THIS SILLY STORY KEPT RUNNING THROUGH MY MIND WHILE I WAS TRYING TO WRITE AND PROOF THREE LONGER ONES. FINALLY IN DESPERATION I WROTE IT. I HAVE NOT SPENT MUCH TIME ON IT BUT I FINALLY GOT IT OUT OF MY MIND. I AM SURE MANY OF YOU FINE READERS WILL NOT LIKE IT AND MANY MORE WILL TAKE EXCEPTION TO IT. I HOPE AT LEAST A FEW WILL FIND IT AT LEAST SLIGHTLY ENJOYABLE TO READ. FOR WHAT IT IS WORTH, HERE IT IS. AT LEAST NOW I HAVE IT OUT OF MY MIND AND I CAN MOVE ONTO OTHER STORIES.
It is said that when you die your life passes before your eyes. Your failures, your triumphs, your sorrows, your fears, the high points of life flash through your brain as you gasp your last breath and your consciousness fades. There are constant arguments about the accuracy of that statement. Many argue that is not entirely correct. No one knows even how this little tidbit of knowledge or fable made its way into the human realm. Perhaps one of the Angels or spirits or any of the other supernatural entities gave this "knowledge" to humanity.
However the knowledge came to be in the human realm it did have a basis in fact. Timothy Sloan lay on his death bed gasping his last. He turned his head toward the window and smiled at the sight before his eyes. A beautiful golden haired young woman sat between him and the window. Through the window he could see the beautifully landscaped grounds of the nursing home in which he resided. He had been alone for the last 20 years of his 96 year long life.
Timothy's eyes took in the beauty of the young woman then slowly closed. He smiled and someone with exceptional hearing might have heard him whisper, "I'm finally coming now my darlings." His breathing, already shallow, became too slight to notice. He inhaled once again then his body slowly relaxed. His face still wore a contented smile.
The woman raised her head from the romance novel she was reading when she heard the droning whine of the medical monitor attached to Mr. Sloan. She got a sour look on her face, sighed and carefully marked her place in the book then laid it on the table beside the bed. As she rose from her chair she could be heard to mutter, "Damn him. He had to kick off right in the middle of the steamiest part of my book. Thank God the creepy old bastard has finally died."
The woman moved to the bed and gently, carefully checked for a pulse. She found none. She picked up the metal covered medical record file, looked at her watch and wrote in the file. She next picked up the phone and dialed a number. When she heard an answer she said, "Sloan died just now. Can you call the doctor please? I need his signed statement. And call housekeeping. We need to get the room cleaned as soon as we can. We have a damn long waiting list you know."
As he gasped his last breath Timothy Sloan saw a flash of bright light. He closed his eyes against the brightness and staggered. He felt strange, buoyant, and full of life. He had never felt this great in his entire life. He felt strong and confident. He opened his eyes to look around and gasped in shock. He was surrounded by people milling around in wide eyed wonder as was he. There were beautiful people standing in the crowd shouting instructions. "Everyone stay calm please. Find the line with the first letter of your last name and fall in please. We'll take care of you in the order in which you arrived. Hurry now please."
Tim saw long lines disappearing into the distance ahead. He could just make out letters of the alphabet over each line then he noticed more lines painted on the floor. Every so often an alphabetic letter was seen on the floor. He didn't know why but he felt an irresistible urge to stand in the "S" line. Without thinking about it he moved to the end of the line and began patiently waiting his turn for he knew not what. After finding his place in line Tim looked around. There were all types of people standing in line. Some waiting patiently as was he, some angrily. There were all ages and races, male and female. To his surprise there were even small children, babies who could not even walk in the line. He could not see how the babies and young children could move but somehow they moved forward with the line.
Tim hadn't been standing in line long when he was pushed violently from his right rear. He stumbled out of line as he heard a voice from his past. He felt his stomach clench in reaction. "Hey move it asshole. I gotta get inta this here line," the voice said.
Tim heard maniacal laughter and another voice from the distant past and shuddered. After the laugh the voice said, "Hell Rod let's just take cuts like we usually do. We got more important things to do than stand in a damn line anyway. Where the hell are we anyway? Last I remember we were out of dope and were going out for more."
Tim was jostled once again then again. He turned to see his tormentors as they moved past him pushing and shoving as they headed toward the front of the line. When the last one moved past him he glanced over and laughed. He said, "Hey Rod. Look who's here! It's Timmy."
The man pushed Tim back and laughed when he fell. Rod looked over his shoulder and snarled, "Forget that loser. Come on. Let's see what all this crap is about and find some beer and women." The three men continued working their way to the head of the line pushing and shoving as they went. If they came to an especially beautiful woman (and all the women in sight were very pretty at the least) they took time to harass her and if possible fondle her. Finally they were out of sight. Tim could still hear the uproar as they progressed toward the head of the line. To his disgust he could see much the same thing going on in other lines. He wondered why someone didn't enforce some discipline here. He also wondered why Rod and his friends looked so young. Come to think about it he looked as if he was still in his late 20's. What was going on? Hell, he was 96 his last birthday and was stooped, flabby and wrinkled.
Tim stood and resumed his place in line. He pondered the situation as he and some of the others in the lines stood and looked around. The little scene Tim had gone through was being repeated over and over yet the lines were still slowly moving forward. Bullies seemed intent on cutting into all the lines. Their loud raucous laughter and snarling threats echoed throughout the large area. Most of the people in line just stood and gawked around. There was no conversation for some reason. Very little was said to the bullies or anyone else. Tim felt as if he should say something but for some reason he never did. Finally Tim got close enough to the head of the line to see a man dressed all in white sitting at a tall desk. Sitting in his comfortable looking chair he still was able to look people in the eyes when they stood before him. He did not seem to ever speak. The first person in the line came to him and stood quietly while the man gazed into their eyes. His expression almost never changed. After looking into the eyes for a moment he would reach out and press the palm of his hand to their foreheads, fingers splayed out across the top of their skull.
After being touched the first person in line moved past the desk and went through one of three doors. To Tim's surprise when he got near the head of the line he saw Rodney Sampson standing in a small group of other men and women. His face was twisted in anger and Tim heard him shouting, "Listen asshole. My last name begins with an S. I got in your damn line like I was told and now you just make me stand here and wait? I got places to be and people to do. I don't have time to wait on you to decide to see me man." No matter what Rodney said he was ignored. What was surprising to Tim was that he just stood there and complained instead of pushing his way through as he usually did. Tim noticed his two sidekicks were nowhere to be seen then he saw Jasper Wilson standing at the head of the W line. He was also complaining loudly both about having to wait while others were seen ahead of him and because he couldn't stand with his friend Rodney.
Finally Tim reached the head of the line. The man at the desk smiled. Tim heard, "Hello Tim. Now just stand for a moment please." Tim was shocked. He heard the most serene voice but the man's lips did not move. He watched while the man's hand moved to his forehead as it had for all the others before him. The man stared into Tim's eyes. Tim felt as if his soul was being peeled open then it happened. In a kaleidoscope of flashing images he felt and saw it. HIS LIFE!
He was in a pink, moist warm environment. He didn't know how he knew it was pink because it was pitch black also. He heard a steady thump, thump, thump. He was warm and happy. He felt loved and safe. He heard a loving voice from his past say, "Honey I think I'm pregnant." He felt another burst of happiness and love then in rapid succession other images flashed through his mind.
Tim saw a long tube like object repeatedly approaching and withdrawing over and over then a white substance shot from it. This was accompanied by feelings of deep love and almost unbearable ecstasy. Tim felt deep contractions, different from those accompanying the ecstasy then unbearable pressure. He felt wet and so, so cold. He was angry and he cried out. He felt soothing gentle cleaning and love being sent his way. He nuzzled up to a soft spot and locked his lips around it. He sucked and a most wonderful flavor gushed into his mouth.
More flashes of scenes in his life. His first friend, the girl next door. Pain. Pain so intense Tim wanted to bend over and scream but he couldn't move. He was lying on the ground. His stomach hurt, his face hurt and his nose was bleeding. Rodney and his friends were standing over him laughing while Rodney pulled Jenny to him for a kiss. She resisted but it did no good.
More flashes then another scene from the past floated to the front. Senior prom. Once again Rodney and his friends beat Tim. This time they just felt up his date and moved on laughing while the young girl cried as she knelt beside Tim. More flashes of his life. Good times and bad. Tim watched his working life flash before his eyes. He saw his wedding to Jenny then her death. He relived his devastation and hurt. He watched the special times in his life when he was able to help someone less fortunate. There was the young woman, a girl actually that he and his wife took into their home after someone beat her and killed her parents. Tim saw the horrible places he lived and felt once again the despair of not having a lot of money because he and his wife spent so much helping those less fortunate. Tim smiled at those pictures. He watched all his friends come and go yet always Tim helped. He was kind, compassionate, and thoughtful. He suffered abuse, took verbal slights and plodded on doing his job, living his life following the golden rule "do unto others as you would have them do unto you". Tim worked in many jobs during his life but they all had one thing in common—he HELPED people. His private life was the same. Need help? Call Tim. Even if you weren't his friend if he knew you and many times if he didn't he would give you all the help he could. So did his wife.
There were many more memories flashing through Tim's head faster than he could see. Yet the man stared intently into Tim's eyes until finally the last memory flowed past; the memory of the nursing home and the beautiful blond watching him just before and just after he died. For once the man smiled then he removed his hand. Again his lips didn't move but Tim heard "Enter Door One Tim. Welcome."
The man turned his head slightly and finally Rodney Sampson felt he could move. He quickly moved into line ahead of the woman that had been behind Tim. He grinned at the old man at the desk and said, "It's about time Old Man. Now hurry up. I've gotta teach that asshole another lesson."
The man looked deeply into Rod's eyes as he did everyone who stood before him. He placed his hand on Rod's forehead. Rod stiffened and stood straight, straining to move but he couldn't. His face locked in a mask of fear and pain. He tried to scream but only gargled. Rapidly the old man removed his hand. Rod slumped in exhaustion and pain. He heard, "Enter Door Two Rodney."
Tim opened the door he was directed to as Rodney moved away from the desk. Rodney began running trying to catch Tim before he got out of sight. Someone was going to pay for this shit and good old Timmy was right there. Rodney could almost feel the pleasure already as he contemplated the beating he planned to give Tim when he caught him. He snarled, "Hey wait up there Timmy. I wantta talk to you old man." He felt his anger surge when Tim continued through Door One, not waiting as Rodney demanded.
Rodney grabbed the handle of the door Tim entered. He screamed. His whole body shook and shuddered as excruciating pain tore through his body. Finally a particularly violent spasm hit and tore his hand from the door handle. Rodney collapsed onto the surface. He drew in shuddering painful breaths and added more pain to that he planned for Tim when he found him. Rodney heard that cool calm voice in his head once again. It said, "Rodney I said enter Door number Two please."
While Rodney was laying in pain two people carefully stepped around him and opened Door One with no problem. Rodney smiled to himself and rose slowly. He watched carefully. When the next person opened the door Rodney exploded into action. He violently shoved them aside and jumped through the door. The pain this time was completely unbearable. Rodney screamed and screamed. He felt himself violently expelled back out the door to land once again on the floor. This time the pain continued for what seemed like hours. Rodney could hardly breathe for the pain. He blacked out.
Finally Rodney was once again able to stand. He stood glaring at the man who still sat looking into people's eyes and touching them on the forehead. With a roar of anger Rodney launched himself in a dead run toward the man. He took three steps and slammed into a wall yet he didn't see a wall. There was nothing there but he could not proceed. Once again he heard, "Door Two Rodney."