Tag Archives: hell

2464. Crossing the Styx

Over the course of a lengthy life Carmel had five cats. She had only one at a time, and each lived for a reasonable number of years, except for Tallulah who had died young from cancer.

 Now it was Carmel’s turn to pass away. The specialists had given their prognosis. It gave Carmel a little time to prepare. “I do hope,” said Carmel, “that they allow cats in Heaven and I shall have the joy of once again seeing my sweet five.”

They were almost her last words on earth. They were certainly her first words after death. She told the man rowing the boat across the River Styx, “I do hope that they allow cats in Heaven and I shall have the joy of once again seeing my sweet five.”

“You’ll be lucky,” said the man rowing the boat.

Carmel wasn’t sure how to interpret the man’s statement. Did it mean a yes or a no? That is why she repeated to the nice man at the Pearly Gates, “I do hope that they allow cats in Heaven and I shall have the joy of once again seeing my sweet five.”

“Only one cat per person is allowed,” said the man at the gate.

Carmel returned to the man in the row boat. “Take me to the other place,” she said.

2393. Angel of mercy

(The stories are back! – albeit erratically. I shall restart with a story that some readers may not like!)

It was extraordinary. Drew was more than aware that he had died suddenly. He was sitting in his armchair early on a Friday morning. Next to his armchair was a little coffee table with his mug of coffee and a slice of marmalade on toast. He had just had his first bite of toast when next thing an angel was leading him towards the gates of Paradise.

What a lovely angel! So seraphic! So kind! The angel led Drew by the hand.

“We are heading towards the Gates,” said the angel. Drew could already feel the effects of Heaven emanating towards him.

“To quote Saint Paul,” said the angel, “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart the things that God has in store… You know the quotation I’m sure.”

 “Of course I do,” said Drew.

“You realize,” said the angel, “that if you hadn’t put so much salt in your food and into cooking that you could have extended your life on earth by almost two years.”

Drew hung his head in shame.

“You realize,” said the angel, “that if you had been more careful to eat only organically grown vegetables that you could have extended your life on earth by two further years.”

Drew hung his head further in shame.

“You realize,” said the angel, “that if you had bought an electric car instead of that beat-up old bomb you drove around in you’d be going through that gate there into Paradise and not through this door here where there is an eternity of weeping and gnashing of teeth.”

“The old bomb was all I could afford,” said Drew.

With that the angel opened the door and flung Drew in.

“Now who is next on the list?” asked the angel looking at her clipboard.

“How Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez got that job as the angel I have no idea,” said Drew as he disappeared into the nothing world.

2365.  Heavenly surprise

It came as a great shock to Dr Gareth Priscott, Professor of Literature at a prestigious university, to discover upon entering Heaven that he had never heard of the greatest novel ever written.

“Put it this way,” said Archangel Michael, “I’ll give you another example: Wuthering Heights would never have seen the light of day if Charlotte Bronte had not pushed for her sister’s novel to be published.”

“But surely,” said the Professor, “Providence in all the great scheme of things, would not have allowed such a masterpiece to be lost from human endeavour.”

“I’d like you to meet Mrs Jocelyn McLeod, mother of six, homemaker, and part-time secretary to a refuse collection agency, whose novel, Onion Fingers in the Deep Fryer, is regarded in heavenly circles as the greatest novel ever written in any language.”

“I’d love to read it,” said Professor Priscott.

“You can’t,” said Archangel Michael. “It was never published, and her husband threw out the manuscript when clearing things up after her death.”

“But surely Heaven saved the masterpiece for all time,” said the Professor.

“Humanity must look after humanity,” said the Archangel. “We can’t be mopping up after every foolish human foible. Humanity must take responsibility for humanity.”

And that was that.

1961. An exclusive club

Although it might appear as rather arbitrary, and in fact it was, Heaven was divided into multitudinous groups of people. The membership of each group was determined by the last words they uttered on Earth. For example, the members of the “I-Love-You-Darling Group” had experienced a fairly run-of-the-mill death in which they were able to utter a reasonably civil statement as they passed on. The “Goodbye Group” and the “I’m-Going Group” were other examples. The “Au Revoir Group” was made up mainly of foreigners but the occasional person who spoke proper English made it into their ranks.

Most groups had many, many members, and for a millennium or so St. Peter at the Pearly Gates had wondered whether or not other criteria might better suffice.

There was one group that was the envy of all. It was known rather jovially as the F Club. Very few belonged to it. The members were the victims of some sudden accident when their plane dropped out of the sky or they saw a huge articulated truck plunging headlong into their vehicle. Their last word was an exclamation of surprise, as you might imagine. So sought after was the desire for membership to this group that St. Peter had to slightly stretch the rules. He had to allow for different parts of speech that used the word. For example, some people may have turned the word into a verb and not finished the sentence before expiring. However, a line was drawn if the F word was followed by “heck”. It reeked a little of Hecate and was considered vaguely inappropriate.

No one was surprised at the small affiliation in the F Club. Most in the circumstance of final accident had exclaimed a naughty word. They had, naturally, been cast into Hell. But those more lily-tongued had screamed at the point of accident not an unacceptable curse, but simply “Flip”. As stated, those whose final “Flip” was forever wrecked by a verb plus Hecate – “Flippin’ Heck” – were cast aside. As was “Freakin’ Hell”.

So here’s to the three members of the F Club. May they forever rejoice.

1764. Giggling Gerties

The concept of spending a considerable amount of time with these people was driving Barney batty. They were a giggling bunch of pre-adolescent zombies. Giggle giggle giggle. Barney half thought he had wasted his life; he should’ve become a comedian instead of a chartered accountant.

Giggle giggle giggle. Would they never stop? In the end, they were taken away by an “Assistant” to somewhere else; one could hardly say they went away on their own accord.

But what’s this? Another gaggle of Giggling Gerties escorted into the waiting room. Giggle giggle giggle. Barney wanted to scream. Off they go now, to wherever! Giggle giggle giggle.

It took a while for Barney to realize where he was; he had died and was in the waiting room before entering an eternal dimension. The Giggling Gerties were being taken off to Heaven. As the assistant who seemed to be overseeing the whole affair said to Barney: “Things are a bit overcrowded at present, so we’re keeping you here in the waiting room until we manage to finish expanding the boundaries of Hell.”

1712. High standards

(Someone asked me, why don’t you write something depressing? I think they were being sarcastic. Anyway, here it is.)

Lachlan had lived an average sort of life. He’d told the odd fib, but it didn’t amount to much. He’d given the occasional dollar to the Salvation Army during their Annual Appeal. He’d paid his taxes. He never once got a ticket for speeding. He’d been worn to a frazzle rearing his kids and driving van-loads of exuberant youths to this game and that, and so on. It was an average sort of life.

Eventually he died. He joined the line at the Pearly Gates.

Saint Peter said, “You lived an average sort of life. The standard here is very high. I’m sorry but you’ve missed out.”

“Oh, dear!” said Lachlan. “So I’m going to Hell?”

“No,” said Saint Peter, “as a consolation prize we’re sending you into oblivion.”

1452. Truly blessed

Alana was a fabulous concert pianist. She gave concerts all over the world. Critics raved. Audiences swooned.

“God has truly blessed you,” said Bethany.

“God has blessed me, my foot!” said Alana. “My talent is the result of hard work. I practised for hours as a kid. My ability has nothing to do with the fiction you call God. It has everything to do with me and me and me. Grow up.”

You wouldn’t believe it, but Alana died. “I had no idea that heaven was real,” said Alana arriving at the pearly gates. “I thought all this heaven stuff was a load of hogwash.”

“What would you like to do?” asked God (in a booming voice). “Who would you like to be?”

“I want to be the greatest pianist that ever existed,” said Alana.

WOOSH! Her request was answered immediately. There she was on a distant planet somewhere in the constellation of Piscis Austrinus. There sat the perfect grand piano. Alana began to play.

“I am truly blessed,” thought Alana.

Eventually it dawned on her. She was the only one on the planet.

1441. He’s still there

Norbert hadn’t realized he’d died. He got up in the morning totally oblivious to the fact that he had died in his sleep. He made breakfast. He made plans for the day. He even made his bed! In fact he hadn’t made his bed he just thought that he’d made his bed.

It wasn’t until several days went by that he realized no one had any perception of his presence. Everything in Norbert’s existence was simply his imagination. For example, he saw them sell his car, but he still drove it to town. It seemed like he was travelling in his car, but he wasn’t.

The only difference at first was that life would have no end. Fear of death had gone. Immortality reigned. Life had the same pains and joys, the same ups and downs. And then he began to have nightmares. He began to wonder if he was in hell. He began to believe he was in hell. The plummet into hell was a slow and deceitful process. It got worse as the years went by. It became horrific. He began to scream “Let me out! Let me out!” There was no escape.

He’s still there.

1357. Ironing a few things out

An Angel: Welcome to the afterlife!

The late Mrs Melba Cunningham: Wow! It’s true after all! And I made it!

An Angel: You can’t enter with those creased clothes though, sweetheart. Here’s an iron and an ironing board.

The late Mrs Melba Cunningham: Iron my clothes? I’d rather go to Hell.

An Angel: Where do you think you are?

1323. Emmeline’s lazy morning

It was Sunday morning. Emmeline’s alarm went off. The clock was telling her to get out of bed and go to church. Instead Emmeline turned over and snuggled sleepily into her warm bed.

Later she thought she would get up and make a lovely Sunday brunch. When she got out of bed she hit her head on the bedpost and died. Emmeline went straight to hell, where she will roast in a burning fire for eternity.

So much for snuggling up in a warm bed.