         "But Sadie, we're boyfriend and girlfriend," Freddy's lip started to tremble.

         "I know. We can dance in a little while. I just need to sit for a song. I've danced the last five." She pulled out a handkerchief and wiped her brow.

         "Alright," said Freddy. He went outside, looking down at the ground. What kind of boyfriend am I when my own girlfriend doesn't want to dance with me? he thought, blowing his nose and sniffling.

         Later, Sadie came out. "I've been looking for you! Would you like the next dance, cool cat?"

         Freddy perked up. "Of course!" They went back inside, hand in hand, and danced together the rest of the night.

         Around midnight, the two hopped into the car and headed down the long, winding road home. The moon appeared especially bright, and the scent of pine filled the air as there were coniferous trees everywhere. Suddenly, a fox ran across the road, stopping in the middle of it. Freddy slammed the breaks so hard he lost control of the car, which skidded and veered off the road, crashing into a tree. The vehicle instantly erupted into flames.

         "Freddy! OMG! We're going to die!!!" screamed Sadie.

         "This can't be real!" said Freddy. "Must be a horrible dream!"

         Freddy beheld a dark figure on a horse approach. The figure wore a black robe, with the face obscured. Two red lights shone where the eyes should have been. The figure descended from his horse and extended a bony hand towards Freddy and Sadie.

         "Eeeeeek!" Sadie tried to run away, bit she couldn't free herself from the wreckage. The figure placed his skeletal hand on her shoulder, and Freddy saw her soul leave her body, floating upwards into the night sky.

         "You're next," said the figure. "This is indeed real."

         Freddy trembled in his seat. "No! I'm only sixteen! I'm too young to die! There's got to be some way out of this!"

         "There is no way out. This is the end of the line. You thought you had so much time, and that Christianity didn't matter," said the figure.

         "Look, Mr. Grim Reaper, I'm going to graduate next year, and you can't take that from me!" Freddy picked up a rock and hurled it at the Reaper. The rock traveled through him, landing a few feet behind him.

         Sadie looked down from the sky. "It's beautiful up here, Freddy. You should join me."

         "I can't go yet! There's so much more I want to do before I die! What about my future career? What about our kids? They won't exist if I go now!"

         "Face it, Freddy. Those things just weren't meant to be," said Sadie.

         "Mr. Reaper, I'll give you anything you want if you just let me live. I am almost an adult. I want to experience being one. Please?" said Freddy.

         "What do you think you could offer me in exchange for your soul?" said the Reaper, looking at his watch.

         "I could...um.... help you get a girlfriend? I know how to attract the ladies, don't I, Sadie?"

         "He does have a point," said Sadie. "He is a flutter bum."

         "That doesn't matter in the afterlife. I don't have time to date anyone, anyway. In fact, I have thirteen other people to take out in the next hour if I want to keep my pay. It's time to go," said the Reaper.

         "No!" cried Freddy. He looked up towards the tops of the mountains, where angels stood, tossing white roses down. The Reaper placed his hand on Freddy's shoulder, and he began to ascend.

         Freddy found himself at the gates of Heaven. Before him was St. Peter. "Are you going to let me in?" said Freddy.

         "That depends. Why are you here?" said St. Peter.

         "I lost control of my car and crashed. I tried to talk the Reaper out of taking me, but he still did," said Freddy.

         "That's not what I'm talking about," said St. Peter. "Why should I let you in? Do you deserve to be here? Especially after how dismissive you were about the faith?"

         Freddy thought back on his life, remembering everything he did wrong, from the white lies he had told, to the time he stole a record from a store. "I didn't think religion was that important," said Freddy.

         "It is the most important thing. Accepting Jesus is the only thing that will keep you out of Hell," said St. Peter.

         Looking down, Freddy beheld a sea of fire, which reeked of sulfur. Red eyes looked into his own. He trembled and hyperventilated at the sight.

          "Freddy, you deserve to go down there, like everyone does. But there is one last hope for you. There is One who paid for all your sins when He died on the cross. Do you accept Him? Or do you think you can get yourself in?" said St. Peter.
          "I lived my whole life as if He didn't matter," said Freddy. "It must be too late for me." He wiped a tear from his eye.

         "It wasn't too late for the thief who hung next to Jesus on the cross," said Peter. "He believed, even though not until his final hours. Will you do the same?"

         Freddy looked up and meditated on the cross.Jesus endured a terrible death to save me, thought Freddy. "Yes. He gave it all so I could get into Heaven. I was wrong to think He didn't matter. I repent and accept Him."

         "Correct answer," said St. Peter. "Welcome home." He opened the gate, and Freddy entered.

         Sadie ran up to Freddy and gave him a huge hug. "You will love it here," she said.

         "I wanted to stay on earth so I could live my life," said Freddy.

         "So did I," said Sadie. "However, even though it's not what we wanted, it is better here. We don't know or want what is best for us, but God does."

         "I guess you're right," said Freddy. The two held hands as they enjoyed the light of heaven for all eternity.

(50's Slang terms from https://www.heywoodwakefield.com/dig-slang-1950s/)
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