Author's Note: So these are basically one-shots, responses to one-line prompts from Livejournal. I wrote down the first thing that came to mind and made them up as I went along. They're arranged in chronological order, beginning with the very first one I wrote when I joined the LJ community. The prompts are listed in the chapter titles. Cheers and happy reading! :)
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I never imagined dying could be like this. Lying on my bed, peacefully, happily, staring at the ceiling and counting the little bumps. I've always wondered what possessed them to make these popcorn ceilings. I think they're stupid. I mean, who would want a rough looking ceiling? Surely people like smoothness: smooth skin, smooth relations, smooth pudding, etc etc. Strange. Anyway, I'm alone but it's okay. I've told Tracy, my daughter, to fetch me some lemonade and she went solemnly, occasionally turning back to look at me as I was suddenly going to sprout wings and fly to heaven without saying goodbye. I'd never do that to her. I would always say goodbye. It was slightly cold; the air was damp and chilly from the heavy rain pounding outside. The window was rattling incessantly. It kind of bothered my ears. I lifted my head slightly to try and look out the window but I couldn't. The glass was dirty and the candlelight which illuminated the small room I was in only forced the window to reflect my tired face instead of what was outside. I sighed in disappointment. I wondered if the moon was out today; I forgot to look at the lunar calendar. No matter, I'll know soon enough.
I'm not scared of dying. A lot of people are, but I'm not. I'll go to heaven, where I will see my ancestors and other loved ones. Robert, James, Yolanda, Mamma, Grandma Pearl, everyone. They're all up there, waiting for me. And then, I will know the secrets of the universe. My church has always taught me that God knows all and I believe that. I also believe that when we die and reach heaven, we become worthy of His Knowledge and we know everything he does. Heaven isn't a democracy, though. Despite out Knowledge and abilities, we, of course, don't help God govern this blessed Earth. I wonder what I'll do there. Eternity is a long time and that's how much time I will have to spend in heaven. Oh well. Maybe with all the newfound Knowledge, I will have enough material to ponder over for the next several millennia. And of course, I'll have all my friends and family with me to keep my company. Seems like a good deal.
I wonder what will happen to Heaven once Earth is gone. I know the Earth can't last forever. Global warming, or the supermassive black hole in the center of the Milky Way, or a supernova when the sun explodes…Earth will be destroyed one day. Nothing in this physical world is infinite. That's why Heaven isn't part of the physical world. That's why they call it spirituality. Spiritual and physical are mutually exclusive things. They never overlap.
I'm overcome by a fit of coughing and I lift the daisy-print handkerchief to my mouth. When I withdrew it, there were stains of blood decorated over the pearly whiteness of the daisy's petals. Ah, the end was near.
Tracy has returned with my lemonade and I take it gratefully. I shoo her away from the room, saying that I want to be alone to meditate. She looks at me skeptically but leaves. She never disobeys me when I'm sick. I've ingrained in there that a good daughter will support her mother during times of need. I'm sick a lot.
It's happening! My vision is growing blacker and I suddenly feel exhausted. No, more than that. Fatigue. I set down the empty glass of lemonade gently on the night table beside my breath and take in a deep breath. Would I see a light at the end of the tunnel? My heart raced excitedly over the thought of Heaven. I didn't want the plain brown walls of this tiny room to be the last thing I saw and plus, I was too tired to keep them open anyway. I closed my eyes and imagined my death. I stood at the end of a long, dark tunnel. There was a light at the other side. Cautiously (but I don't know why I was cautious, I was imagining this after all) I began to walk towards it. I suddenly remembered the first day of high school. The big, looming doors with the words MARSHALL HIGH SCHOOL emblazoned on the brick wall. I walked to those doors, frightened and excited. I felt the same way know. I suppose it's a common, natural reaction to change and new things. And by God, death was definitely new.
"My Lord! Can you hear me?" I called out to the light. I wondered if God could hear me. Would He speak to me? Or would He leave me alone and symbolically help me with my transition from life to Heaven? I hoped for the former. I'd been awaiting this moment my entire life. Well, at least since the day I was first inaugurated into my church council. I didn't hear anything so I took several more steps forward.
"God! Am I almost there?"
I still didn't hear anything. And then I thought of something. But of course! God exists physically in the spiritual realm and I was merely in transition. He wouldn't speak to me here because that was not His way. I needed to fully go into the light before I could hear him. Heart pounding and adrenaline rushing, I broke into a run but one foot away from the light, the door that let the light through, I stopped. I stuck my head into the light but my body remained outside. I should hear him now, right?
"God! Are you there?"
And yes, I heard a voice!
"Of course he isn't here, you fool. Death is the final end, you know that. The scientists know that and they've told you. What's this talk about an afterlife?"
It was my own voice but I laughed as I realized that my feet were unwillingly being dragged closer and closer to the light.
"Come on, God! I love you God!"
But there was no answer.