Immediately following this horrific incident, my soul levitated from my body leaving behind the flesh that was still screaming for mercy.
Floating…I encountered an iridescent light accompanied by a peppy voice saying, “Purgatory in two hours.”
That peppy voice materialized as a thirtyish, friendly, red-haired woman who chatted me up about both “Purg” and her own emerging music career. She explained: “Purgatory is a lively place, and I personally suggest you explore the Contract Department and also inquire about our ‘Purgatory-to-Heaven Work Program.’”
Fast forward six months, Alice and I were relating exceptionally well, having lunch each day. Distracted, I was neglecting my duties as the Purgatory gardener and this wasn’t the time to flake out the week before the Agricultural Inspectors were going to pay a Yearly visit.
Pondering my conundrum, I decided that my only recourse to stay in good standing here in Purgatory was to get a one-day pass to visit Hell. Yes, Hell. H as in Hottest.
My desperate plan was to go there to barter for their magic fruit and vegetable seeds that can grow a complete garden in one day. Indeed, Hell uses those magic seeds because “sin is a great nutrient.”
The trip was instantaneous through a special portal. Upon arrival, we met in their chilly Agricultural Room with a fiftyish-looking cowboy named Jeremiah.
He raved about the magic seeds. Not wasting time, I offered him a truck load of Purgatory’s coveted rotten fruits and vegetables—because “indecision isn’t good for produce.” In exchange, of course, for the magic seeds. Jeremiah’s eyes twinkled as I brought the produce that was sent to Hell.
I was shocked to see Alice sitting in the waiting room, head in her lap, sobbing loudly. I immediately went over to her.
“What’s wrong, Alice? I hate to see you this way….”
“I’ve been framed,” said Alice.” The Devil, she explained, was being vindictive. She had repulsed his many sexual advances. “The scary tail, the burnt-egg smell, the weird skin color—I didn’t want that anywhere near me!”
Alice was put on house arrest in a dormitory in Hell.
I felt guilty thinking it, but, selfishly, I saw myself working on Hell’s Garden crew, being with her. How could a relationship under those circumstances possibly fail?
So, I signed a contract to work in Hell for eternity as a gardening supervisor.
The lawyers got us off because we acted out of goodness by repulsing the Devil—who can’t punish us. It’s a loophole in the Division of Dominions over sinners, “hot places” and archangels. There are lots of loopholes in actuality and the Devil has eternity to discover them.
Alice and I married, of course, and are living in the always-exciting Creative District of Purgatory, known for its writers, artists, musicians like Alice, and others of a romantic bent.