Cyril Rum, an angel on sabbatical from heaven, had found the code when he came out into his kitchen. It was under his back door inside a plain white envelope.
He knew the code, it was familiar and he wistfully thought there was no getting away from heaven was there, even on leave they had your number.
He knew a lot about codes as the angels had invented them. Well, their particular variety. It was a way to convey important messages and keep information away from the undesirables who even banished found a way back through the pearly gates.
That was the trouble with forgiveness thought Cyril, it created its own brand of slackness in that everyone was thought to be worthy of a second go. Trouble was the second go for some had been repeated many times over as he knew. Eternity could be like that he reasoned.
So here it was another note, the same as so many.
Basically, it asked the age old question what are we going to do about hell?
The problem was it was filling up faster than anyone ever imagined it might. It did have attractions the present day greedy and self-centred souls craved. Promiscuity, gambling with unlimited credit, and every form of mind hallucinating drug you could imagine just to take your mind off the hell hole you were actually in.
Cyril had seen it all first hand. Souls running around, dodging the fires of hell, their focus on the man or woman in front of them, their bits in a constant state of arousal and their appetites for all things illicit simply insatiable.
So much for the old days thought Cyril. Those were the days you poked your head into hell to get a good fix of the cries of anguished souls languishing in the cesspools and boiling mud ponds. In those days’ hell served the purpose it was designed for. Now days with hellish unions, souls that took no for an answer it had degenerated into something no one was quite sure what to do with.
The last of the message was a request to reply by earth’s sundown as decisions had to be made. Hell was after all giving heaven a bad name.
Cyril wasn’t happy about the note. He was enjoying his time away. He had made a friend in Mildred Thrup, his neighbour, he had never had a friend before, well a human one and he was enjoying the exchanges he and Mildred had while sitting in his white chairs on his back veranda. For a human being, and a woman at that, Cyril was beginning to feel attached to her, and this bothered him as he didn’t think it very proper for an angel to have anything but praise of the Lord on his mind. He was thankful as an angel he didn’t have too many human physical features to get him into very serious trouble.
So to placate those who mattered he penned a hasty reply in code of course:
54$&HgrV YV 8839o90- 54EJ Ue
Translated meant: I am sure in your infinite wisdom you will make a sound judgement and all souls will sing further to your eternal glory.
Cyril knew a little praise went a long way with his immediate superior. So sealing it up in the envelope in which the note came he placed it on the second of his chairs out eh back and prepared for his day. Mildred Thrup was coming for morning tea, and then they were off to bingo. Cyril liked the thought of bingo, it was a game of chance and something he was sure heaven would never have invented.