Written for the silent voices contest. One new arrival's tour of the afterlife.
| I was nearing the end of the grand tour. Actually, it's probably the grandest tour of all. The angel next to me was my guide and it was his responsibility to assimilate me to my new home as well as accustom me to my current state of death.
So, here I am in Heaven. They told me not to dwell on my actual death so I won't mention the specifics, but I am most certainly dead and in my new place. My guide showed me everything and there was a lot of that. I guess it can be difficult to show the non-limits of endless creation in such a short amount of time but I am glad it is almost over. My mind (or I suppose my consciousness) wandered and returned just as the guide was explaining Heaven's only rule. Do not go in the castle.
Looking up as he is speaking I see an absolutely incredible sight. The castle makes the Emerald City appear drab in comparison as its pure pulchritude is numbing. It is quite simply the most epitomical example of exquisite architecture in the history of...well, the history!
"Is it God's home?" I ask softly.
The angel just chuckled.
"God could never be that proud," he responded. "It's not the home of any one all powerful, ego centric being. It is a tribute to, and a home for, the most deserving of all souls to enter Heaven. Only those souls live in there and they never leave. Each new arrival enters it once and then never again."
The angel went on explaining that some souls who entered but didn't belong lost their sanity. The powers that be had added it to the tour so each new arrival could be shown the inside once, settling their curiosity. No one could enter a second time.
I am beyond curiosity as we enter and eager to see it all. Inside I see countless souls but they seem shapeless and unaware. I turn to my guide and ask about this.
"These are the most innocent of souls. They are undeveloped, but very worthy of a home," he answered.
I continue to look around in complete awe. Whose souls could be so special, I wonder.
"The most innocent of all souls," says my guide, apparently reading my thoughts. "Who is more innocent than an aborted child? A soul never given a chance to grow. They have no way to enjoy the fulfillment of Heaven so it was the least God could do to create this beautiful tribute to their innocence for their souls to reside in."
"I don't understand what happened," said the angelic guide to the attending white-coated angel.
They were both looking through a large window at the still screaming patient.
"Did you thoroughly read her file before starting the tour or were you too lazy about it to do it properly?" asked the therapist.
"Well, I've been guiding for decades and I may have gotten lazy. How did this happen? What did I cause?" queried the guide, his distress growing.
"It would seem," began the expert, his voice overflowing with scorn for the guide, "that you neglected to read her history and were not aware of the daughter she aborted eighteen years ago. She should never have been brought in the castle! But, don't worry, you'll be able to help. Your boss has stripped you of your wings and you have been assigned to help here until she is ready to be released; even if it takes all eternity."
The fallen angel could say nothing and just stood, wingless shoulders drooped, listening to the agonized screams of his charge.