Anton was trapped between worlds. Between Heaven, Hell and Earth. Cosmic events had conspired to ensure he would never find a home. Death had come knocking, but decided not to finish the job. Each day he watched as events unfolded around him. Forever a spectator, looking in on the souls as they marched through their dreary existences; this one having an affair with that one; another spirit seeking retribution from some perceived slight when he was six-years old; yet another soul joining the choir eternally singing to its maker; a final soul forever tormented pushing a rock to the top of a hill that was never reached; and through it all he was just a spectator; caught in a purgatory all his own; he continued to watch as all the spirits in eternity played out their lives and move on as death came for them all.
Gasping between each moment, each decision, Anton could not participate nor influence any soul as they made their decisions. Hoping that this perpetual state could end, Anton would follow a particular soul, to any location, but to no avail. Ideally, he would be able to find peace in heaven, but that was not to be. Just as he thought he had thought he had flagged down Peter at the Pearly Gates, he was dragged off by a different soul to hell. Knowing it was useless; Anton would flit back and forth, Heaven to Hell to Earth and back again. Lamenting his inability to stop the perpetual roller coaster, he cried out to whomever might listen, whether God or the Devil. Mostly, he just wept as he watched the souls go about their business.
Nearby, people were watching Anton. Otherworldly beings began taking bets on how long before Anton’s soul split apart. Placing wagers with ethereal bookies, each confident on their ability to predict how long he could hold out. Quietly praying, each creature hoping their last bet was the winning bet. Rewards for winning the bet included advancing to the next plane of existence. Silently, they watched as Anton thrashed back and forth between each plane of existence.
Timelessly, Anton continued to float above all the souls in creation. Until some being, taking pity on Anton, intervened. Virtuously instantaneous, Anton had ceased floating between existences and settled back to his bed on Earth. Whether God or some other being, Anton cared not for his soul was exhausted. Yawning, Anton began to drift asleep, finally finding rest. Zzzzz…
Purgatory by Brendan O’Prey is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.