Heaven’s Headquarters

“How did I get here?” Ethan, a man with silky brown hair, green eyes, and a slim physique, realized he fell asleep on an elevator. He doesn’t recognize this elevator, which has ornate, gilded walls, and he’s mystified as to how he ended up inside. Last thing he remembered, he was walking down the street. He suddenly realized that the elevator had no buttons! The elevator kept going up, and Ethan had no idea where he was going, so he started to worry. Suddenly, the elevator stopped and the elevator doors opened. Ethan stepped out cautiously.

Ethan walked into a reception area and looked around to figure out where he was. The walls and floors were cloudy white. There wasn’t much else there except a lot of doors and a pearly, circular desk at the center. A perky, blonde secretary popped up behind the desk and watched Ethan. Ethan, not knowing what else to do, went up to the secretary, who had a name plate that read: Hailey. Before Ethan could ask her anything, Hailey chirped, “Welcome to Heaven’s Headquarters! Please fill out these forms.” She slid a white clipboard with a couple of crisp papers on it to to him.

Ethan felt totally confused. He had no clue where he was, and yet this woman seemed to have been expecting him. “Forms?

Hailey simply explained, “Yes, to show us what would make your eternity the ideal level of blissfulness.”

Ethan started to think that he either got too drunk at dinner or else someone had slipped something into his drink. Either way, he thought that maybe he had blacked out and had booked some spa getaway in his haze. That didn’t seem like a smart idea, so he tried to clear this up with Hailey, “Look, I’m not sure how I got here, but I gotta leave. I got work in the morning, so-.”

Hailey interrupted him, “Work? No, you don’t work in Heaven. It’s your time to relax.”

Ethan got a little annoyed by this. He knew that companies often had their secretaries try to save their sales, but she didn’t seem to get it, he really didn’t have time for this. “Relax? I got a big presentation in the morning. So, can you-?”

“Listen,” Hailey looked him square in the eyes and talked in a very serious tone at this point. “you’re not going back to work. Or your home or anywhere else. You’re dead.”

Whatever response he had expected to hear from her, it wasn’t that! The ease he felt from what he thought was a logical conclusion to this situation had vanished, and if he hadn’t booked a luxurious hotel in a drunken haze, then he didn’t know what else would bring him here. The fact that she mentioned that he was dead now sent him to a panic. “Is that a threat? Are you holding me hostage?”

“Oh boy!” Hailey sighed. She coolly hit a pager button on her office phone and spoke into it, “Peter, can you come to the Pearly Gates please?”

A handsome man with a nice suit and a clipboard in his arm appeared next to Hailey instantly. Ethan had to blink. He couldn’t explain how the man, who he could only assume was Peter, could appear from nowhere unless it was some kind of theatrical ruse to scare and confuse him. Peter glanced at Ethan and then regarded Hailey, “Who’s this? Let’s see…ah, Ethan Miller. I told you already that he is most definitely welcome here!”

Hailey calmly revealed, “I know, but he hasn’t accepted.”

Ethan, in addition to feeling a little scared, grew frustrated by the lack of answers. He had a right to know what was happening! He spouted, “Who are you?”

Peter smiled gently and introduced himself, “On Earth, I’m known as Saint Peter.”

Ethan rolled his eyes. He didn’t believe that was his real identity, and he resented the task he now had of figuring out who these people were. He remarked to Peter, “Saint Peter, huh? What are you guys, the mob or something?”

“Wow!: Peter seemed bewildered by Ethan’s response, but he kept his composure. “You weren’t kidding about this man! Better send him to the Big Guy.”

“Who? Where are you taking me?” Ethan decided he wasn’t going to let them take him anywhere and prepared to put up a fight.

Peter snapped his fingers, and Ethan instantly disappeared! Ethan reappeared in a huge office. It seemed to be empty except for the same cloudy walls and floors and a big, wooden desk with a computer on it. Whoever “the Big Guy” was, he wasn’t in the office right now. Ethan looked all around him in utter confusion “Okay, what the hell just happened?”

At that moment, a very tall, clean shaven man with gray hair and a light gray suit walked into the room. The man reproached him gently, “Sir, we don’t swear here.” Ethan jumped at his sudden approach. The man kindly instructed, “Go ahead and have a seat.”

A cushy chair appeared before the desk right behind where Ethan stood. He reluctantly took a seat. He needed answers, and he figured that they must lie with this man. “You’re the “Big Guy?”

The man replied, “I’m known by many names. A higher power, Nirvana, Inner Peace, Mother Earth (somehow)…but you probably refer to me as God.”

“Oh, you’re God? Yeah right!” Ethan wondered what was wrong with these people. They were either giving him their nicknames or else he had come across a very delusional cult.

The man seemed unruffled by Ethan’s disposition. He probed, “What makes you doubt me?”

Ethan couldn’t believe that this guy had really believed that he was God! He had to put him in his place, “God isn’t some businessman! He has a really long beard and a robe…”

The Big Guy chuckled, “You mean like this?” He snapped his fingers and, to Ethan’s astonishment, hechanged into Ethan’s description of God. “Yes, this look was all the rage when the Bible was written, but we’ve made some updates since then.” The Big Guy snapped his fingers again and changed back into the outfit he previously wore.

Ethan still didn’t totally accept their claims that he had died or that he was speaking to God, and he didn’t want to feed into that delusion. He had to try to get home. “Look, I don’t wanna be here, in ‘Heaven,’ I want to-!”

“No?” the Big Guy remarked. “Would you rather be in Hell? It’s not as fun as rock stars make it seem. Here, have a look.”

The Big Guy turned his computer monitor around to face Ethan. An automated voice greeted him, “Welcome to Hell Dot Com! I’m Jaime, your virtual host. Let me give you a tour!” The screen changed into a red office with a blonde man in a pepper-gray business suit sitting at a dark, wooden desk. “This is Lucifer’s Chamber! He decides how cruel of an eternal punishment a sinner gets.” The screen changed into a room with some fiendish monsters standing in front of some sharp rocks. The monsters smile and wave to the camera. “This is the physical pain and torture chamber where sinners go to receive a Hell of a lot of, well, pain and torture.” The screen changed to a completely empty room with a small green couch and a wide screen television “This is the viewing room where sinners are forced to watch their worst nightmares over and over again.” The screen changed to small, run down town. “This is Sinners’ Living, the living quarters of sinners. Their homes turn into whatever they would consider the most unbearable living conditions.” The screen changed to a door with the number 666 on it. “This is Area Six Six Six, where the most evil sinners go. It is so gruesome that we cannot display it on the web.” The screen changed to a room full of what looks like operators and telemarketers. “This is the communications room where our “devils” tempt ordinary people to commit a sin.” The screen changed to a picture of an empty reception desk. “That ends our tour of Hell Dot Com. We are currently seeking a Hell Secretary if you’re interested. See you in Hell!”

The Big Guy turned the computer off and swiveled it back so it faced him. Ethan now felt very much perplexed. Ethan supposed that the Big Guy thought that this presentation would convince him that he had died, but he wasn’t buying it! “I can’t be dead! The world couldn’t go on without me!”

“You don’t think so?” The Big Guy reacted. “Well, I can show you that’s not true either. Oh Joseph!” He pushed a button on his phone to summon him. A young man with a gray suit and a white tie, black hair, muscular build entered and looked to the Big Guy to await his instructions. The Big Guy directed Joseph, “Show Ethan his world without him. I gotta go. I’m helping my son throw a party tonight! Hope to see you there!” The Big Guy winked and disappeared.

Joseph grumbled, “Thanks a lot, now I’m going to miss that party!”

Ethan could care less about this man’s desire to go to some party. He didn’t know what they wanted with him, but it seemed like he had no choice but to play their game. He scoffed, “So, who are you? Saint Joseph?”

Joseph forgot about the party and pleasantly answered Ethan, “No! My name is Joseph Love. I was a soldier in the Revolutionary War.”

Whether it was real or not, Ethan grew curious about Joseph’s back story. “Oh, you got killed in battle?”

Joseph told him, “No, after we won, my friends and I had a party and I died there.”

“How’d you die?” Ethan asked him.

“I don’t know.” Joseph shrugged.

This notion triggered a thought, and again, whether it was true or not, Ethan was owed an explanation. “Wait a minute, how’d I die?”

“No one in Heaven is supposed to know,” Joseph educated him. “If they think about their death, they’ll never stop dwelling on it. Though the last thing I remember is swimming, so I think I drowned. But who knows! Anyways, you think the world can’t survive without you, huh? Who depended on you?”

Right away, Ethan came up with, “My fiancee, Diana Shaw. She’s in love with me, so there’s no way she’ll survive without me!

Joseph’s mouth twitched, but he hid his grin. “Is that right?” He snapped his fingers, and they both disappeared.

Ethan and Joseph reappear in a gourmet restaurant that is mostly full of delighted patrons. With all of these magical entrances and exits, Ethan now thought he was in a dream or having some kind of coma vision, so he decided to stop fighting the acceptance of whether or not this was real and just rolled with it. The only way he was going to get through this was to show these people that he told the truth about the world needing him to stay around. He inquired, “Can anyone see me?”

“Nope,” Joseph answered. “Where’s Diana?”

Ethan scanned the restaurant and sees her at a table. His heart fluttered when he gazed at her beauty. She was unlike anyone he had ever met before. Her strawberry blonde hair was done up in a bun and she wore a chic red dress, which made her look even more devestatingly beautiful. For a moment, Ethan wondered what she had been doing there. It took him a while to see that Diana was sitting with a very handsome man that he could only hope was a new boss. If he wasn’t invisible to them, Ethan would have confronted the man. All he could do was stand next to her, listening to her dialogue. Diana confessed, “This the first date I’ve been on since my fiancee died three months ago.”

Ethan stared at Joseph questioningly. “Three months?”

Joseph apologized, “Sorry, Heaven doesn’t have a real concept of time.”

The man admitted to Diana, “I have to confess when I befriended you at work, I always hoped that you would break up with your fiancee. I mean, he’s the greatest guy I know, but I had such a crush on you for a long time! I only hope that I can give you as much happiness as Ethan did.”

“I think you will.” Diana told him. “I have to make another confession. I loved Ethan with all my heart, but ever since I met you, my heart was torn between two men. I know that he would’ve wanted me to move on and be happy.” Ethan wished she could have seen the cross look on his face! She went on, “I could really see myself have a future with you. I think I could be falling for you!”

The man beamed upon hearing this, but he still felt like he needed to ask, “Are you afraid of moving too fast?”

“Ethan will always be a part of my past, but you are my future!” She reached across the table and stroked his hand, smiling lovingly at this man. He held her hand and returned her sentiment.

Ethan blew up, “That bastard! This whole time he was trying to steal my woman! I’ll kill him!” Ethan tried to strangle Frank, but his hands went right through him.

Joseph stood next to him and reported, “A few things. First of all, remember you’re not supposed to swear. Second, you’re invisible, so he can’t see or feel you. And lastly, I doubt the Big Guy will let you into Heaven if you actually did kill someone. I know you’re hurting, so I’m gonna pretend I didn’t see that.”

Ethan still looked frustrated, but he knew that Joseph was right. He sighed, and then he remembered why he was there. “Okay, so maybe she’s move on, but my parents will be devastated!”

Joseph didn’t seemed convinced. “If you say so.” He snapped his fingers, and they disappeared from the restaurant.

Joseph and Ethan reappeared in his parents’ living room, a very neat and clean space with a lot of comfortable furniture. Mrs. Miller was knitting on her flowery couch with her orange cat curled up beside her and a faint smile on her face. Mr. Miller entered the front door with a broad grin. He announced, “Good news, honey! I got a huge promotion!”

“Oh really?” Mrs. Miller reacted merrily. “That’s wonderful! What’s your new position?”

Mr. Miller proudly told her, “You’re looking at the new manager of the Animal Buffet Pet Food factory!”

“Manager? Oh honey!” Mrs. Miller got up and gave her husband a huge hug. “Ethan would be so proud of you!”

Mr. Miller agreed, “Before he died, he kept trying to get me quit drinking and work harder. If only he could see his old man now! Now we can stop using his inheritance he left us to pay bills and really treat ourselves! Maybe we can visit Cally in France!”

“That would be wonderful!: Mrs. Miller rejoiced. “And instead of selling these blankets to supplement, our income, I’ll give it charity! Oh, I’m so glad we’re going to be alright! I dreaded what life would be like without him, and I’ll always miss my baby boy, but I’m so glad we will be okay without him! He is probably looking at us now, smiling.”

Ethan was frowning. “Now they don’t need me? They even said it! Ugh! My fiancee has moved on, and my parents are happier than ever with me being gone!”

Mr. Miller suggested, “Let’s go out to a nice restaurant to celebrate!”

Mrs. Miller reacted, “Wow, this will be the first time we’ve really dined out since Ethan died six months ago!”

Ethan turned to Joseph, “So, every time you snap your fingers, it’s been three months on Earth?”

“I guess,” he replied. Then he addressed Ethan seriously, “So, your fiancee and your parents can live without you. Are you ready to admit that the world doesn’t need you to go back?”

“No!” Ethan denied it. “My sister must need me! We were best friends-how could she live without me?”

Joseph laughed, “Let’s find out together, shall we?” He snapped his fingers, and they disappeared.

Joseph and Ethan appear at the end of a lecture in a large university classroom, and the professor spoke entirely in French. Joseph told Ethan, “Hold on, I can get subtitles.”

Ethan seemed a little relieved, but his mind was elsewhere. “Cally went to another country to study? She probably had trouble making friends so wanted to get a fresh start in France. She was really shy, I was trying to help her with that. She must be so lonely and miserable here!”

Joseph smirked. “Sorry to disappoint you, but she doesn’t look so sad.”

They found Cally pretty easily. She looked a lot like Ethan except she had golden brown eyes and curvy, womanly figure. She listened to the lecture with a lot of interest. After the lecture concluded, Cally gathered her things and walked out of the classroom alone. Ethan pointed out, “See, alone and miserable!”

Cally soon got joined by a handsome young, handsome blonde French man. “Bonjour Cally!” His subtitles read, “Hello Cally!”

Cally smiled big and greeted him, “Salut Jean! Ça va?” Her subtitles read, “Hey Jean! What’s up?”

The young man replied, “Oui, ça va. Et toi?” His subtitles read, “I’m good. How are you?”

Cally replied, “Oui, ça va. Où est-ce que tu vas?” Her subtitles read, “Yes, I’m good. Where are you off to?”

He shrugged, “Chez moi.” His subtitles read, “My house.”

Cally invited, “Je vais aller au café. Tu veux venir avec moi?” Her subtitles read, “I’m going to a cafe. Do you want to go with me?”

He emphatically replied, “Mais oui!” His subtitles read, “Yes, of course!”

As the young man and Cally leave the class together, Joseph pointed out to Ethan, “She asked a guy out. Sounds like she got out of her shyness!”

Ethan was flabbergasted by this development, but he wouldn’t admit defeat. “Hold on. Let’s see how well she does on this supposed date.”

They followed Cally and her date to a small bistro down the street from the college. The young man and Cally sat outside and studied a menu. Joseph sat down and lounged casually but Ethan watched them anxiously. Her date asked, “Qu’est-ce que tu veux manger?” His subtitles read, “What do you want to eat?”

Cally decided, “Un croissant et des thé.” Her subtitles read, “A croissant and some tea.”

The man laughed, “C’est toût?” His subtitles read, “That’s all?”

Cally replied, “Oui. Qu’est-ce que tu vas manger?” Her subtitles read, “Yes. What are you

going to eat?”

He told her, “Je pense que je vais manger un sandwich et un chocolât.” His subtitles read, “I think I’m going to eat a sandwich and some hot chocolate.” He motioned to the waiter. “S’il vous plaît, Monsieur!” His subtitles read: “Please, sir!”

The waiter promptly came to their table and asked, “Vous desirèz?” His subtitles read, “What would you like?”

As Jean repeated their food choices they just made, Joseph nudged Ethan. Ethan responded, “What? I’m trying to read!”

With a hint of mischievousness, he replied, “Just checking on you.” Ethan groaned and returned to reading their subtitles.

The waiter brought Cally and Jean their food, and as they happily munched, Cally inquired, “Qu’est-ce que tu faire avec ton vie?” Her subtitles read, “What do you want to do with your life?”

Her date answered, “Je suis acteur.” His subtitles read, “I’m an actor.”

Cally replied honestly, “Ah bon? C’est cool.” Her subtitles read, “Oh really? That’s cool.”

The young man asked, “Et toi?” His subtitles read, “And you?”

Cally told him, “Je veux être employée de bureau. C’est quoi mon frère a fait.” Her subtitles read, “I want to be an office worker. It’s what my brother did.”

He responded, “Qu’est-ce qu’il fait maintenant?” His subtitles read, “What does he do now?”

Cally revealed, “Il est mort.” Her subtitles read, “He is dead.”

Her date said sadly, “Je suis très desolé!” His subtitles read, “I’m so sorry!”

Cally didn’t seem upset by this. “Ne suis pas. C’est parce que de lui je suis ici.” Her subtitles read, “Not me. It’s because of him I’m here.” She paused for a moment, and then she confessed, “J’aime toi beaucoup!” Her subtitles read, “I like you a lot!”

This made the young man smile broadly. “J’aime toi aussi. Est-ce que tu es ma copine?” His subtitles read, “I like you too. Will you be my girlfriend?”

Cally gushed, “Oui, bien sûr!” Her subtitles read, “Yes, of course! Cally stood up and leaned close to her date, giving him a kiss. He gladly kissed her back.

Ethan was furious, and Joseph rubbed it in, “Wow, not only is she not shy, but she’s gutsy! She made the first move!”

“She’s using my death as a way to pick up men!” Ethan scathed. “Well, I guess she’s okay with my death too!”

“Ready to give up yet?” Joseph grinned and stared expectantly.

Ethan retorted, “No! Let’s go to my old work. They’ll miss me for sure! I just hope they didn’t move the company to somewhere that requires more subtitles!” Slightly disappointed, Joseph dully snaps his fingers, and they disappeared again.

Joseph and Ethan reappeared in a row of cubicles, and it was apparent that the office was in the middle of a huge party. People were dancing, drinking cocktails, laughing, and conversing animatedly. They wore much more formal attire than usual with the exception of nametag stickers. Joseph remarked, “Sure doesn’t look like they’re depressed!”

Ethan’s face fell. “We’ve never had an office party before! What’s going on?”

At that moment, the best dressed man there, Gregory, turned off the music. Everyone paid attention as he prepared to speak. “I just wanted to take a moment to remind you all why we’re here and we’re celebrating today. Exactly one year ago we lost a brave hero. Ethan Miller died tragically. He was certainly an asset in his life, but he proves to be an even greater influence through his death. His actions have inspired us to be the company we are today. Profits have soared higher than ever, thanksto his philosophy! So, let’s all have a toast!” He raised a champagne glass over his head. “To Ethan!”

The rest of the office raised their drinks and toasted, “To Ethan!” Gregory turned on the music back on, and everyone resumed the party. Ethan told Joseph, “Don’t even ask. I’m not ready yet. Just because the company doesn’t miss me and is more profitable than ever since I died doesn’t mean my coworkers don’t miss me.” Joseph looked skeptical but said nothing. He let Ethan listen to his coworkers chat.

A man named John commented, “I hope this party makes Ethan proud!”

“You know it does!” Gabriel replied.

A younger man named Paul inquired, “Didn’t I replace him?”

“You didn’t replace him. No one could replace what he did,” a woman named Esther put in. For a moment, Ethan got his hopes up, but then she went on, “ But essentially you took over his duties when he was gone.”

Gabriel told Paul, “You were the only one that was not intimidated by taking his old cubicle. No one thought they could fill his shoes. Lucky you did! The company is doing so well now!”

“Thanks guys!” Paul swelled with pride upon hearing this. “Hey, John! Isn’t that the girl you like over there?”

John noticeably blushed, “No!”

“Yes it is!” Esther almost shrieked with delight. “Look at Sarah standing by herself. Go ask her to dance!”

“Oh, I couldn’t!” John dismissed the idea passively. Everyone could tell he really wanted to go for it.

Gabriel urged John, “Do it dude! Or someone else will!” Although he didn’t want Gabriel to flirt with Sarah, he was still really nervous. The others kept encouraging John to go ask Sarah to dance. He hesitated, but eventually they convinced him to go for it. They watched him from a distance. When she said yes, and they all cheered. As John danced with Sarah, the group changed subjects and talked about their favorite cocktails.

Ethan looked absolutely crestfallen. Joseph put his arm around either and leveled with him, “Your fiancee moved on. Your parents are doing well. Your sister turned out fine. Your coworkers are flourishing. Is there anyone else you want to see, or can we finally go back to Heaven’s Headquarters?”

Ethan inwardly knew that he was losing this argument, but he refused to believe the whole world had moved on without him. He didn’t want to die, so he decided to fight for his life. “I’m not a quitter! Someone in this town must miss me!” Joseph groaned but snapped his fingers to take them away anyways.

Joseph and Ethan popped inside a pub where they see a group of Ethan’s friends toasting to a victory with cocktails. Ethan folded his arms in annoyance. Joseph snapped his fingers and they disappeared.

Ethan stood outside in his old neighborhood. He noted, “I see someone bought my house!” He watched a mother load her infant into a car in the driveway where he used to live. The mother waved hello to the across the street neighbor, who was dressed in a suit and obviously leaving for work. One of his next door neighbors was working on a garden while the other watered his lawn. Ethan walked down the street and saw everyone getting ready for their day. They all seemed so untroubled, which made Ethan pout. Joseph snapped his fingers and they disappeared again.

Next, Ethan and Joseph watched his dentist smiling while working on a patient. Joseph shook his head and snapped his fingers to make them disappear.

After that, Ethan walked down a street that was full of shops and restaurants, listening to several conversations. When he realized no one was talking about him and everyone seemed to be in a pleasant mood, Ethan shook his head despondently. Joseph snapped his fingers to make them disappear.

Ethan then watched as travelers at the airport. People went to baggage claim, headed towards their gates, got food and drinks at a nearby coffee stand, and waited for their friends and loved ones on vacant seats. He desperately listened, truly hoping to hear one person mention him. Finally, one traveler asked another, “Did you hear about Ethan?” Ethan looks hopeful. When the traveler said he hadn’t, the first traveler revealed, “He’s directing a new movie in L.A.” Ethan was heartbroken to hear this. Joseph snapped his fingers to make them disappear.

This time, Ethan watched as the mayor gave a speech about public safety. The crowd appeared enthused. Joseph looked at Ethan, who is walked away from the scene with his head down. Joseph quickly followed him.

Joseph caught up with Ethan at a graveyard and put a reassuring hand on his shoulder. Sniffling a little, Ethan admitted, “I get it. I guess no one misses me.”

“That’s not true!” Joseph disputed.

Before Joseph could say more, Ethan ranted, “Clearly the world is better off with me not in it!”

“Don’t say that!” Joseph reacted with complete sympathy but genuinely disagreed with him.

Ethan argued, “It’s true! If it’s not true, then you wouldn’t have shown me all this!”

Joseph assured him, “You were missed! But you needed to die! I can’t tell you why!”

Ethan didn’t believe him. “Whatever. Maybe Heaven can cheer me up.”

Joseph gently asked, “You ready to go?”

“Can I have a minute?” Ethan requested.

“Of course,” Joseph relented. A cell phone in Joseph’s pocket rang, and Joseph exclaimed, “Hey, it’s J.C.!”

“Who?” Ethan’s curiosity perked up even though he was severely depressed.

“The Big Guy’s son.” Joseph answered the call. “Hey!” He paused while J.C. spoke, and then he reported, “Yes, we’re almost done. How’s the party? George Washington did what?” As Joseph talked on the phone, Ethan gazed forlornly at the graveyard. Suddenly, something caught his eye. He can’t explain why, but he was compelled to look at a statue with a huge angel on it. He ran over to it. Joseph kept chatting, not noticing that Ethan was reading the epitaph on the grave he was drawn to. “Sounds like a great party!” He paused again when J.C. asked him something. “Yeah. I’m watching Ethan! What do you mean, where is he? He’s in the graveyard and…oh shi-! Shoot!”

It was too late. Ethan read, “Here lies Ethan Jacob Miller, who sacrificed his body to save his sister’s life. Even in death, he encourages his loved ones to live life to the fullest. God rest this brave soul!” Ethan closes his eyes, remembering.

His memory flash-backed to Cally and Ethan coming out of a restaurant, laughing and conversing pleasantly. As they strolled down the street, a man came up from behind them with a gun and pushed them into a nearby alley. Ethan and Cally are pushed to the ground by the gunman. They stand up and face him. The gunman growled, “Hand over all your money!” Ethan handed over his wallet, but Cally did not move The gun man ordered, “Gimme your money too, you dumb girl!

Frantic, Cally sputtered, “I don’t have any money, so I didn’t bring my purse! I don’t have anything!”

The robber directed, “Give me your jewelry then!”

Tears forming, Cally cried, “I don’t have any jewelry!”

“Ugh! Quit playing me, bitch!” the mugger was losing his patience.

“I don’t have anything, honest!” Cally was now in tears. The gunman let out a roar of frustration. He aimed his gun at Cally and fired. Cally winced, expecting to get hit. Ethan threw his body in front of her and took the bullet! The weight of Ethan’s body knocked Cally to the ground. Cally howled, “Ethan!”

Someone on the street yelled, “Was that a gun? Call nine one one!”

The robber ran off as witnesses poured in to see what happened. Cally turned Ethan’s body around to face her. She looked at his wound in horror and is horrified to see Ethan’s labored breathing. Cally pleaded, “No! Ethan! Don’t die! You’re gonna make it! Hang on!”

In betwenn breaths, Ethan told her, “There are some things worth dying for! I don’t want anyone to be sad for me. They’ll show me they care by having fun and achieving their potential. Tell Diana not to become an old maid! Tell Dad to quit drinking and get ahead at work! Tell everyone we know to live life to the fullest! Cally, you’ll be getting a lot of money. Use it to go to school in France like you’ve always dreamed of! Don’t cry! It’s my time! I love you, sister! Tell everyone!”

Ethan stopped breathing just as the paramedics came. As they put his body on the gurney, through thick tears, Cally swore, “I’ll tell everyone! I promise!” She cried hysterically as the paramedics took her older brother away.

Back in the graveyard, Joseph came running up to Ethan, who was in tears. Joseph asked, “Are you okay?”

Ethan nodded and wiped away some of his tears so he could speak. “You were right, I needed to die! Everyone moving on was honoring my last wishes! I inspired them! I wouldn’t change a thing!”

Breathing a sigh of relief, Joseph inquired, “Ready to go now?”

Ethan stated firmly, “Yes.” Joseph was about to snap his fingers, but Ethan stopped him. “Wait! I got an idea.”

Ethan took over the empty reception desk at the entrance to Hell. He used his office phone to call the Big Guy. Ethan conversed,“Whew! What a busy morning! A group of Somali pirates’ boat went down, that’s a lot of paperwork! No really, I’m loving this! I get a lot of satisfaction sending evil people where they deserve to go! Oh, someone is coming, gotta go! Thanks again for everything, Big Guy!” Ethan hung up the phone and waited expectantly. A portal appeared and spat out the gunman who murdered him! Ethan smiled triumphantly at him. “Ah, Mister Gun Man! Thought you could out gun the SWAT team, huh? Wow, you’re a lot more evil than just murdering me! Please go straight to Area 666!” Ethan pulled a lever and flung him away. He then put up his feet and sighed happily.

 

 

 

 

 

War of the Mystics: Frozen

Attention Readers: the free version of my novel, which I posted a chapter at a time on my blog, is no longer available. However…you can purchase it at Amazon, Barnes and Noble online, Createspace, and eBay. So please, check it out and spread the word!!!

War of the Mystics: Frozen, the Novel

For anyone that read chapters of my novel, I want to thank you. Each individual is appreciated for your support. If you’re a fan and would like to purchase a hard copy of the book, it is available here: https://www.createspace.com/6854358. In a few days, it will be on sale in Amazon. Thanks so much!

Forgotten Society, Part 10

INT. DEPARTMENT STORE. MORNING.

CLOSE UP on the television, where Daniel is speaking to the crowd.

DANIEL:
The problem with society is we have too
many people who succumb to sin. These
sinners are the reason there is so much
crime and moral decay. Therefore, we must
tighten the leash. It may seem harsh at first,
but with the improvements I’d make, you’d
see how much better off your lives are! You
can sleep sounder when all sinners have
been found and punished!

The crowd on the television cheers. ZOOM OUT to Renee, Curtis, and a couple others watching the television set. A worker in that area shoos them away.

WORKER:
Come on, guys! You know the new
rules. Don’t be lazy-keep shopping!

Curtis and Renee are forced to obey. Renee and Curtis see another employee boxing up a lot knick-knacks and decorations. They both feel disappointed by this site.

EXT. PARK. AFTERNOON.

Tiffany sits alone on a park bench. Behind her is grass and a tree. There is a neat, winding path before her. PETITIONER ( a young man with long hair and hemp clothing) sits beside her.

PETITIONER:
Will you sign this petition to ban
Halloween trick-or-treating?

TIFFANY:
Uh, no. Why would you wanna do that?

PETITIONER:
This teeth decay festival will spawn
ideas for moral decay later on.

TIFFANY:
What? That doesn’t even make-

She stops when she notices his glossy eyes. She pulls out her nail file and pretends to file her nails.

TIFFANY:
Halloween is just innocent fun!

PETITIONER:
Innocent! There’s nothing innocent about-

Tiffany tries to stab him with the nail file. He grabs her fist and holds her back. They struggle for a moment. The petitioner tries to breathe fire on her, so she springs away. He gets off the bench and tries again, so she throws a rock at his head. While he is distracted by this pain, she runs across the bench to stab him. He pushes her down. She twists her ankle and cannot get up. She can roll herself away from the fire but cannot grab her weapon to fight. Renee appears and slits his throat. The dragon dies. Curtis kneels beside Tiffany.

CURTIS:
Can you stand on it?

Tiffany tries.

TIFFANY:
Ouch! No!

CURTIS:
Let me help you up.

She grabs his shoulder, and they both get up. Renee looks annoyed.

CURTIS:
Can I get the keys to your car so
I can take her back to Crossgrove
Hollow?

RENEE:
Fine.

She throws the keys at him.

RENEE:
I’m going to find Washington.

She leaves in kind of a huff. Curtis finds her behavior odd. He helps Tiffany walk to the car.

INT. REBEL HIDEOUT. EVENING.

Miguel slumps in a small chair, looking dirty and exhausted. Curtis enters with Tiffany hobbling inside.

MIGUEL:
What happened?

TIFFANY:
I was fighting another dragon. I think
I broke my ankle.

MIGUEL:
Let me look at it.

Miguel has her sit in his chair, and he looks at her ankle.

MIGUEL:
It’s not broken, just bruised. All you
need is to rest it a little.

CURTIS:
So, I see you got the generator going.

MIGUEL:
Yeah, it put up a good fight, but in the end,
I kicked its ass! Where’s Warner?

CURTIS:
She went off to find Washington.

TIFFANY:
Yeah, she seemed pretty ticked off
about something.

CURTIS:
She was alright until we got to the park.

Miguel raises his eyebrows with a knowing look.

CURTIS:
I don’t get it.

MIGUEL:
I kind of thought this might happen.

CURTIS:
What are you-?

William and Renee burst in with rain soaked clothes.

WILLIAM:
Turn on the radio, right now!

Miguel turns it on.

NEWS ANCHOR (OS):
…like Daniel predicted. In other news,
a terrorist suspect who would give out
his last name, Abdul, was obtained
near City Hall earlier tonight. He
refuses to comment on his actions
and spat in a police officer’s face. His
accomplices are still unknown. So, he
will be going to prison alone.
(beat)
In sports news…

Miguel turns off the radio, looking angry.

TIFFANY:
This is just because he’s Arab!

RENEE:
They saw me with him. They know he’s
not a terrorist. It’s just a great excuse
to arrest him.

CURTIS:
He’s so brave to keep his silence about
us! I can’t imagine what kind of torture
they’re putting him through right now!

WILLIAM:
Think he’ll live?

MIGUEL:
After so much torture, I don’t know if
he’ll want to!

Everyone looks very gloomy.

Forgotten Society, Part 9

EXT. GEORGE WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY. LATE NIGHT.

Curtis walks across campus with Simpson. The campus seems empty.

SIMPSON:
Do you think Cartwright is eighteen?

CURTIS:
Why? You think she’s hot?

SIMPSON:
Hell yeah! Don’t you?

CURTIS:
No. She’s got a pretty face, but I like
curves. Like an hour glass-big chest,
small waist, and big hips! Tiffany has a
girl’s body, but I like a woman’s body!

SIMPSON:
Like Renee?

CURTIS:
Well…I…

Before Curtis could finish his thoughts, they find a campus monitor standing before them. The overhead lights cast a shadow over his face.

MONITOR:
Are you guys students?

CURTIS:
Uh, yeah.

MONITOR:
It’s past curfew; get to your dorm!

Curtis steps closer, and he can see his eyes. They are glossy. He signals to Simpson, and they both draw out weapons. The campus monitor has a tazor, and he hits Simpson with it. Simpson is sent to the ground, twitching. Curtis tries to gash him, but the campus monitor moves. He tries to tazor Curtis, but Curtis moves, so it hits a tree. The tree catches on fire. Curtis tries again, but the campus monitor is barely nicked. He smirks at Curtis. Simpson trips him, which makes him fall. Curtis stands above him to stab him, but he shoots fire at him. Curtis moves, and it hits the tree again. A fiery branch falls down and hits Simpson, who catches on fire.

CURTIS:
Simpson!

The campus monitor grabs Curtis from behind. Curtis manages to pry him off and throws him into the fiery tree. The campus monitor burns his skin off to reveal his dragon form, which also gets burned to death. Curtis turns to Simpson, but Simpson has died. Curtis hears a firetruck coming and, though he is out of breath, he runs away.

EXT. ELECTRONICS SHOP. NIGHT.

Miguel, Renee, William, Abdul, and Tiffany are all waiting outside the entrance of a small electronic store in Eastern Market. Tiffany and Abdul are peering inside the shops. William paces around while Miguel and Renee talk with their swords out and covered in green blood. Everyone looks tired. Curtis comes up to them. Renee and Miguel stop talking and William stops pacing.

MIGUEL:
Where’s Simpson?

Curtis tries to answer but cannot seem to get the words out.

RENEE:
Is he dead?

CURTIS:
There was a fire…

William puts a supportive hand on his shoulder.

WILLIAM:
I know, man. I-

ABDUL:
Hey, you guys should see this!

William, Curtis, Renee, and Miguel go over to the window and watch the television in the window display. Daniel is on there, greeting a bunch of media people with a grin.

NEWS ANCHOR:
…and with the momentum Daniel
Ramrod has produced with the case,
he has earned a lot of write-in votes
on the mayoral race…

The six look at each other gravely.

MIGUEL:
Let’s go.

They leave with Daniel’s face still on the screen.

INT. REBEL HIDEOUT. NIGHT.

William and Abdul are talking about Simpson’s death. Tiffany talks with Miguel, upset that her kidnapper is running for mayor. Curtis notices Renee is sitting by herself facing away from everyone. He sits beside her, and he sees that her tearful eyes are looking out the door and up at the stars.

CURTIS:
Are you okay?

RENEE:
It all seems so futile…

CURTIS:
Two people have died, but we gained
one. Not mention we’ve killed more of
them than they’ve killed of us.

RENEE:
Yes, but at the rate that it’s going, they’ll
kill us all. And if Daniel becomes mayor,
he will get so much more. We are
heavily out numbered. What’s the point?

CURTIS:
The point is even if we all die, we will let
the world know that we stood up for the
forgotten society. We fought like heroes
to restore things to the way it used to be.
Anyways, I bet you anything we’re going
to gain numbers because the dragons
will screw up and people will look to the
only alternative, which is us. We’ll get
more numbers, you’ll see.

RENEE:
I used to be optimistic like you, but when
my parents fought and lost against a
dragon, I began to rethink my own future.
I keep wondering…why me? Why was I meant
to survive and be stuck in such misery?

CURTIS:
Be glad that you were given a second chance,
and use every chance you can to help people.
You’re parents would’ve wanted it that way.
I believe you’re going to do great things
because you’ve already proven your
potential. Don’t just sit there and accept
bad omens. Defy them and do whatever
you can to prove them wrong. And
remember, you don’t gotta do this alone. I
can’t speak for everyone, but I can promise
I’ll always be there for you if you need me.

He holds her hand in a comforting way. She does not know how to react. Suddenly, the lights go out, and it is pitch black.

MIGUEL:
Damn generator! Does anyone got a lighter?

CURTIS:
I got a flashlight!

Curtis digs in his pockets and pulls out a flashlight. He turns it on, and Renee sees that it is a Lion King flashlight.

RENEE:
Oh hell no!

Curtis laughs and shrugs. Miguel uses the flashlight to pull out some candles. Renee uses her lighter to light them.

TIFFANY:
Now what?

MIGUEL:
I’ll go take a look at the generator.

It starts to rain.

MIGUEL:
I’ll look at it in the morning. Let’s all
go to bed. Remember, tomorrow is a new
day. It could be the day we gain the
advantage over those creeps. Or, at least,
it’ll get us one step closer.

Everyone says goodnight to each other and picks out there spot to sleep. Curtis lays looking up at the ceiling, lost in thought. He sees Renee is still awake.

CURTIS:
I’ve decided something.

RENEE:
Huh?

CURTIS:
I don’t care if everyone thinks I’m
a serial killer. I’ll be like Robin Hood!
I like that, actually!

Renee laughs, and so does Curtis.

RENEE:
Good night, killer!

Renee closes her eyes. Curtis lies down, smirking in a proud way.

Forgotten Society, Part 6

INT. REBEL HIDEOUT. NIGHT.

William, Miguel, Abdul, and Simpson are spread around the hideout looking distraught. Renee and Curtis enter. Everyone looks relieved but still sad. William looks especially morose.

MIGUEL:
Thank God you made it back!

CURTIS:
Did you think we got killed?

MIGUEL:
No. Listen.

They turn their attention to the radio.

NEWSMAN (OS):
…tonight in Georgetown. Julie Nalice, a
local student, was brutally stabbed. The
suspects, Renee Warner and an unknown
male accomplice, are still at large. Our
source says they may be connected
to our recent serial killings.

DANIEL (OS):
I saw them running out of the Morning
Star apartments right after the
landlady’s body was found.

NEWSMAN (OS):
We’ll have more at eleven.

Miguel turns the radio off. Renee kicks a stool in anger. Curtis sits down, thinking.

RENEE:
See! I told you shit like this happens!
No one calls you a hero when you
deserve it!

WILLIAM:
Just be glad you’re alive! We ran into
a dragon at this liquor store. We
drove it out of the store into an
empty street, and I managed to
kill it, but as he was falling, he
shot out fire at Smith. Smith is
dead. I couldn’t save her.

He hides his face. Renee’s mood softens. Curtis looks shocked.

CURTIS:
Does this happen often?

MIGUEL:
Yes. It’s war. Not everyone survives.

Curtis looks deep in thought. Everyone mourns the loss of Smith.

INT. REBEL HIDEOUT. MORNING.

Curtis wakes up and sees that everyone but Miguel is asleep. Miguel is cooking oatmeal in a pot over a fire. Miguel smiles at him when he sees him.

MIGUEL:
How’d you sleep?

CURTIS:
Alright, I guess.

MIGUEL:
I heard you talking in your sleep.

CURTIS:
Oh really?

MIGUEL:
Yeah. Renee bumped into you, and
you said, “Do you want a mug or a
deck of cards?”

CURTIS:
Oh. It was a promo at my old job.

Miguel laughs.

CURTIS:
I spent way too much time there!
Eight hours a day with no break.
Minimum wage too.

MIGUEL:
Ouch! No wonder you were excited
to join us.

CURTIS:
Not only for that; I believe in the cause!
(beat)
Why did you start the Rebellion?

MIGUEL:
Me? Well, I used to live with my
boyfriend, Josh. One day, he comes
home, and he acted totally different.
He used to be so cheerful and nice,
then suddenly he became mean
and belligerent. I noticed his eyes
were glossy too. The day came when
I decided to confront him. I found him
in the parking lot in front of his work
at the gym and we argued. I grabbed
his hand, and he took it away, which
ended up skinning him. I saw the
scaly skin, and I knew the real Josh
was dead. I fought him, and I ended
up killing him with my pocket knife.
Washington, who was part of an old
Rebellion, had seen the body, and after
we talked, I decided to start a new
Rebellion. Just the thought of that
happening to other people’s loved
ones was enough motivation for me.

CURTIS:
Wow. That’s horrible. I can’t imagine
having to go through that. But it’s
amazing you turned something so
negative into a positive!

MIGUEL:
Adversity brings out the best in some
and the worst in others. Most people get
destructive either to themselves or others.
Very few people get constructive. We all did.
Especially Warner.

Curtis looks at Renee, who stirs in her sleep.

MIGUEL:
When she was twelve, she watched her
parents get killed. That’s when she
first joined the Rebellion. Can you
believe that? I can’t imagine being
that age and…

Miguel sees Curtis checking her out and laughs. He snaps his fingers in front of him, which wakes Curtis out of his stupor.

CURTIS:
Sorry, I was just…

MIGUEL:
She’s pretty, don’t you think?

CURTIS:
I…
(beat)
I view her as a fellow rebel!
Totally professional!

William, who is laying with his eyes closed, laughs. He then wakes up.

WILLIAM:
(jokes)
Oatmeal! I thought I asked for
steak and eggs!

MIGUEL:
I’m putting you on a heart healthy diet!

William, Miguel, and Curtis laugh.

MIGUEL:
Oatmeal’s done. You guys can eat.

As they serve themselves, Abdul and Simpson hear the sound of food and wake up. Renee keeps sleeping while they eat. All of a sudden, she jolts out of her sleep with her dagger brandished. Everyone pretends to be taken aback by it.

WILLIAM:
Bad dream?

RENEE:
How’d you guess?

She gets up to go eat.

RENEE:
Before we go get the new weapons,
I need to get my car.

ABDUL:
We got it. We, uh, sort of hot wired it.

RENEE:
What?

ABDUL:
Don’t hurt me!

Everyone laughs. Even Renee titters.

Temca Academy II, Part 14

INT. MADAME FATE’S ROOM.

The room looks like a dark, dank studio apartment. It has all the comforts of a home except for windows. There is a cage at the end of it where Joshua is. Babelsama is already there and smiles.

BABELSAMA:
Welcome to eternity!

They here a whoosh outside.

BABELSAMA:
I’m a resident here, and I welcomed
you, so your spirit guide went away.

TOCI:
But you’re not dead yet!

BABELSAMA:
Yet? I will be immortal!

Anielle, George, and Toci pull out their scepters. Babelsama leers.

BABELSAMA:
Don’t you think Dudley Dooright here
tried that already? Scepters don’t work
here! Only these!

Babelsama points a pitchfork at them, which sends them flying into the cage.

JOSHUA:
Hi babe!

ANIELLE:
I missed you!

BABELSAMA:
No! No happy reunion scenes! You’re
going to wait here for my girlfriend.

TOCI:
Can’t you just kill us now and get it
over with?

BABELSAMA:
No. I can’t interfere with Fate. We’re
just going to keep here so you don’t
interfere with the take over. Then you’ll
live out your lives of misery.

GEORGE:
Not that I wanna die, but wouldn’t it be
easier if you just killed us?

BABELSAMA:
No. On Earth, you can be miserable. But
if you die, you goody-goodies will go to
Heaven, and I’d rather see you suffer!

There is a knock on the door. Babelsama opens it to see Peace Officers.

BABELSAMA:
Ugh! Why do you guys always call
the PO’s?

Meretrice appears.

MERETRICE:
They didn’t. I did. And I can let them
in since I’m half goddess.

BABELSAMA:
Yes, well too bad none of you are
any use against this!

Babelsama points the pitchfork at them, and they all get crammed into the cage. There is not a lot of room left.

BABELSAMA:
Now, as we wait for Fate, would you guys
like something to eat?

He shows them a tray of appetizers.

BABELSAMA:
What? I’m not going to kill you. I’m an
excellent cook. Ask him!
(points to Joshua)

JOSHUA:
It’s true, he is.

A couple of people sample his platter. Madame Fate enters.

MADAME FATE:
You all are fools! Even if you kill
my earthly body, I will be reborn
again as an entirely different person
but with the same spirit.

MERETRICE:
Hey! I’m your daughter-why did I
get trapped?

MADAME FATE:
Babelsama’s mistaken murder of your
friend doesn’t matter anymore! You’re
in the cage, and I’m in control! Now
tonight I-

Babelsama burps. There is some spit, which he wipes off.

MADAME FATE:
Gross. Anyways, tonight, it is foretold
that we will conceive a child again! And
this one will live! So, nice try, heroes,
but game over, we win! Come, Babelsama,
let us fornicate so we may take our rightful
place on Earth!

They head into the bedroom. Everyone except Anielle turns away in disgust, trying not to listen. Meretrice looks to Anielle.

MERETRICE:
You don’t think that burp was…?

ANIELLE:
Wait for it, wait for it…

Beat. Madame Fate screams in disgust. Babelsama comes out of the room with his clothes disheveled.

MADAME FATE:
Where did you get that STD?

BABELSAMA:
Oh no! That party! I got all hazy and
I thought I dreamt of sleeping with a
younger version of you!

MADAME FATE:
Younger version of me?

She looks over to Meretrice, who smiles and waves.

MERETRICE:
I used to wonder why I was abandoned
as a baby and why I always felt like I had
eyes watching me. Now it all makes sense.
I’m glad I didn’t grow up here! But, one
question remains-who’s my father?

MADAME FATE:
Oh, some other idiot that tried to take
over the world. I can’t control Fate, I
only interpret it. The Big Man upstairs
gives you options, and it’s up to you what
to do about it, how far you can reach.
(to Anielle)
You were gonna end up a crazy cat lady
only if I succeeded. I guess I can’t avoid
Fate any more than the rest of you. I’m
gonna scrap this rusty old body and be
reborn again in a hundred years when this
really hot guy wants to take over the world!

Madame Fate takes her pitchfork and releases everyone.

MERETRICE:
I’m gonna need a death certificate
from you.

MADAME FATE:
Of course.

BABELSAMA:
What about me?

MADAME FATE:
You’re not gonna be popular
on campus anymore. Go ahead,
officers, arrest him.

The Peace Officers arrest him.

BABELSAMA:
(to the main four)
Don’t get too comfortable;
I will be back!

ANIELLE:
Back in Hell, certainly.
(to the officers)
Oh, he can turn into a bat;
that’s how he escaped last time.

Babelsama growls. The Peace Officers leave. Anielle, Toci, George, and Joshua follow happily.

EXT. FAUK CLUB. NIGHT.

Everyone is waiting for the ceremony to start. Joshua gets on stage.

JOSHUA:
Hello! I’m still alive, but I’d like to
inform you that Babelsama was
responsible for not only my kidnapping
but the murder of an innocent woman.
So sorry, your cult is gonna have to
disband.

BRUNETTE GIRL:
We’re not a cult! We are an organization
that moves to follow a glorious leader…
(beat)
Oh damn, we are a cult!

Everyone walks away disappointed.

ALBERTO:
Does that mean I’m not gonna
sleep with someone famous?

ANIELLE:
Famous, no. But have you met
my friend Circe?

Circe hears her name and comes over to her.

ANIELLE:
Circe, meet Alberto.

CIRCE:
Hi!

ALBERTO:
Hello!

EXT. BROOM FOOTBALL FIELD. NIGHT.

Toci, George, Anielle and Joshua walk across the field, not seeing the Peace Officers on the other end.

JOSHUA:
I thought I was gonna be a year
behind on my classes, but they said
since I helped improve their policies
that they’ll omit some of my classes!
At least after all this they’re gonna
start treating every murder equally.

Cassius walks up to them.

CASSIUS:
I’m really sorry I put your life
in danger, Frederick. If it makes
you feel any better, I was demoted
to Crime Solver Assistant.

JOSHUA:
It helps a little.

CASSIUS:
Anyways, can you identify this body?

They walk over to see Blanche’s body.

TOCI:
We just know her name is Blanche. How
did she die?

CRIME SOLVER:
It appears she fell off her broom
after crashing into that goal post.

GEORGE:
Awwww!
(whispers to Toci)
Is it bad if I’m not sorry she’s gone?
I mean, we just saw how happy
she is now!

JOSHUA:
(to Anielle)
Psst! Let me steal you for a minute!

ANIELLE:
Okay!

Anielle and Joshua leave. Chad enters, frantically looking for Toci. Toci finds him and runs up to him.

TOCI:
Chad!

She throws her arms around him and kisses him.

CHAD:
I heard about your rescue mission,
and I was certain I was going to lose
you! Tell me, when you were in Hell,
did you notice if premarital sex was
still a sin or not?

TOCI:
As long as it’s consensual and we’re
not related.

She hugs him gleefully.

EXT. BOTANICAL GARDEN. NIGHT.

Joshua leads her to a bridge over a small botanical garden. Strings of lights are hung along the trees, making a romantic glow. Joshua faces Anielle.

JOSHUA:
Anielle, there was something I wanted
to tell you before our little adventure.
I love you so much! You save me from
eternal torment, both literally and
figuratively. No one else had made me
feel this happy, this hopeful, this loved.
Before anything else crazy, happens I
want to give you something so you know
that no matter what happens, I will always
feel this way!

Joshua reaches into his pocket and gets down on one knee. Anielle gasps in anticipation. Joshua fights back joyful tears.

JOSHUA:
Will you marry me?

ANIELLE:
(crying)
Yes, of course!

He puts the ring on her, and they share a passionate embrace. There is a flash of light, and they look over to see George taking a picture.

GEORGE:
That was hot! Can you kiss her like
that again so I can get it from a
different angle?

ANIELLE:
Shut up, you perv!

GEORGE:
Congratulations dude!

He hugs Joshua then Anielle.

GEORGE:
I’m going to throw you a fiesta,
amigos!

INT. DOG HOUSE. NIGHT.

A party unfolds to celebrate the engagement. Toci comes up to Anielle with a big grin on her face.

ANIELLE:
Oh no, why are you so happy?

TOCI:
I did it!

GEORGE:
O-day-lays!

TOCI:
Ugh! You have to ruin everything!
Look, you don’t have to “act” Mexican
-you are Mexican! Just act like yourself
and stop trying to be a stereotype!

George sits down sadly as the girls go off to gossip. MARNIE (slim, Asian, good looking, casually dressed) sits next to him.

MARNIE:
What’s wrong?

GEORGE:
Apparently I’m not being a good
Mexican!

MARNIE:
Oh, I hear that! My parents always
expect me to be a brainiac, like they
expect all Asians to grow up to be a
healer or accountant. But all I wanna do
is play Air Softball and drink beer! I’m
supposed to dress like a geisha, be all
proper and virginal. Sometimes all I
want is a good lay!

George looks at her with interest.

GEORGE:
My name is George.

MARNIE:
I’m Marnie.

They shake hands and smile at each other.

EXT. DOG HOUSE. MORNING.

Anielle, George, Joshua, and Toci wake up on the lawn. George is in his boxers, Toci has a clump of plants in her hands and pockets, and Anielle and Joshua have switched clothes.

TOCI:
What happened?

GEORGE:
Ooh, I got Marnie’s phone number!

TOCI:
Who’s Marnie?

GEORGE:
I have no idea! She better be hot!

JOSHUA:
What’s this? A business card for Meretrice’s
House of Love. Oh, must’ve taken over Madame
Fate’s old shop and became a madame. I love
how it has bookstore in quotes.

ANIELLE:
Well, let’s go pack and go home. Hopefully
the skies are clear and Babelsama doesn’t
ambush us on the way home! I hope his
next lair is some place nice, like a tropical
beach!

JOSHUA:
As long as he doesn’t interrupt our wedding,
I’m good!

TOCI:
Do you really thing he’ll be back again?

ALL:
Yes!

They laugh, get up, and walk inside. There is a glimmer in the sky. Scotty walks by and hisses at it. The glimmer fades away.

CUT TO CREDITS.

Temca Academy II, Part 13

INT. HELL LOBBY.

They enter into a small lobby that sort of looks like a one window DMV with no chairs. The lobby is empty except for the CLERK. Anielle, George, and Toci walk towards the clerk but are interrupted when a man’s spirit (looks like a normal man but is transparent) pops up from the floor. He goes up to the clerk.

CLERK:
Welcome to Hell! Name please.

SPIRIT MAN:
Hell? Why am I here?

CLERK:
I can tell you but first I need your
name.

SPIRIT MAN:
Well, maybe I won’t tell you and
then you gotta send me back!

CLERK:
Let’s see my scheduled deaths today.

The clerk looks at a clipboard.

CLERK:
Ah, you must be Bartholomew Baycity.
You’re here because you robbed a girl
scout, so that’ll be breaking the commandment
against stealing. Plus gluttony since you ate
all her cookies in one weekend.

SPIRIT MAN:
Oh yeah!

CLERK:
You can go to Heaven if you apologize!

SPIRIT MAN:
Never!

CLERK:
(rolls eyes)
Whatever. Room 1112749. Bye!

The Spirit Man gets sucked back down.

CLERK:
Oh, livings! What brings you here
today?

ANIELLE:
A man named Joshua Frederick
was taken captive here by Babelsama
and Madame Fate. We’re here to rescue him.

CLERK:
There’s only three ways you can go down to
Hell. One-if you’re invited by one of our
residences. Two-if you die. And three-if
you go through the tour with one our guides.
Don’t worry, the guides are technically angels-
like me! We choose to work here for the same
reason people choose to be peace officers-to
carry out justice. We live in Heaven though.

TOCI:
Good to know. We’ll do the tour then.

CLERK;
Very well. I’ll send in your guide.
Thanks for dropping by!

A door appears next to the window and out comes Blanche.

BLANCHE:
Wow, I thought I’d never see you
guys again!

GEORGE:
Blanche! But you’re not dead!

BLANCHE:
Someone needs to check the Broom
Football Field! Come-no one will harm
you as long as I’m around.

They reluctantly follow her through the door.

INT. LAYER ONE.

The first layer looks like a giant jungle around the edges with a giant field whose grass is half dead. People are running around, terrified.

BLANCHE:
This is layer one-which punishes crimes
against nature. Their spirits are involved
in a daily hunt where demons chase them
and if they’re caught, they are skinned and
made into the demon’s underwear. This
punishment serves a variety of sins, including
destroying habitats and cruelty to animals.

They see a demon ride across the field on a motorcycle. Blanche leads them down a flight of stairs.

INT. LAYER TWO.

This room looks like a giant movie theatre but again with no seats. People all watch a blank screen.

BLANCHE:
This is crimes against loved ones. Sinners
here are subjected to watch images they
find truly horrific. The sins here are for
people who do something to harm people
who love them-like child abuse or murdering
a spouse to collect the insurance money.

SINNER:
Octomom’s sex tape! Nooooooo!

Blanche leads them downstairs.

INT. LAYER THREE.

This room appears to be a demented, endless obstacle course.

BLANCHE:
Layer three is for sins against nations,
where leaders of any sort get punished
for cruelty to their people. It’s also for
citizens who commit treason or war crimes.
This obstacle course includes swimming
through acid and climbing a mountain of
thorns. There are hundreds of traps like this.

Blanche takes them downstairs again.

INT. LAYER FOUR.

This room appears to be a giant, medieval torture chamber. People cry out in pain and agony.

BLANCHE:
This is punishment for crimes against
humanity. This branch ranges from child
pornography all the way to sociopathic murder.

Blanche takes them downstairs.

INT. LAYER FIVE.

This layer is fire and brimstone. People in the lava try to escape but keep getting impeded by demons.

BLANCHE:
This is what most humans think of
when they think of Hell. It’s for crimes
against God. Basically, it’s a number of
sins done in the name of God. It includes
a sadistic religious group, perverting
religion to justify genocide, and many more.

Blanche leads them downstairs again.

INT. LAYER SIX.

It appears to be a dark, unkempt hotel hall. It looks cold and bleak.

BLANCHE:
This is where sinners can take a short
break. It gives them a chance to ask
forgiveness and relive the horrors of
the day. Some people truly end up sorry
and leave. If you want to continue sinning,
you go back to your layer.

ANIELLE:
Finally! Where does Madame Fate live?

BLANCHE:
This way.

INT. DEMON HALL.

BLANCHE:
This is the residence of demons. See that
ornate building over there? That’s Lucifer’s
room. He runs this place.

ANIELLE:
Great. Will you wait here while we
go take care of something?

BLANCHE:
No problem!

GEORGE:
You are so much more pleasant to
hang around now!

BLANCHE:
I’m an angel; I’m not going to cause
you any discomfort!

They smile at her and step inside Madame Fate’s room.