Done Deal: Part Four: Judgement
'Are you sure you want to be in the meeting son?’ asks the man as he walks towards the boy. The boy is only 8 years old, so young, so fragile, so alone and the man’s heart goes out to him. These meetings were intense and he had seen people much older than the boy crack under the pressure.
‘Yes,’ replied the boy, forcing himself to turn away from the viewing window. ‘I’m sure. Is she ok?’ He inclines his head towards the viewing window.
The man steps forward to look, placing a reassuring hand on the boy’s shoulder. ‘She’s fine,’ he replies, ‘the simulation is over now and to all intents and purposes, she is just sleeping.’
The boy senses he is missing something. Something in the man’s tone tells the boy he is worried.
‘Come,’ says the man, ‘We must begin.’
He turns and leaves the room, walking down a long corridor towards a door marked meeting room. The boy follows anxiously. Nearing the door, he takes a deep breath, and straightens his back. He has nothing to worry about. He has passed the test and he has no doubt that his mother will have passed too.
They enter the room, and the man takes a seat at a conference table, already filled with people. He motions towards an empty seat and the boy sits. He takes a sip from the glass of water there, glad to have something to do with his hands.
‘Just waiting on the boss,’ says the man, smiling at him ‘shouldn’t be too long. You understand what’s going to happen, right?’
The boy does. His mother’s fate is to be decided in this room, like his was only moments ago.
He nods. He is still trying to get his head around the whole process. When he had completed his simulation, they had told him what had happened. He and his mother had been in an accident. They had been standing in a bus shelter, waiting for the number 3 into town when a car had lost control and ploughed into them, killing them both instantly.
He had woken up here to the good news he had passed judgement day and would enter Heaven shortly. He was given the option to wait for his mother’s judgement, which he had accepted readily. He wasn’t sure he could face this alone.
He still found it hard to accept that judgement was passed this way. The recently deceased were hooked up to machines, and a simulation was played in their minds. Their reactions were measured and fed back into a computer, and the results of this decided your fate.
The boy remembered his simulation well. He had been hit around the head as part of a mugging. A man appeared to him and offered him the chance to live in exchange for his soul. He had said no immediately, souls aren’t something to be gambled with!
The man who seemed to be looking after him explained each simulation was specifically tailored to the individual, and everyone gets two chances to pass. If he had accepted the deal, and failed the first time, he would have fast forwarded to the time when he would have to pay the price of the deal, and spend a bit of time in the darkness of Hell. He would then be offered his greatest desire in return for sacrificing someone else. If he failed again, that would be the end of it.
He knew his mother had failed the first time, but he knew she would never sacrifice someone else, so he was confident how the decision making meeting would go.
When all this was explained to him, he had told the man he thought judgement was more like how it was taught on Earth. The man had laughed, but not unkindly.
‘Son,’ he had said, ‘it never fails to amaze me that the human race think their technology betters ours. It’s not the first century anymore!’
The door to the meeting room banged open, startling the boy back to the present.
‘Apologies for my lateness gentleman,’ said The Boss, the one they had been waiting for. Noticing the boy, he continued ‘Greetings son.’
The boy found he couldn’t speak, so he merely smiled at The Boss. This was some man. He radiated power and goodness, and the boy felt instantly humbled.
The Boss took his seat and waved his hand. A screen appeared before him and the boy found himself watching his mother’s simulation.
His heart sank as the action unfolded. The playback ended, and the boy knew what the outcome would be before anyone spoke.
‘Case number 458235612566. Subject failed to make the correct moral choice twice and will be leaving us shortly,’ The Boss announced, purely a formality as everyone in the room knew what had to happened. He stood and began making his way towards the door.
The boy knew he had to do something. He had to speak up. His mother had tried to save him and now he had to do the same for her.
‘Sir, please,’ he begged, tears forming in his eyes. ‘She wasn’t being selfish. She only wanted to save me.’
The boss turned back and looked at him sadly. ‘The first time, so she was, and that is we always give people a second chance. The second time, she was merely giving in to her desire to see you again. She knew who she was dealing with by then, and she made the wrong decision. If she had only had had faith.’
The Boss held up a hand to silence the boy. ‘Unfortunately, rules are rules. She will be leaving us in approximately 10 minutes. You may say goodbye. I am truly sorry son. She would have made a lovely angel. It always saddens me to hand over the ones who came so close.’
I would love to hear what you think! I hope you enjoyed reading the story half as much as I enjoyed writing it.
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