Author Topic: Hehven - an open ended story  (Read 1595 times)

Eater of Clowns

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Hehven - an open ended story
« on: July 03, 2009, 10:37:30 pm »
I like this concept, and already knowing where I'd like to go with it I decided I'd rather find out where other people would go with it.  I have the setup here, and whoever wants to expand on the story can do so.  Or maybe I'll just finish it later, depending on interest.  Have fun with it.

*****

I think it was Tuesday when I died.  I can't know, it happened rather suddenly and I don't recall precisely what I was doing.  The habits I stubbornly formed over the most recent years of my life, or the life that was, allowed me to coast blissfully through my waking days with little actual thought required.  This isn't meant sardonically, mind you, rather I genuinely felt better meandering through the less glamorous aspects of existence and saving my energy for about one explosive experience per week.  Life isn't what concerns me right now though, so I'll save its ponderings for those still caught up with all of that.

On awaking, or a close approximation of awaking, I stood lamely before the pearly gates.  I'll use waking here even though it isn't accurate.  It's seriviceable until a word comes into being for that feeling one gets during a very deep yawn in conjunction with a very deep stretch.  Or when one's bladder has been held for a seemingly incomprehensible length of time and is finally relieved.  Did you know that a word does not exist in any language on Earth to describe either of those conditions?  That's not true, actually, how would I know that?  So these pearly gates are a surprisingly spot on description of the scene, though either misspoken or misinterpreted.  They are pearl-y, not pearl, like hospital soap they have a pearl-like trait.  There was this guy in front of them.

I'm not very familiar with any major religions.  I guess this guy is Saint Peter, I don't know.  He seemed really bored and didn't introduce himself, like the customer service kid at a department store.

"So I'm in Heaven, then?" I asked, not knowing what one says when suddenly found in what is clearly Heaven.

"Yeah.  Can I help you?" said the man.

Agitated that I'd not yet rid myself of shoddy service, I requested entry.  He sighed and looked down into an impossibly old book, an inkstained finger running up and down columns of names written hastily and carelessly.

"Wow, an awful lot of people are getting in, aren't they," I inquired.

"Everyone.  Everyone gets in," he replied.

"So then why bother writing down the names?  When someone shows up just open the gates for them.  Why be here at all for that matter?"

"Someone on Earth decided that this is what it looks like over here.  'What you hold true on Earth I shall hold true in Heaven' or some such," came the rueful reply.

"I'm no scholar, but I thought that was in reference to the authority of the papacy."

"That's what most people think.  It was quite literal in every aspect."

"Then why aren't you very stately and welcoming," I asked, frowning again at his demeanor.

"Because it says 'hold true' not 'wish it were', you'll find a lot of discrepancy between what was intended in God's words or actions and what they how they were interpreted.  That much is obvious.  What you people seem to forget is that, having been made in God's image you're a pretty accurate reflection of both God's perfections and flaws.  A lot of us are upset with God for the ambiguity of that statement," he explained.

"You're saying God a lot and it's making me uncomfortable with how unwieldy it's making your sentences.  Isn't there some pronoun you can employ?"

"God is a pronoun," said Heaven's now visibly irritated doorman, now looking away.

Heaven on Earth suddenly making sense to me, I walked through the gates.  That is, in the sense that wind blows through the trees I walked through the gates.  I recalled conflicting accounts of whether one is corporeal or ethereal in Heaven so I had to, in a sense, push myself through the gates as though I were opening an immense door.  It also hurt, which I was not expecting.

The thoroughly unpleasant first impression of Heaven behind me, I set to explore where I would be spending eternity.
EoC, you are the bane of my existence.

EoC doesn't make creepy.

EoC makes creepy worse.

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the afflicted persons get hold of and consume carrots even in socially quite unacceptable situations.

Eater of Clowns

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Re: Hehven - an open ended story
« Reply #1 on: July 08, 2009, 01:16:33 am »
I guess there isn't much interest.  I'll see if I can expand on it.

***

Among my first impressions of this new plane was its cloudiness.  If it ever became overcast here it showed no signs of it presently, though what can be thought of as undercast was here and there.  If we long thought Heaven to be up in the clouds, then discovered it was not, to where did it relocate?  I made it a point to ask this question of something important looking.  I was also pretty curious about Hell at this point, feeling like I'd gone through a Choose Your Own Adventure book that I was unable to go back and re-read to find out the other ending.

Vivid white nothingness stretched to the horizon.  As I strained to see the distance I found the longer I looked the further I could see, enjoying this novelty until it became dizzying.  Looking back I found the gates had vanished as well.  This mattered to me very little.

I set to walking, composing as I went a list of the things I'd like to see up here, or over here, or wherever.  A lot of stories circulated in my life about coming upon a great meeting of minds, where Einstein sat in pleasant conversation with Lincoln or something of the sort.  Then what else was there?  Before I decided on destination two, I drew near a throng of people encircling a handful of easy chairs.  Thousands of people, dressed in, well, dressed in what I seemed to be dressed in.

Saying they wore clothes from all eras of humanity would be untrue, though easily in the crowd I could distinguish the 1950's from more modern dress.  But no actual clothing was present.  We were all indeed quite naked.  Nude in a sense I'd never previously understood.  Not the nudity of shame, for certain, and not the nudity of pride or of, forgive me, cockiness.  We stood dressed in our skin, either all seemingly oblivious to it as in The Emperor's New Clothes, or entirely indifferent to it.

I was in the gathering then, not a line as I'd imagined it would become while I walked to it.  They were all simply standing there, forming a comfortably distant circle around the chairs.  Pushing through, again, through, them all I understood finally that the meeting of the minds had found me rather than the opposite.  And quite a few others had the same idea.  Except it seems that very few came prepared with any questions.  They stood, silently, gazing upon the greatest thinkers of their time and time past, with nothing to say.

Approaching the nearest chair, the collected thinkers did little to acknowledge my presence.  Mark Twain was seated there, every bit the gentleman I'd pictured.  Tapping him on the shoulder, I asked, "What are you doing here?"

"Well I should say I'm sitting, firstly, then I suppose I am thinking," came his distinct old Southern drawl.

"What about, if I may ask?"

"What do men think about?  I'm thinking about that," he said, fairly.

"Why not talk to the others in the circle?"

"Unsurprisingly we've all run out of things to say."

"Do any of these people ever come up to you and talk to you?"

"Rarely a bold young individual will ask me a question or two.  Some are fans of my work and inquire as to my inspiration, yet others are fools and think to make light of their opportunity with a poorly made joke.  I think the rest of these people are simply waiting for something to happen.  Did you have anything to ask me, good sir," Twain inquired.

"Sure.  How are you?"

At this he was unable to hide his surprise.  He sat up and leaned toward me thoughtfully.  With a hint of a smile on his lips and bright, watery eyes he said, "I'm fine, just fine."

Nodding at the old writer then, I thought this a good time to leave.  These thinkers would be around should I ever seek them out again.  It was time to explore my new eternity a bit more.
« Last Edit: July 08, 2009, 01:21:02 am by Eater of Clowns »
EoC, you are the bane of my existence.

EoC doesn't make creepy.

EoC makes creepy worse.

Quote
the afflicted persons get hold of and consume carrots even in socially quite unacceptable situations.

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Re: Hehven - an open ended story
« Reply #2 on: July 08, 2009, 02:43:43 am »
I don't know if it's the case for anyone else or whether it's why you're not getting much response, but stories rooted in Christian mythos don't really resonate with me.
“I’m guessing it was January 2007, a meeting in Bethesda, we got a bag of bees and just started smashing them on the desk,” Charles Wick said. “It was very complicated.”

“People get used to anything. The less you think about your oppression, the more your tolerance for it grows. After a while, people just think oppression is the normal state of things. But to become free, you have to be acutely aware of being a slave.”
― Assata Shaku

Eater of Clowns

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Re: Hehven - an open ended story
« Reply #3 on: July 08, 2009, 07:56:58 pm »
I don't know if it's the case for anyone else or whether it's why you're not getting much response, but stories rooted in Christian mythos don't really resonate with me.

Thanks for the feedback.  Whatever reasons are for the lack of interest I guess I'll just finish this elsewhere.  I'm having fun with it so I may as well go until I don't.
EoC, you are the bane of my existence.

EoC doesn't make creepy.

EoC makes creepy worse.

Quote
the afflicted persons get hold of and consume carrots even in socially quite unacceptable situations.

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Re: Hehven - an open ended story
« Reply #4 on: July 08, 2009, 08:03:17 pm »
I found it pretty cool.  It's good material, and we should be known for turning ideas on their ear.  Do not mistake indifference for a retraction of welcome.

You can sure stash a copy here, in any case.

I like this concept, and already knowing where I'd like to go with it I decided I'd rather find out where other people would go with it.  I have the setup here, and whoever wants to expand on the story can do so.  Or maybe I'll just finish it later, depending on interest.  Have fun with it.

Oh, you know what happened?  You started a participatory thread in one of the more rarefied, intellectual boards.  I missed your introduction the first pass or three.  Or Kill Me might get you what you want.
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Eater of Clowns

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Re: Hehven - an open ended story
« Reply #5 on: July 08, 2009, 09:42:01 pm »
Description wise I understand the difference between Or Kill Me, Literate Chaotic, and Bring & Brag, but practice wise I find a hard time telling them apart sometimes.  I think I did this once before actually.
EoC, you are the bane of my existence.

EoC doesn't make creepy.

EoC makes creepy worse.

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the afflicted persons get hold of and consume carrots even in socially quite unacceptable situations.

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Re: Hehven - an open ended story
« Reply #6 on: July 08, 2009, 09:57:11 pm »
You can use the "report to moderator" feature to request that your thread be moved.
Where in the Labyrinth are you?

"I am a forensic psychopharmacologist. If you OD and die, call me."

I am so not a contrarian