300-word story: The afterlife isn't as foolproof as it's made out to be.
As an armed robber, Lee "Basher" Watson wasn't surprised by his untimely death. Dying early had always been a possibility, the trick was to live as luxuriously as possible on ill-gotten gains beforehand. What did surprise him was when, having crashed his getaway car into a wall because some idiot ran in front of it, he awoke unscathed on a silky cloud.
Standing up to get his bearings, Lee spotted an angel gliding a dozen feet above. "Oi, mate," he called. "Come 'ere." The angel complied and landed next to him, giving a serene smile. Lee asked where they were.
"Heaven, of course," replied the angel, nodding unnecessarily slowly. Lee wanted to slap it for being so smug but instead asked why he was there. "You are one of God's children and have earned your rightful place by His side." The divine being caressed a harp with fingertips of pure light.
Lee really didn't like this birdlike weirdo, it reminded him of a self-satisfied traffic warden. "But I'm a bad guy," he argued.
The angel gently shook its head. "Nonsense. You must be righteous in the eyes of Our Lord, otherwise you would not be here."
Lee scratched his crotch and looked around, searching for any signs of sin and debauchery. "If you say so, fella. Any good strip clubs round 'ere?"
Meanwhile, an infinite distance below, another man called Lee Watson awoke in a nightmarish landscape. Mere seconds earlier he had saved a child from being hit by a speeding car, sacrificing his own life in the process. Distraught, he pleaded to his torturer that there had been a mistake.
"Still up to your old tricks, eh Basher?" replied the creature. It connected a car battery to the man's testicles. “I'm afraid there's no getting away from this one."
Copyright © 2021 Rich Sutherland
Image: Kaushik Panchal