Grant me the Serenity

November 30, 2002

-----

First Chronicle: Judgment Day

The length of that line was so familiar to me.  Stretching on farther than any mortal eye could ever see, knowing that it would eternally be that way, droning on like some sad song on a broken record.  I hated that line…I remembered my wait well.  Every step closer, the sweatier my palms became, the faster my heart raced in my chest.  The others around me seemed just as nervous, though I was sure I was more visible.  I fidgeted around, shifting my weight, wringing my hands and playing with some locks of hair that had long been discarded from their prison in the ponytail.

I was going to be judged.

I remember the feeling once I was next in line.  I couldn't see anything before me; the poor old woman that was ahead of me has disappeared in some misty cloud.  I knew I was next.  What would they say?  Would they accept me?  Would I be put into another line?  Where would I go if I were rejected? 'Don't think like that!' I remember scolding myself.  Positive.  I pulled my chin up and straightened my back, knowing in the back of my mind good posture wouldn't change their decision about me.  It was always hard for me to look on the bright side of things.

"Always the pessimist," my friends would tease me… My friends.  I could feel tears burning the back of my eyes, but I knew that I couldn't appear weak in front of him…or her, or whoever I would soon confront.  It was that feeling when you're getting ready to go on stage, opening night and you couldn't remember your first line.  My stomach was in a tight knot.  Suddenly, it was hard to breath – the air was too thick.  I crouched down and took in two deep, reviving breaths.

Ha, reviving.  If only it were that easy.

My train of thought was soon derailed when the cloud of misty smoke started to part.  Instinctively, I entered, as though I had done it one thousand times before.  My nerves were suddenly relaxed when I saw a pedestal, décor pure white with a flat table like structure on the top.  Atop that was a huge book, golden on the sides, open right square in the middle.  I couldn't help but stare.  It was a magnificent sight, nothing but cloudy white behind.  I was still a good deal of a ways away, so I started to approach, taking notice that the ground was much softer than it had been before.  It almost felt as though I were going to sink in.

A man suddenly materialized behind the pedestal, startling me.  I jumped back and smacked my hand on my chest. "Don't be frightened," the man spoke, his voice angelic, smooth as silk.  I swallowed hard.

"I'm sor-"

"There's no need to apologize," he said, and I nodded my head. "Come forth."

'Oh, here it is,' I thought in the back of my mind as I approached.  'He's going to condemn you to eternal damnation,' I let out a sigh.  I stood only feet away from the pedestal and the man began to thumb through the gigantic book.  Typical, isn't it?  Believe me, it's exactly what you think.  I wondered if they just made it out to be what people expected, rather than what it really was.  I was thinking too much, and I knew it.

"Rowan Emiline Dacey." He repeated my name, and I nodded my head.  I felt my heart start to beat wildly again.  He knew who I was, though it was a given that he knew, right?  He placed a pair of reading glasses on his nose and began to read silently to himself.  It was horrible what they were doing to me, but I could handle it, right?  I mean, everyone went through it.  That situation was so awkward, though I knew that it was what I had been waiting for in that line.  I wondered how long I had been waiting.  I felt like years, but never did I feel the craving for food or feel fatigued…nothing. 

I always hated lines, I mean, who likes them?  At that moment, I was reminded of all the lines I had been forced to wait in throughout my life.  Like when I would take those family trips to Cedar Point and I would be waiting in line for the roller coasters, sometimes hours at a time, but it was fun with my brother there.  Making faces at the people you see over and over again as you zigzag through the miles of cheap metal bars.  I remember that long line at the DMV when I wanted to get my driver's license.  I was so excited that I had finally pasted the test (it was the second time that I took it) and my nerves were making the wait seem longer.  My mother told me to be patient… My mother…

A snapping noise burst into my ears.  I jumped back into that confusing reality and the man was staring at me.  "You're accepted," he said monotonously, no enthusiasm at all.  The least he could do was be happy for me.  I felt that knot in my stomach untangle and the sweat on my palms and forehead diminish.  I smiled. 

He snapped his fingers again and to my surprise, another person materialized from the white puffy cloud walls.  She was a small little woman, like the elves you see at the mall to help Santa.  She was wearing a pure white gown, down to her knees that was lined with a brilliant gold material.  I did a double take at her when I noticed her…wings.  You heard me right – wings.  I didn't believe it at first, but let me tell you, they were there.  And, just for the record, she had a golden halo that floated probably three inches above her head.  I rubbed my eyes, blinking hard that maybe my contacts had blurred and I was just seeing things.  It was there.

"Don't be frightened," the girl said as she handed me a heap of white cloth.  She linked her arm in mine and smiled. "I will show you to your quarters."

I just followed, dumbfounded as though I was unable to think for myself.  Everything was just so…white.  I wasn't exactly a fan of white, but I had a feeling that I had better get used to it.  I didn't come across a single person as we walked down the sea of white that suddenly became a hallway.  A white hallway.  I was thankfully that everything wasn't constructed out of that fragile puffiness. 

It seemed like bedrooms, like in college or at a hotel.  Rooms were graciously numbered on gold plaques, door handles of the same gold.  I couldn't help but admire the whiteness of everything.  I never bought white shirts, or pants because they get dirty so easily.  I didn't like white cars either, you can't drive anywhere without having to wash the damn thing once you get home.

"Here we are." The girl sang.  We stopped in front of a door – room number 144.  I stared at the door for a moment before a shiny golden key was thrust in front of my face. "This is your key to get into your room.  Don't worry if you loose it, we have spares, but try to be responsible."

"Thank you," I nodded my head as I took the ornate key into my possession.  She nodded her head and smiled sweetly before she turned around. "Where are you going?"

She turned around quickly and laughed, "Why, there are others to tend to, they all need to be shown to their rooms."

"Where am I?" I stuttered, my eyes squinted together in confusion.  I knew where I was, rather, I had a good idea of where I was, but I didn't believe it.  I mean, you wouldn't believe it either.

"Why, you're in Heaven my dear.  You've just been judged.  Be thankful, though you may not find this to be true, many people don't make it this far." She gave me another quick grin and off she went.

My mouth was ajar, my eyes only half-open.  Heaven, huh?  I didn't know what to make of it at first, but I decided that I shouldn't contemplate my situation in the hallway.  I took the key and put it in the keyhole, duh, I know, and pushed open the door. 

It was like a typical dorm room…only spray painted a blinding white.  Bunk beds were to the left of me, two desks on the right, and a set of comfortable looking armchairs near a small fireplace.  I noticed two sets of bookshelves, full of; you guessed it, books that climbed to the ceiling.  I stepped into the room and the door blew shut with a bang.

"Keep it down," I heard a voice sound from above me.

"Who's there?" I asked cautiously, looking up at the ceiling, ready for some weird being to materialize and float down to me.

"I'm down here."

I looked straight forward, noticing an armchair turned so the back was to me.  Was the armchair talking? I wondered, remembering the movie Beauty and the Beast with that armchair that danced about when everyone broke into song.  "What the…" I trailed off as I stepped forward.  I saw an open book, held open by a pale hand.

"I'm reading," the chair spun around, "could you please be quiet?" I saw a girl, probably about my age sitting cross-legged in the cozy armchair, reading a book.  I smiled.

"Hey, roomy," I greeted her, but her only response was an eye roll.  She returned her gaze back to the book, pretended as though I wasn't there at all.  I remembered how stubborn she was, even with a simple thing like learning her name.

"I won't tell you," she said stubbornly to my request.

"Why not?" I asked.  That was the first time anyone had ever declined my request for a name.  She kept her eyes on the book the entire time.  "It's just a name."

"I am busy," she said, bringing her legs up on the chair, curling them underneath her.

"Too busy to spit out your name?"

"Quite."

I rolled my eyes playfully. "Come on now, if you don't tell me, I'll just start calling you Sally or something."

"Sally?" she questioned me in disgust. "Why would you do a stupid thing like that, besides, I wouldn't answer to it."

"Just tell me your name, Sally."

"No."

"So you will answer to Sally."

She groaned.  Finally, she dropped her book on her lap, careful to keep her thumb marked on her page, and looked at me.  "Fine, my name is Phiona.  Are you satisfied?"

"Quite." I mimicked her.  Phiona tried to force back a smile, but it emerged on her lips as a grin and I returned it.  "So…Fiona…what do we do here?"

"We train." She stated to me curtly.

"Train for what?"

"To become Angels…and then Archangels.  God's servants to the mortal world." Phiona looked at me softly, like I was some little lost lamb or something.  I wasn't completely lost, but I didn't believe much of it.  So I really was dead.  That was the first time things really hit me.  I had died, and now I was going to be a servant.  I had gone through the Judgment of God, the judgment all beings go through when they leave the mortal world.  I wanted to cry, knowing that I would never be able to be with my family again, talk with them, play with them, but I couldn't cry.  I laid in my bed, in the dark, but the tears wouldn't come.

I wasn't allowed to cry.

A/N: Another story finally dished out.  I want to take claim, now, that everything you read is mine.  I know everything did not come from my mind, taken from religion, Bibles, things of that sort, but it was all put together through my little mind out my little fingers.  I am not out to offend anyone by this, so read with an open mind.

Please, because you have read, leave a review.  This is first story I've decided to post up with a fantasy sort of spin to it.  Please, take time to review!  I offer a cookie of your choice if you review!  Thanks so much!