This piece of flash fiction was inspired by something a Facebook friend said in one of zir statuses.
"This Is Heaven"
By = Tristan A. Arts
John Patabaker, a devout Christian, is on his death bed, preparing to die. He is old, but he is ready. He knows Heaven awaits him. He drops out of consciousness, goes toward the light at the end of the tunnel, eager for Heaven. He makes it, at last, to the light, and is immediately wet, cold, and confused. He can't see, the light is so bright he instinctively shuts his eyes. He tries to speak, to ask what is going on, and finds he can't breathe. He begins to panic and flail about, when someone slaps him hard on the back. He screams, but he's breathing now. In his torment and confusion, he keeps screaming, until someone wipes him dry and wraps him in something warm. He's still scared and confused, the light still too bright, but he is silent now. He tries to speak, and finds he cannot.
Finally, someone warm and gentle hold him in their arms. "This must be it," he thinks. "At last, I am in the arms of God!" He finally forces himself to open his eyes, so he can see. He looks up... and his confusion mounts. It is a woman he's never seen before, haggard-looking and sweaty from exhaustion and effort.
His confusion turns to anger. He was supposed to be in Heaven! He'd been waiting all his life for his reward in Heaven, and instead was treated to some kind of satanic illusion. He screamed louder and louder, trying in vain to be understood, wanting out of this Hell and into Heaven.
The invisible angel sighed, and turned to her partner. "Life number 10,001 and this is all the progress he's made? Sometimes I wonder why we bother."
"Hush, my dear. He'll learn eventually. They all do sooner or later. In the mean time," he said, passing his hand over the infant's eyes, "let him forget, consciously, and begin anew."
John's anger and confusion waned rapidly, as he forgot what he was angry about. He forgot about his confusion, and he forgot about Heaven. His name, his past life, they all vanished, and were replaced with the peace and love of being held in her mother's arms. For John Patabaker, Christian, was now Emily Fleisher. As she settled into the peace in her mother's arms, her mother's lesbian partner came over to see their beautiful baby girl for the first time, as Emily, weary from her experiences, fell asleep.
Crossposted from http://fayanora.dreamwidth.org