I’m not convinced there is a heaven (But on the bright side, that means I also don’t fear hell!), but once I die, this is where I want to go and how I want it to happen…
Chapter One: I Arrive
The last I knew, I was laying my troubled head on my already dirty pillow. I’d run out of money for laundry (as well as food) days before, and no matter how high I’d turn up the A/C (which my landlord’s mother complained about anyway), I always seemed to sweat profusely at night.
My drugs were gone from days before as well. Though I’d ordered a refill a mere two days before they were completely gone, the new ones had yet to arrive, and considering they were synthetic opiates, I was feeling their loss… intently. My sleep was uneasy and much shorter than before, and I found myself becoming irritable while struggling with hunger to boot.
The last of my food was some salty, flavored sunflower seeds which took nearly as much energy to pick the shells apart from the seeds (inside my mouth) as they did to digest… so I was perennially hungry. Moreover, the salty nature of the seeds was making me use up the last of my meager supply of water that much more quickly.
I tossed and turned until I lost track of my consciousness. I would often only realize that I had fallen asleep once I was uncomfortably waking up. This morning was no different.
As I awoke, it seemed that I’d left the room light on or something and the breeze from my A/C was much warmer (though not uncomfortable) and fragrant – and I’d apparently kicked my covers off of myself as well, as I was feeling the breeze all over my body.
I squinted upwards at the ceiling fan light… only to find that I was peering into a warm, yellow sun. The breeze was an actual breeze, and I was sitting upright upon the softest mound of grass I’d ever felt in the middle of the greenest rolling meadow I’d ever seen in person. I honestly didn’t know what to think.
I looked around inquisitively (though not panicked, somehow) to see that the meadow was surrounded on all sides (but one) with thick, green forests of what appeared to be oak trees. A little behind the opening in the treeline was a two-story cottage of half-timber construction with a hay-thatched roof, from whose grey stone chimney rose a small trail of white smoke. Further behind it, I could see some majestic mountains beckoning.
“If I’ve been kicked out for my overdue rent, I’m glad they at least dragged me here,” I thought out loud. It was as if the scenery was born of the innermost yearnings of my heart, and I walked toward the cottage innocently, with no foreboding whatsoever. It was a short walk, but the grassy earth beneath my feet felt like a pillow.
The lush, green grass continued all the way up to the perfectly cobbled walkway that led up to the door of the cottage. I knocked without hesitation.
“Excuse me? Hello? I don’t…” I was about to explain myself through the door when a beautiful, buxom blonde (in what appeared to be a typical medieval “bar wench” outfit) answered the door.
“Yes?” she practically sang as she opened the door. Upon catching sight of me, she jumped a bit and exclaimed, “Oh my! You’re naked!” It was the first time I’d noticed, but it was absolutely true. I instinctively covered my “naughty parts”.
“Oh… forgive me. Don’t be ashamed,” her voice actually set me enough at ease that I no longer felt the need to cover up. “It’s just been a while since anyone’s left while they were naked. Excuse me for over-reacting.”
“Left?” I couldn’t quite understand what she was getting at.
She smiled and said, very matter-of-factly, “Left their past life. You’re dead.”