Prompt: You die and go to heaven. You can see the pearly gates in the distance, glistening in the sunlight. You walk towards them and a strange feeling overcomes you. As you come close you notice that they’re rusty and derelict. The handles are worn down. With considerable effort you force them open…
I waited years to stand before these gates, yet they are not as heavenly as the book promised. Abandoned. Rusted. One hanging on a metal hinge, weighing on the gray, cloudy ground. But there’s nowhere else to go, nothing but grayness as far as the eye can see. A cold wind blows. The broken hinge sways, creaking. The gate’s heavy but it gives after some force, wailing as though it grown use to stagnation.
It’s as empty inside as out. Wispy gray clouds underfoot and above, a hollowness I haven’t felt since Beth’s passing. It’s colder here, as though the wind blows out beyond the gates. I don’t know what to do, so I walk for a time. Searching for anyone, finding no one. Not sure if I’ve gone anywhere, I glance back and the gates are a dark speck on the bleak horizon.
The farther I travel, the colder and darker it becomes. I didn’t believe I would feel frigidness in Heaven, the book only spoke of warmth and welcoming and love… I wrap my arms around myself, carried by the strengthening gale. The gray had seeped to black, but I emit a wavering, dim glow, reaching a foot or so around me.
“Hello?” I call out, the word ending as soon as it leaves my lips. “Anybody?” I shout, coming out a whisper. I stop afterwards.
The wind vacuums from an impossibly large gouge in the ground. By my flickering light, a jagged rim is visible, dropping into a blackness I can’t properly describe. I follow the rim for a while but it’s endless. I try the other end, the same. I stand at the edge, my hair blown forward, eyes watering, teeth clenched.
Is this where everything and everyone went? Is this where Beth went? Where does it lead to? Who created it? Is God down there, too? Did I follow the path of the others before me? One after another? Until there was nothing but emptiness left? Or, is the real Heaven down there? These questions and more tumble through my head like leaves on pavement.
Nothingness around me, and potentially everything at my feet. Nowhere else to go, I hesitate, and jump in.
Read my previous prompt, “Ignorant Transactions”
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