“Just step up to the counter, Hi, I’m Peter, you are?”
“Are you sure Randy? You don’t sound very sure.”
He stands very still and stares into space like he’s really thinking about it, “Ya, Randy.”
“Okay, that’s great Randy,” Peter writes something down on a pad. “And Randy, I’ve just got a few questions. Where were you born, Randy?”
“Where am I?” Randy asks still acting kind of spacey.
“We’ll explain all that later, Randy. Now If can get just a little information we can speed this up. Where were you born, Randy?”
“Errrrrr,” Randy scratches his head.
“We can come back to that question if you would like,” Peter says as he flips a page on his pad.
“No, no, I was born just outside of Des Moines, Indianola?”
“Good,” Peter puts down the pad and flips through a thick book that appears on the counter. “Here you are,” Peter says as he taps a line of type in the book. “And how did you die?”
At first Randy just stares in disbelief and then he relaxes as it all comes back to him. He sees the word Kentworth very close-up, just for a second, “I stepped off a curb…and there was a truck…”
“Yes, that happens more than you might think, “Peter picks up the pad and scribbles truck. “And one last question, did you have any last words?” Peter holds his quill above the pad and waits.
Still not quite believing this is happening Randy responds, “I think I was talking to my daughter on the phone, “ he thinks for a second, ‘“I said, “tell your mom to pick up some milk.”’ Randy looks at Peter and grins.
“Okay, great, go through the door with the big blue number one painted on it and all your questions will be answered,” Peter looks to the line of people in front of his counter and starts to wave the next person over.
“Does door numbered one lead to the good place?” Randy asks still holding on to the edge of the counter.
“Oh, sure, nothing evil makes it this far. Next!” Peter says as he gives his attention to a young lady at the front of the line, “and what is your name miss?”
The girl is a little quicker with her answers, her name is Sally, born in Sacramento, she must have died in her sleep. “I just woke up here,” she answers Peter.
“And do you remember your last words?” Peter asks.
“My mother was tucking me in…she asked if I felt alright. I think I was sick. You know, running a temperature?” Peter nods and holds his pad up. ‘“I said, “I’m fine mother.”’
Thank-you, through the door with the red number three on it please. All your questions will be answered there.” As Sally finds her way to the door Peter shouts, “next!”
A nervous man in his early fifties steps up to the counter. He is still out of breath from whatever it is he has been through, “who are you?” he asks between deep wheezy breaths.
“The little rock, that’s me. What is your name sir?”
“So I’m dead?”
“Very. Your name?” Peter asks with his quill at the ready.
“Todd, but call me Toby.” Toby reaches out his hand and shakes Peter’s hand.
“So this is Heaven?”
“More like the pearly gates, Toby. And where were you born?”
Toby looks around the small, simple office. Seven doors with numbers of different colors and a white counter; the walls are plain off-white without any knick-knacks or pictures of any kind. “Not what I expected,” he states. “Grand Island, Nebraska!”
“And how did you die?” Peter asks.
“I was running,” Toby rubs the side of his head and tries to remember more. “I remember climbing up some stairs,” Toby says, still unable to remember how he died.
“Can you remember your last words,” Peter asks showing more interest than his usual level.
Toby thinks, rubs his head some more, and then his eyes light up, “S#&T!” he shouts.
Peter’s eyes widen slightly and then he picks up a phone that just appears on the counters top, “Paul, you got a minute? Good, you’re going to want to hear this one. Paul, bring James with you.”
“Lets go back to how you died Toby, take your time, think it through, Paul and James will be here in a couple…”