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The Greeter

by Edd Vick

Welcome to Heaven, Mister Jones. Please don’t try to move around just yet. It can be disorienting at first, especially among those who were recently decapitated. Oh, dear, I shouldn’t have said that.

Yes, here’s your head, squarely on your shoulders. Like new, yes? I could add just a bit of blood on your robe for effect, if you like. We do that for martyrs, you know - stigmata in the hands, burned stumps, and the like - but now we’re pretty easygoing about it, even if you did lose your head in a bizarre sausage factory accident.

If you’ll come through here we’ll get your kitted out with wings and a halo. S’not required, but we do like to look authentic for those passing through: dreamers, trippers, and of course everybody who’s going to Hell. The Big Guy’s funny that way.

No, I doubt you’ll meet him. Excuse me, Him. He’s just buried under believers these days. You understand, even if we did reset the bar a few decades ago. Didn’t you hear? Only Episcopalians, Muslims, Zoroastrians, and the odd Catholic these days. They all want to be next to Him. I don’t think we’ve seen more than a divine pinkie for a century. Excuse me, Pinkie. Heh, my little joke.

You were an atheist? Well, that can’t be right. Maybe you had a deathbed conversion? Oh, yes, ‘sausage factory accident’. Hmm, maybe somebody converted you after you died, like those folks in Utah do. I wouldn’t worry your wobbly head about it; I mean, you are here now and that’s what matters.

An efficiency expert? No, I think I’d have heard if we’d ever had one of those here. Sounds unpleasant.

My job? Well, it’s soft of unofficial greeter. Nobody appointed me, if that’s what you’re asking. I mean, we tried that whole military organization, Archangels, Principalities, Powers, and so on. We just got a little more touchie-feelie the past couple thousand years.

No need to get snotty about it. You wouldn’t even be here if we were more efficient. I’d like to see you do better.

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