[PROMPT] How many years?

[WP] You die and find yourself in hell, where apparently everyone spends time to negate their sins before they go to heaven. The guy in front of you, who cheated on his wife, gets 145 years. Feeling like you led a fairly average and peaceful life, you’re not worried. You get 186,292 years.

I had been in line for some time now and was grateful to hear the man in front of me called forward, he was the sort that must have skipped showers here and there. Then again, we were dead and so suddenly I expected that none of us smelled like roses. I had my armpit to my nose when he turned back and with a brief nod said, “Good luck, mate.”

I heard his sentence and couldn’t help but roll my eyes. Serves him right the unfaithful sod were the words that were running through my mind when I heard, “Henry Thudor” called forward.

I stepped up to the stage, walking up the steps reminded me of when I had many years ago for graduation. My life had been a pretty boring one, but I’d been reasonable. Maybe 1 or 2 years in hell for the can of coke I once shoplifted and the screaming child I wished a plague of bees upon one late flight many moons ago.

The demon in front of me looked like he’d bought his outfit in an after Halloween clearance sale. I eyed him up and down, the pointed tail, the horns on his head – hardly frightening when I’ve seen it so many times before.

“186,292.”

“I beg your pardon?”

The number had been said clearly enough but the logic of it couldn’t quite catch up to it jumbling around in my head.

“That has to be a mistake.”

“Tell me, Mr Thudor –“

“Oh!” I interrupted and waved my hand, bloody idiot I thought, but I said, “It’s my name, isn’t it? Simple mistake, but wrong king – you want the eighth, and I’m surprised you got me mixed up when it’s been what, how many years since the ol’ wife lopper kicked the bucket? Actually, is he here? Do we get to meet famous people in hell?”

The demon peered down on me with the same look I’d been given by my second-year teacher when I’d stolen Eve’s apple. I gulped.

“Mr Thudor, tell me, have you ever looked upon anyone without passing judgement on them?”

The saliva I had previously been wrestling down stayed full and choking in my throat. So, this is how it ends, all because I found the fast food waitress’s hair irresponsible.

“I would like to see a lawyer.”

“Well, there are plenty of those down here, although little use it will do you.”

I didn’t hesitate, I held my head high.“I believe that the sins that have been ascribed to me following my judgement of fellow human beings,” at the demon’s pointed glance I corrected myself, “and as of the past few minutes demons, should instead be placed upon them.”

The demon ran a well-trimmed nail over the horn that jutted out atop his head. “We do enjoy a good show, we’ll bring you a lawyer. I’ll warn you though, 186,000 of those years have little to do with your judgement of others.”

“Then what is the problem here?”

Again, the demon tilted his head forward and my childhood teacher came once more to mind.

“For reasons I’d have thought obvious, we don’t take kindly to those who steal apples.”

 

Reddit prompt from here!

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