The gun goes off with the tintinnabulation of a thousand bells, sending my soul above my lifeless form and above the man with the .44, a man who looks surprisingly like Samuel L Jackson. The room, the light, the Earth, all dissolve as I’m pulled inexorably through transmigration, a sort of “Doctor Who” time-tunnel warp across the cosmos.
Despite reports to the contrary, it’s not the dying that kills you. It’s the after. The journey. The unknowing.
When you pass, they give you another body. I don’t know who they are, only that there’s two of them, and one of them looks like Don Knotts. I figured they assist the dead, assign them to their fate, which in my case would not appear to be the good place.
The cool thing is, with these new bodies, your brain becomes smarter than Einstein. You pretty much know everything. Such as the fact, oddly enough, that hell is apparently located somewhere on Titan. Not the worst place for hell to be, I suppose, until you realize exactly where they’re putting you.
Most are familiar with the notion of the Lake of Fire. Well, that’s where they’re taking me. Such a beautiful little world, Titan. A thin purple haze separates the atmosphere from deep space, the bright bursts of reflected light shimmers off Saturn in the distance, creating aurora-like displays, though the illumination is brief. Streaks of meteorites appear as candles, too numerous to count, across the sky. And from the depths of the lake, a lake of methane and ethane, clear as crystal, I will look upward and glimpse my only light, a tiny pin-prick in an endless night.
Falling, I drop like a cinder block to the very bottom, as if through thin air. The liquid permeates right through me, a cold so cold it burns like fire. And I curse the name Sam Jackson for putting me there. My mind cries out to God, begging for another chance. And for a moment, I return. The one like Don Knotts responds, in terms uncertain, that I blew my chance at the bar.
“Please,” I begged, “let me talk to God.”
“You just did,” he answered, and dropped me back down. My mind raced through the implications before the pain tore through my senses. Somehow, I couldn’t quite get my mind around the most astonishing fact of all.
Don Knotts is God.