Do you know who I am?
Death warned me for the second time; I did not expect him to repeat himself.
"Heaven is boring you say. Care to explain?"
Every story I have ever read about Death never included a curled lip. I swore under my breath, I would be the first to chronicle this discovery.
"Heaven is a constant stalemate, void of color, devoid of choice. You exist for no purpose other than a constant reminder to Earthers to behave. Heaven is stagnation coupled with eternal boredom. Once you chose Heaven, it will be the last choice you ever will make, ever will be permitted to make." With that, Death, without prejudice, rested his case.
I, however, required a bit more information.
"If Heaven is so bad, what does Hell have to offer that I don't already know?"
Death acted his part in this drama. Mine was as a spectator viewing his opening act. His was a seasoned professional working within the confines of rote memory alone.
"Hell is everything you heard and yet, so much more. You will be tormented, but you chose your torment and its duration. None today averages with a double shift on the morrow. The ledger book must remain balanced, not each day, but it must be balance in the end. You may chose if another receives additional punishments for sins both known and unknown. In Hell, we are everybody's keeper and judge and executioner." Death paused to check my reaction. He received nothing from me. In somewhat disbelief, my lack of reaction caused Death to hesitate, maybe for the very first time in his "life".
"You require more, so be it! Hell is appropriately named. It is beyond all imaginable agony. Our residents suffer on unspeakable levels with perpetual horror. Most find no salvation, no bliss, and no remorse. Pain is the currency of norm."
He ended abruptly, as if to cue me to speak my next line before he continued with his soliloquy. I obliged and ask about his use of the word, "most". Death knew he had my attention. This was not his first performance. At slight nod and he continued.
"I speak of most because there are a few exceptions. I have the power to alleviate the level of unpleasantness to a select group of individuals who I find may be of service to me. You could be one of this elite group. Chose Hell, serve me to gather strength, do my bidding, and I will allow a respite of civility and relaxation to temporarily ease your suffering. But, fail me once, and just once, and I will unleash a fury upon you the likes your mortal mind could never conceive. You could have women, wealth, and power (distantly) rivaling only mine. It will not be easy. But it will be different. It is time to choose, so choose wisely."
I was both a lawyer and a politician of pedigree and distinction. Old age may have brought me before Death, but it could not keep me in his sight.
"I choose Heaven." I declared openly and defiantly to a now disgruntled salesman.
As he uttered his single word question of "Why" a glimmering beam of light began to envelop and protect me from his growing wrath. Before I left, I answered.
"Do you know who I am? Campaign promises are not worth the paper they are written on; without a cross-examination, no argument is believable."
With that, Death grabbed at smoke as I departed in the bright light. I should send him a postcard describing Heaven. It might be the first time a lawyer or a politician ever got the chance to do so.