ASCENSION The three levels of the afterlife

 

I died. I am not sure how or why, but I am aware that my life has ended, and a new existence has begun. I am surrounded by people I know, knew, whilst I was alive. They seem to have died with me. It must have been some form of catastrophic event.

I suddenly feel the need to ascend. Unwillingly my essence start lifting skywards. I look around. An old school classmate comes near me and tries to cling on to my shoe. A voice inside me speaks out. You belong in hell. I kick him. He falls to the ground and through a grate. Flames rise up and harrowing cries pierce the stillness of the air.

I keep rising and notice some people are being dragged through the grates, whilst others remain rooted to the ground, jumping up and down, hoping that they too, will start to rise. I cross through the sky and then across a floor. I am at a new level. The ascension continues, but then I spot the woman I fancied. She isn’t moving.

So I stop. I stay on this level, looking much like Earth and ordinary lives. You are in purgatory, you get to relive your life as a human, before deciding your final fate. You do not have to stay here, you are meant for heaven.

But I want to, for her. Can I help her ascend?

Em comes towards me. “Why did you stop? This is purgatory, live life again.”

“I couldn’t leave you here.” She looks at me quizzically. Somewhat surprised but happy. A sudden tension fills the air around me. Out of the corner of my eye I see two people fighting. I very quickly become aware that there scuffles all around. Purgatory is not like Earth, it just seems to be like it.

As time passes I am become more accustomed to this new way of being. There are no bodily needs, there is no hunger, there is no thirst. No hot, no cold. As such, tending to one’s needs loses meaning. So what do you do in purgatory? It is a wide open space, asphalted over with some forlorn sports courts to one end, and a metal shack in the middle. There is a big house in the corner. Most people are gathered there. There is only one topic of conversation: ascension. How do you prove you are ready to ascend? Is it true that if you cling on to someone who is ascending you will be allowed to piggy back them into heaven? Has anyone actually seen someone ascend?

There is a palpable panic and trepidation in everyone’s mind and heart. The scuffles are constant. There is nothing to do, so people fight. And then the grates appear, and they swallow the fighters, the flames shoot up to the sky, and the cries are heard.

Without a life pattern, the suffering is unbearable, it is a pointless existence, a real test. I go deep within myself and think. I meditate and calm myself down. All I have suffered in life, it was for a reason. I survived that, I got through it, I can still make it to heaven. I have no fear, and no anxiety. I spend my time with Em, and she smiles and hugs me. All is well, yet somehow staying in purgatory is not a pleasant experience. I know deep within myself that I just have to will myself to ascend and I will get to heaven. I am not sure why I am so confident, but it just seems logical.

So at night, I take Em towards the back of the house, hug her and then lift my arms to heaven. I look up and I start to ascend. As I slowly rise towards heaven, Em holds on to my foot and she starts to rise too. It is working, but then, three people come out of the house and they see us. They notice Em rising with me, so they desperately cling on to her shoes. The weight of so many people is dragging me down. I begin to falter. I then make an irrational decision, out of love. I stop mid air, and propel Em and the clingers skywards. They continue to ascend, whilst I fall.

I crash on the ground with a loud thump. I look up and see them disappear. They made it. Suddenly I am surrounded by all the inhabitants of the house. There is a deep rooted anger in their eyes. Why them? Why not me?

Thunder. Echoing, booming thunder, all around. I close my eyes waiting for the mob, and the inevitable trip to hell as the punches start rolling and the grates start opening. The fire rises. I hear the deafening screams in my ears, the agonising wailing of people burning; yet I don’t feel a thing. I am once again suspended mid air, and as the flames swallow the people from the house down to hell, I rise. Once again, I ascend. All the way to heaven.

Heaven is a sight to behold. It is a city of skyscrapers built at sea. There are different levels, and as soon as you enter you realise you are not authorised to all levels, you must once again ascend between them.

Time is immaterial, yet it somehow passes here too. I don’t know how long it has been, it could have been minutes, it could have been years, but I realise that there are gangs in heaven, of people plotting their way to the top. There are also controllers, those who guard the different levels and ensure no-one rises by devious means.

I find a small group, no sign of Em, yet somehow, in heaven, no need of her, to spend the time with. Like everyone else we discuss ascension. Through the passage of time, and we guess good behaviour, we ascend a level every so often. We are mid way up the glass skyscrapers, looking down at the waves and the people in the lower levels. It is a pleasant existence. The need to ascend keeps you focused, but not having any fears keeps you at peace. Having a purpose, I realise after comparing heaven to purgatory, is essential to us.

One day, a rift forms amongst us. One of the group accuses another of being at fault for delaying our ascensions. I look on, bewildered. It seems a pointless argument, but it only gets worse as the days go by and nobody ascends. It poisons the atmosphere and brings the mood down. Rotten people still cause pain, even in heaven.

I step into the argument, trying to hold the peace, to bring everyone’s hopes up. This action earns me ascension. I ascend, I rise and rise all the way to the top, where I find Em. And joy. Blissful joy, the like of which I had never felt.

Then I hear God’s voice, in my ear. I slip out of the cloud and circle the skyscrapers all the way form the bottom to the top. Now touching the waves, now touching the rooftops.

He is coming to try and destroy this. All of this. He is evil incarnate and he must be stopped. You have suffered all your life in preparation for this, the ultimate sacrifice. You must stop him, yet the choice is yours, I will not force you. You can stop him, but you must be careful not to befriend him.

As I spin through the skies, with the words reverberating  inside my head, I contemplate the situation. I take the plunge. I’ll do it. It’s all I say. I then close my eyes and wake up under water, in hell, hugging him. The test has started.

I wake up. Once again, I really felt it was God’s voice. Does he speak to me? Is doom coming towards us? What does it mean?

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Death of the Sergeant

The phone rings. PC Bellew has an urgent phone call.

It’s the sergeant. There’s a fire, a very big one. He is needed there. But, just as the sergeant tells him where the fire is, the line cuts. Desperately, he puts on his helmet and heads out.

There is chaos and turmoil on the streets. The fire brigade are doing their best to control the population and the flames. As PC Bellew approaches the fire area, a fireman comes and orders him back.

“I have direct orders from the Sergeant, I need to get there. I need to help him.”

“Get back! No written orders, no access!”

PC Bellew goes back, knowing he can’t argue with that man. He tries to go around, through another road. This time he is allowed through. He rushes towards the police station, not knowing where else to look. He is too late. Way too late.

The firemen present explain that there was no saving the policemen inside. The Sergeant is dead. PC Bellew looks around, for some comfort, he can’t help but feel it is his fault. He spots the Sergeant’s wife.

“Why didn’t you save him? You should have been here sooner! You’re a murderer!” She shouts at him.

As he tries in vain to formulate a response, the rest of the building crumbles, bringing down the flats next to it.

The whole town, still aflame, blames PC Bellew for the misfortune. He runs back to his flat, trying to hide, not to get lynched by the angry mob.

The Attack of the Football Fanatics

I had several dreams tonight. All of them worthy of a blog entry. I only remember one, once I had woken up in the morning and gone back to sleep.

I find myself in a shopping centre in Cartago, Costa Rica (it looks like my brain is slowly making the migration). I am with several of my aunts and cousins, looking for my cousin’s daughter’s ball which she has misplaced. I decide to drift around the shops looking for something interesting.

As I get towards the other end of the centre I hear an explosion, and then people screaming and saying that there’s been a chemical leak, so a section of the centre is closed to the public. I think it is the end I’m at, so i walk around trying to get to the other end, and see massive walls, barring my progress. I got the end wrong, it is the end I came from.

I start running towards the door, when I am tripped deliberately by a football fan sporting purple. He runs away, I follow for a bit and quickly realise it is a setup, there is a horde waiting and they want blood. I am really confused as I am wearing a Southampton shirt and not a local one. I walk backwards and jump over a fence.

The horde makes it to the fence, they are manic, psychotic wild eyes in their sockets, screaming for mayhem and trouble. I am find myself cornered with other individuals. I jump to a platform and hurry towards another exit, thinking I’ll make it out on foot. My half conscious brain evaluates the situation and realises there is no way we’ll survive on foot, so I re-write the dream and go to the car. Only I have not yet bought a car, so it quickly turns into my mother’s car, which is an SUV.

One of the fans clad in purple, who does not want trouble, guides me through a labyrinth through the bathrooms and the prostitutes towards the car.

I have to make it around the blue stadium to my aunt’s house. The road through the stadium is blocked, because of the football fans. I realise the horde has spotted my car and is making for it. I accelerate.

Two British radio presenters are following the action. At first they were there on the ground, but then the dream got re-written and they were through the phone, on video call.

I quickly drive past the Stadium road and up towards a hill. There are the ruins of a medieval town, and a Swiss looking scenery with Alps and Lakes. I quickly scramble my brain and re-write what I am looking at to make it Costa Rican.

I go north of the stadium, onto a dirt track, always accelerating. The road ends suddenly, so I veer to one side down another tarmac road. This one goes to close to the stadium. I see the horde in the distance, only now they are clad in red and black. I go north again.

Another dirt track. I am destroying the car’s suspension. Two more roads and I’ll be past the stadium and to my aunt’s house. We (suddenly there are people in the car with me) have to drive through a pill factory. The girl working there stops us and tells us to hide inside, we won’t make it she reckons.

We hide inside but my mum walks outside to see where the horde is, they spot us. They come to start a fight. I start fighting with all I’ve got, throwing punches left, right and centre. I am a big lad, I throw a good punch, people start falling to the ground, but we get word of an even bigger horde. No way out, no escape.

My brain quickly re-writes the dream. We are still in the car. We go past a destroyed dirt road and unto the intersection with a dirt track coming from the stadium. There is a steep hill coming towards the intersection.

The horde, now clad in red and yellow, is at the foot. Do I ram them? Or do I stop? I do not want to be responsible for the death of anyone, however justified it may be. I go slowly, the horde surrounds the car and starts the attack. The wing mirrors fall, the glass cracks. Hand are inside the car.

My leg muscles begin to cramp as they tense from the panic. My brain re-writes the dream. I ram them, I go through them at full throttle and they do not stand a chance, and a I make it past the security line from the riot police.

I wake up with a start. With a blazing headache and aching muscles. Very real, physical pain, from the stress and tension of the dream.

The Castle and the King

I wake up inside a medieval castle, yet with modern comforts. I look outside and I suddenly realise I am an important member of this society.

I walk down the stone steps into the courtyard,sun shining down upon me. I look around, and see towers and turrets everywhere. The courtyard is small, internal and private. I walk towards the western wing and into the room. I saw gold ingots lying on the ground and I decide to take them and store them somewhere hidden. Somehow I know they belong to me and they ought not be there.

I go behind some stairs, into a secret compartment, on the other side of an iron gate. I hide the treasure and walk outside. I see my mother discussing with my aunt. I keep walking and get to the car. An SUV, white. In the middle of the castle. I get in with my little brother and drive off into the ramp going out of the castle. We drive through a maze until we are finally on the open road heading towards the beach.

Inside the maze of tunnels we noticed two children, at the time I made nothing of it. However, once at the beach we reach a house, where a family is living. The two children are there. Their parents welcome us into their home. They make us as comfortable as possible and then walk us out to the car, with the waves crashing down upon the small overhang where it is parked.

The whole sequence makes no sense. What am I doing here? Why does everyone seem to know me? Why is there a castle, a road and a beach house?

As we drive back and approach the tunnels we get lost inside. Suddenly the roof is too small, the car won’t fit, will it? I inch the car forward very slowly, and it just about scraped through. We leave the car there, parked in the midst of the tunnels, and walk towards the castle. The two children are there again. I decide to follow them.

They are going deeper into the castle, until it is clear they are heading for the hidden gold. I stop them. They run away. I clamber above some table in a low-roofed chamber and reach the corridor that will take me to the gold. I take it in my hand and walk onto a balcony.

The whole town lies before me. People cheer me as I step out.

I am the King.

The Big City

I find myself in the middle og a crossroad at a great city. The great capital of the united world. There is a big skyscraper at three of the corners and a green park with an underground car park below. 

The skyscraper to my left, a great modernist tower of glass houses all the knowledge on fluid dynamics available to mankind. The knowledge essential to the world economy … And warfare. 

I push my wind from my hands and fly towards the entrance. I sneak in. The guards are immediately alerted to my presence. I go invisible and head towards the lift. I go in but there is a woman with a pushchair. I desperately try to avoid being bumped into as security passes by. The lift goes up and the woman leaves as I continue on my way to the top. I reach it and have before me all the knowledge from the top companies. 

I am flabbergasted at their plans. I leave the building and head to the slums, unsure as to what to do with the knowledge gained. 

I walk into a multistory building housing a run down tattoo parlour. Not really knowing why I go for a tattoo with a skinny man. I tell him what to do, but I look in shock horror as he disregards my design with mountains and an angel and starts etching a horrible demon on my arm, above my dragon and cross. 

I stop him and jump up. I feel the blackness coming and scream in terror. 

I wake up. And turn the light on. 

The Election

In a distant land, surrounded by ocean, there was to be an election for a new Leader. Naturally, it all happened on the sea surrounding the capital city. Lovely palm trees on the beach, with the blue-turquoise water lapping gently against the sand. But then, in the middle of the sea, three giant structures had been erected.

The first one, a cage. A cage of immense proportions. A massive net of steel, forming the shape of a sea creature. Inside, the poor human souls who were to be the sacrifice offered at the election. Sacrificed, as atonement to their crimes.

The second, a viewing platform for the Councillors and Statesmen. Ornate gold carvings on plush seats, full of blue-robed people. Waiting for the spectacle of the sacrifice.

I am on a boat which docks at the cage. The first prisoner is loaded unto the boat. A woman. Blonde hair, middle-aged. Terror in her face.

The boat speeds to the third structure. A massive cauldron, filled with wood chips, with a three apartment house at the top. We climb to the house, where we are greeted by the executioner, another woman in her mid-thirties. Our prisoner is taken to one of the three cells on the balcony. Another two arrive and fill the gaps.

I look in horror as I realise what is about to happen. The executioner laughs, cold and mirthless. Hollow eyes looking with glee at the three prisoners. He pulls a chord, and the fire spreads from the roof towards the woman who had come in my boat. She starts screaming, louder and louder as the flames envelop her. Then, the floor beneath her collapses and she falls into the cauldron. A human torch to light the ceremonial cauldron.

She writhes around, only lighting more and more wood chips until a veritable inferno extends itself towards heaven.

The Demon

I am walking in a forest after a party. There were several people I knew at the party, some of them had come out to the forest with me. 
It is a beautiful, bright, sunlit day. The forest is wholesome and there is an air of tranquility about it. 

I go under a small glass ceiling. There is a bench carved out of a tree where an old man sits with his back against a glass pane. 

There is an air of wisdom and power about this man. He has a short white beard, properly trimmed close to his cheeks and balding white hair. 

Next to him is a younger man. Much younger. Maybe my age. 

I start speaking with them. At first the conversation is non-descript, then it turns. I am warning them of a lurking evil, a shadow that is coming our way. It seems a very odd subject to be discussing in such a wonderful place under such a glorious sun. 

Then, It appears. It looks like a man, but its eyes are soulless. As It looks at me, a horrible, evil grin spreads across its face. It raises its right hand and extends its index finger at me. 

I panic. A Demon from Hell is pointing at me. I try to scream, but I can’t. My body is non-responsive to my commands. My heart rate accelerates. I have got to warn the others. Why is my voice not coming? Desperation and anxiety grow in me. I slowly, very slowly, manage to raise my arm just about enough to point at the demon. Then, in nothing more than a hoarse whisper, with my mouth moving very slowly indeed, I manage to croak “It’s here”. 

As I feel my life being sucked out of my body the old man rises and gives me a sword. I grab it and the spell is lifted. 

I charge at the demon and swing the sword. He disappears into the netherworld. 

I wake up, panting. I immediately turn on the light. Was the Demon inside my room?