Life, After Life

Submitted into Contest #156 in response to: Write a story about a pathological liar.... view prompt

1 comment

Funny Fiction Fantasy

Bobby Boyd bit the big one.  And he is the subject of our following tale.  It is important to know a little bit about Bobby before we go any further.  Bobby as a child was not like the other children; he had wild ideas and an even wilder sense of adventure.  He also never got along well with the other children in his school, he was different and hurt him because he knew he was different too.  Bobby became a young man who lied, cheated and stole and he did so as naturally as we all breathe. So you can imagine that the day he died would be one of excitement.  You’d be wrong, Bobby died choking on  a chocolate chip cookie, mundane really if you think about it.  He did, during the last years of his life, turn it around and started to behave himself a little, even started to attend church on a regular basis.

At any rate it is also important to know the following before I continue my story.  Yes, there is an afterlife.  Yes, there is a heaven and there is a hell, but that is only the tip of the iceberg, Purgatory, it exists, Nieflheim yep it exists.  Turns out that there are pantheons in the universe and each of them is unique to its own religion.  These afterlives, as it were, connect to one another and share borders (makes traveling easier if mistakes are made).  So there you have it, your confirmation that there are afterlives they do exist and everyone goes somewhere after they shuffle off their mortal coils.

So, Bobby dies, and like you’ve seen in a zillion movies and cartoons, a bright light appears.  In the center of that light an escalator appears.  Now for some it is a stair case for others it's a straight level pathway, it all depends on how lazy you were in life.  Bobby was a lazy lazy man; he was only an inch or two away from getting an elevator.  So, Bobby in his purified spectral looks down at his dead flesh shell, he gazes at the cookie, glances once more at his corpse and mutters “Damn it” under his ethereal breath.  He turned curiously to the escalator and thought to himself “Does this mean I somehow made it to Heaven? Did I actually pull it off in the end? SWEET!”.  He then takes a step and begins to ascend.  Now the Ethereal path takes you to the land of paradise.  All faiths have this and they take their respective passengers to where they need to go.  As Bobby ascends however he begins to see, in the distance, little specks falling from the clouded base of the continent of beyond.  “ I swear I could hear screaming” he thought, and sure enough he had because as his ascendance continued several naked men and women whizzed by.  “That can’t be good”  Bobby thought to himself, “Fingers crossed, fingers, crossed” nervously echoed in his brain as his ascent was drawing toward an end.

As you might have already guessed Heaven kind of looks like you thought it would.  Big puffy clouds that you can stand on, a giant golden gate at the entrance, angels flitting by.   At the apex of the escalator was a sign planted in one of said clouds that read, “Welcome Heaven, The City of Gold” and underneath it read “A Gated Community”.  I suppose that some concepts transcend the mortal plane.  It was glorious, simply glorious, there was a glow, a bright one coming from beyond the gate, where the city of literal angels stands.  Bobby was breath taken by what he was seeing.  He had imagined it in his head many times and this is pretty much how it looked.

Nothing to do now but approach the gate.  Bobby walked slow and solemnly as he approached a podium where stood a figure who seemed very frustrated even a little irate.  “Hello” Bobby stuttered out.  “I’m Peter and by the way I will need you to state your name and social security number.” barked the frustrating looking man.  Of course you know him as St. Peter but he had dropped such formalities a long time ago.  Peter seemed very irritable but who wouldn’t.  His job is to stand behind a podium outside a gate for eternity.  Bobby then received his full name “I’m Bobby Bartholomew Boyd, what do you need my social for?”.  Peter looked at Bobby with a very slight grin on his face and said, “ We don’t, it’s just something I like to do to mess with the new guys.”  Peter began thumbing through the pages of a book that was larger than any he had ever seen before.  “Ah here you are.”  Peter exclaimed, “says here you were a bit of, and I quote, dirt bag during your early days but straightened up a bit as you got older.  You made a last minute plea for forgiveness, says here you asked to be forgiven for stealing, cheating your corvettes toward your friends and family, Never murdered anyone, never worshiped any idols or any of that jazz.  It looks like you are pretty much good to go… wait a minute you never asked forgiveness for bearing false witness… that just won’t do.”  Bobby looked very disappointed and terrified, remembering the falling naked people he had seen on the way in.  “My lying was pathological, it was a symptom of my childhood trauma.”  Bobby pleaded.  Now this was absolutely true, Bobby had been abused moderately by his father and had to see many many therapists during his adult life to resolve those issues.  “Nope, no exceptions you broke a commandment, no once, not twice but it says here you lied over 250,000 times, that’s gotta be some kind of record.”  Peter chuckled, “You will need to take one of our handy exits that lie just to the right of the gate here.”  “Does this mean I’m going to the (gulp) other place?” sobbed Bobby.  “You will go to where you need to be, for some that means purgatory, for some it means Hell and on rare occasions you go to neither, you could end up in Jewish Heaven or Hindu Hell, it all depends.” explained Peter.  “And I don’t have to fall to get there?” asked Bobby nervously.  “All you need to do is take one of the exit doors over here, it will take you where you need to be, now move along. I have a lot of people in this line and talking to you is just intolerable.”, grumbled Peter.  It wasn’t his fault really for being so angry and rude again, he had been standing there a long time and would be standing there  a lot longer.  

Bobby crept to the door to the right of the gates, opening it ever so carefully and stepping through with even greater caution.  Normally your foot will find a hard surface just beyond a door but in this case not so much for when Bobby put his foot down into the cloudy mist there was nothing to hold him there and he began to fall at a terrifying velocity.  For whatever reason the clothing he had been wearing disappeared and not only was he now descending back toward earth he was doing so in his birthday suit.  Bobby fell and physics in the afterlife don’t exist like they do in the mortal world.  You see an object that is falling will eventually reach what is called a terminal velocity, meaning that it can’t fall any faster.  Bobby however continued to accelerate toward the ground of the world he recently departed from.  But instead of hitting the ground with a thud which was what you would normally expect he kept falling through the earth, his soul was in fact immaterial and solid matter no longer had any effect on him.  However friction for whatever reason still worked and as he fell he began to burn not just on the outside of his ghostly body but on the inside too.

Bobby was actually starting to enjoy his trip through the geological strata, looking at sights that elude even the most dedicated of geologists.  Down past the bedrock of the planet through the continental plates and the rivers of magma that they surf incrementally on.  The earth's core was approaching fast and with no warning Bobby struck the surface of the core with a very profound thud.  Now to answer some of your questions, yes Hell is buried below the surface of the earth just like in every cartoon you’ve ever seen that deals with a character’s comical death.  Here, also, was a gate with a podium outside.  It was painfully hot on the surface of the core which I am guessing doubles as the gates of Hell.  Bobby, remorseful, depressed and worried out of his mind, began walking slowly toward the podium where stood a figure that bore an exact resemblance to every stereotypical devil you’ve ever seen.  Two horns protruding from the forehead…check, long barbed tail… check, red skin… check, mustache and goatee… check.  Everything except for the goat legs, this guy was wearing a very nicely tailored suit and by all appearances, the figure had a fairly normal looking pair of legs.  “Hello”, Bobby uttered sheepishly.  “You must be Bobby Boyd.”  the figure asked in a very unexpectedly pleasant voice.  “I am Paimon and it is my turn to man the gates this week, I just want you to know we have been big fans of yours down here for the longest time, your lies are the most golden sounding we have ever heard, it’s our version of music you know.”said Paimon.  “Let’s get you squared away so we can get started then shall we?”Paimon asked.  “Started?”questioned Bobby.  “Well yes your eternal punishment will commence once we have verified your credentials and identification.” explained Paimon as he thumbed through the immense book on his podium.  “Please state your name and date of birth please,” asked Paimon.  “My name is Bobby Bartholomew Boyd.”buttered Bobby, “I was born June 19th 1965.”  “I didn’t really need the date of birth, we just like to mess with the new guys.” exclaimed Paimon as he continued to thumb through his book. “Well Bobby it seems as though you were sent here because of your prodigious capacity for falsehood.”explained Paimon, “It also says that your lying is a product of childhood trauma, not necessarily your fault or even something you could consciously help, this will never do, this is paramount to putting an innocent baby down here, we just can’t take you.” stated Paimon, who seemed a bit annoyed all of a sudden. “I thought we were getting a new one but I suppose not.” complained Paimon.  “Well, then where am I supposed to go. I can’t go back to Heaven, they won’t take me and I’m dead so I supposed there is no coming back to life.” caustically stated Bobby.  “I would send you to purgatory but they are having their floors waxed and carpets cleaned this week and they aren’t taking any new fish right now, besides they have the same rule we have about such things, I do apologize for the inconvenience.” said Paimon.”I can of course put you on the escalator behind you, it should take you to where you fit the best, third times the charm ya know?”glibly chuckled Paimon.  Frustratingly stomping toward the escalator, Bobby thought to himself, am I to become a ghost and haunt some poor family.  Could both these places have made a mistake, Heaven won’t have me and Hell won’t take me, what am I supposed to do, was my lying really that bad. “Yes, 250,000 is pretty bad, you should actually be here but again rules are rules and I don’t make them.”exclaimed Paimon,”We can hear your thoughts you know, there is precious little you can hide from a lord of hell.”

Bobby stepped onto the escalator, wondering where it is that pathological liars go when they die.  Since the afterlife has its own version of The Americans with Disabilities Act, it would seem I am a person without a place to live out my eternity.  The escalator (remember it’s an escalator because Bobby’s just plain lazy) slowly pulled along upward, twisting around in circles and corkscrews (it was designed with the idea of making you sick on your way up or down so the whole contraption caused you to feel very disoriented), until the ride approached its terminus.  Bobby experienced a bright flash of light and experienced a strong physical sensation overcome him, he had indeed gotten his body back and was more alive than ever, his death had been a lie of sorts, for now he was indeed a tourist in the land of the living once more.  Bobby wasn’t at home however, his surroundings did not feel familiar to him at all, it was early afternoon and nearby in a slightly wooded area he could see some teenagers playing Frisbee golf with several buildings scattered before him.  Bobby turned and as he did he thought to himself how lucky he had been to make it back to the real world.  Once he had turned fully around his gaze was assaulted by a large sign upon an even larger imposing door.  The sign read “The Johnson Memorial School of Law.”  Bobby thought glibly to himself, “I guess I got the answer to my question.”

July 28, 2022 04:31

You must sign up or log in to submit a comment.

1 comment

Marty B
21:50 Aug 04, 2022

Great ending! where all the pathological liars go “The Johnson Memorial School of Law.”


Show 0 replies