Tuesday, October 28, 2008
The Scales of Injustice
Blood clots crowd around the base of his skull and Maxwell Conran expires in a burst of neural activity with a smile on his face and a butt-plug up his bum. Watching his soul leave his body is like watching those water-slide transfers you used to decorate model aeroplanes with as a child. Do they still make those or are they all snap-together with self-adhesive labels these days?
His soul flickers and becomes detached from his body by a quarter-inch, giving the impression of a blurred photograph seen through the wrong end of a telescope. I still wait. It’s not my job to help them out of their rotting flesh and if I did it could be misconstrued as intimidation.
A minute later and he’s half out. It’s taking him longer than most. Probably because he died in a state of physical bliss. He doesn’t want to leave but the flesh is cooling, becoming uninhabitable. There’s a shimmering next to him and an angel appears, garbed in the traditional white-winged image. He nods to me. We’ve met a few times over the centuries. Soul collectors are a solitary bunch whichever side you work for.
Maxwell’s out now, looking at us both with wide eyes. I see from his card he was an agnostic. Well, agnosticise this, pal. I get out my scales.
“What have you done that was worthy of Heaven?” I say. The angel’s surprised by this. Demons usually begin with a heave damnation pitch.
“Well, err…” Maxwell scratched his head, or would, if he had one. As it is he’s just going through the motions. “I’ve been a good husband and father.”
“You left your wife with three kids under five,” I said.
“Best thing for them, with my temper.”
He genuinely believes that. There’s hope for him yet.
“Who’s going to find your body?” The angel has an open diary in his hands. It’s not the book of Maxwell’s life but it looks impressive. All Judgemental. I check the scales. They’re leaning toward Heaven.
Maxwell shrugs. “Dunno.”
“Shouldn’t you have thought of that before you played with your… toys?” The angel flinches.
“I suppose.” Maxwell shrugs again and the scales tip toward Hell. The angel closes his book, satisfied. I don’t know why they bother. No-one’s entered Heaven in a hundred years. They just like to be seen to care.
I sigh. “Come on, Max,” I say, gathering up the scales. “You’re going to like it in Hell. You’ll get all the anal sex you can handle.”
I didn’t mention it was with cattle prods.