It wasn’t what Gerald had expected at all, though the dying part went pretty much to plan. He succumbed to pneumonia the winter after Jean died. Blinding white light radiated around him as he exhaled his last. He felt the weight of years lift. For a moment he looked down upon himself, his children, Alice and Benjamin, each holding one of his hands
That’s where things went awry. He found himself not in the serene cloud place he’d imagined but a chaotic hall teeming with every imaginable variation of humanity. An ethereal voice above the din announced a final call for mortal reincarnation, leaving soon.
Someone tugged his arm. ‘Queue over there for processing.’
Gerald waited for his turn.
‘Hanrahan, Hanrahan, Hanrahan,’ said a monklike gentleman. ‘Here we go. You’re booked on the 5:20 for heaven. Congratulations. We try to get people where they want. It’s all done on merit of course.’
‘Jean will be there?’ he asked.
‘Hanrahan, J. Let’s see.’ The official tapped his parchment and an image appeared of a field of rabbits. ‘Looks like she got reincarnated.’
‘Her choice. Making up for lost time I guess.’
‘Rabbits being rabbits. You’ll like heaven. Very peaceful. Be ready to leave at 5:00.’
The monk turned his thumb downward and frowned.
Gerald pondered the possibility.
2011-Richard Holt / small stories about love (smallstoriesaboutlove.wordpress.com)