Since the time they could remember and that that was an awful long time Wayne and Greg had been the entities representing their respective deities. Wayne represented Hell and Greg was God’s angel on earth.
In the early days there was fierce competition between the two as they vied for the souls of the departed. But over time they came to understand that each was simply doing his job and they relaxed around each other and came to recognise that there were some souls, no matter, were only going in one direction despite Greg’s acceptance of God’s everlasting mercy.
So when a body passed into the next world they would both show up, look at the soul’s invoice of his or her life and agree without saying anything that it was a case of one way or the other.
After an eternity of this and faced with a continuing eternity they had become friends discovering that both weren’t such bad types after all and after a long day grateful for each other’s company.
Today they awoke in their modest apartment in the downtown and looked at their respective work sheets which always appeared overnight. Though strictly speaking they were both on duty 24/7 as death waits for no one but Wayne and Greg had devised a method whereby they could slip into modern society and live as humans thereby gaining an added insight into how these strange creatures lived. They delayed things as they both came to learn nothing could proceed if they didn’t turn up, so often death would be left twiddling his thumbs as he waited for the two angels to arrive. Needless to say Wayne and Greg didn’t have the best of relationship with death, who could be very pushy when he set his mind to it.
Their first port of call was on the west side of town where Jack Green was breathing his last. Jack was 94 years old and a pillar of society. His family had gathered around his bed to say their farewells and Greg and Wayne had checked the invoice of Jack’s life and noticed a few discrepancies in his life span.
Jack it seemed was a bit of a silent womaniser. As the first soul of the day both entities were keen to start off on a positive note. It wasn’t long before they were engaged in what they did so well together, argue.
Jack breathed his last and his soul floated out of his body to find the two angels in a fierce argument as to where he would go. Jack’s soul was slightly bemused by all the fuss, after a long life he was looking forward to a time of release from earthly concerns, a pain free existence wherever that took him.
The argument raged for some time until the usual compromise was reached: Let the soul decide.
So both angels then began their sales pitch. Heaven, all holiness, standing in the shadow of God himself, endless singing of hymns, no pain, as much to eat as you could manage and a halo, that was always a selling point Greg knew, why he could never figure out, as the things were ill fitting and continuously falling off. So on he went and got to the one thing he knew sold heaven to so many. Heaven was where you could get the best ham sandwiches imaginable. Yes, he had checked to see if jack was Jewish but either way the humble ham sandwich in heaven was always a winner.
Jack’s soul was about to open his mouth in agreement when Wayne started. Hell, yes could be a little uncomfortable at times especially if you ventured too close to the fire pits but Hell did have its advantages. You didn’t have to sing hymns all day, you didn’t have to wear an ill-fitting halo and Hell was where you found the best coffee and Sushi bar in eternity, at Hell’s Coffee Shop. Even Greg conceded that this was the best place for coffee and the sushi was to die for…. though that pun had worn thin over time.
So it was left to Jack to decide while the two angels retreated to give him some space. Jack had a question? Would there be girls in Hell? Wayne looked at him and then at Greg and both angels looked a little down faced. They explained that in eternity there was no need to reproduce so there was no need for sex so there was no need for such bits so once you passed into either domain those parts of you ceased to exist instead if you went to Heaven you existed in the glory of God and in Hell you were happy if so inclined to know you weren’t in Heaven. As it was Hell was full of people who staunchly believed themselves to be atheists despite the evidence of the afterlife.
Jack sensing there was a price to pay in death chose Wayne and ordered a latte and the day began for the two entities as it always did rushing from one earthly spot to another checking the souls off, adding to their respective quotas and stopping every so often to compare notes and have a giggle about the last soul who actually began singing “The Lord is My Shepard” when told about the virtues of a Heavenly life. Greg thought for a moment as to whether or not he could remember all the words.
That afternoon as they both sat in Hell’s Coffee Shop, Yes Greg did have to receive dispensation to enter the café, they discussed how good their jobs were and that if the earth survived another five thousand years then by then they might ask their respective bosses about a retirement plan.