Heaven Inc

Tracey’s alarm shrieked its deliberately annoying tone. It was time to wake up and there was a lot to do, but she pressed ‘snooze’ anyway. Just another five minutes. Well, it took four minutes before she sank back into the depths of unreality. A minute later the alarm went off again and she felt the same tiredness as before. Could she afford to press snooze again? Not likely, but she did it anyway.

After repeating this process a few times, she suddenly sat upright and looked at her wrist watch, which she always wore to bed. Sh*t, the time had flown. She was going to be late! She dragged herself out of bed and dressed in a panic. She applied less makeup than she would have liked, but it was getting late. She finished the process by brushing her long, straight auburn hair and slipping on a summer dress.

There was so much work to do today. The order of events for the day was being rehearsed in her mind as she stepped into her car. Smack! She hit her head as she got into the small car because her mind was elsewhere. A large, red mark appeared on her pale forehead. It wasn’t a good look – not very well groomed. Anyway, she could hardly do anything about it now.

The engine of her car sounded grumpy as usual in the cold winter weather. It would take a bit of time for the engine to warm up but she had to leave quickly. Otherwise, she would definitely be late. She couldn’t rely on there being no traffic on a Monday morning, of all days.

On turning across an intersection, the engine suddenly lost power. Tracey managed to squeeze out a quick scream of terror before the horrible crunch of the impact. Her life ended in a dramatic fireball.

***

As had those before her, Tracey saw the enticing bright light in front of her. “Move towards the light, “a gentle masculine voice beckoned. Tracey obeyed. She was floating. It was a great feeling, as if the weight of the world had been lifted from her shoulders.

When she reached the light, there was a row of seats in front of her. One of the seats had her name on it. “Please sit down on the seat you have been allocated, “the voice said in a monotone. It sounded less friendly than before. In fact, it sounded a bit like a voiceover in a government office.

Tracey sat down. For the first time she looked around. It was amazing. She was surrounded by structures that looked like a maze of offices, except that the walls surrounding each office where completely transparent. Inside each office, sat one or more persons who looked very busy working on something. But working on what? Was this heaven? Why would people be working in heaven?

Then she looked down. Below her feet was the same maze of offices going further and further down. The strange thing was that the structure continued infinitely. There was no top, bottom or sides.

After a long wait, Tracey was called into a nearby office. She was shocked to hear of her promotion.

Gina, a mature woman spoke to Tracey in a calm voice. “Congratulations Tracey. You have been promoted today. There were a number of candidates, but you were by far the best fit.”

Tracey was astounded. She was readying for paradise in her life after death. She was less polite than she would have wanted to have been. “Promoted to what?” she snapped.

“Everyone asks that,”Gina replied. “I’ll explain”. And so she did.

Heaven was essentially a corporation founded by God. Those who do God’s work on Earth are on the lowest rung of the corporate ladder. Going to heaven was the first in a long line of promotions.

So Tracey, being a religious person, did indeed end up in heaven. However, she would spend infinity climbing up the corporate ladder. That was very depressing indeed.

Then Tracey asked the obvious question, in the hope that there might be an alternative. “So, if heaven is a corporation, what is hell?” she asked.

“That,” answered Gina, “is an explanation for another day.”

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