Forked Logic

A man has lived his whole life sinfully, with the intent of going to hell and killing Satan. He has just died.

Cover Image for A man has lived his whole life sinfully, with the intent of going to hell and killing Satan. He has just died.

It hadn't been as painful as I'd expected. My assumption was that the pain you experienced at the moment of your death would be a function of the amount of good you'd done in your life, but that didn't seem to be the case. In truth there was no pain at all, just a high intensity shaking followed by a profound lightness that I assume was the result of no longer carrying around my old, heavy, body.

It took very little time for me to realize that the attempts I'd made at planning while I'd been alive would be completely useless now that I was actually dead. My senses had left me as soon as my body had, and all that remained was the awareness that the aspect of myself that remained when you subtracted away my body did, in fact, still remain. I had no concept of motion or place and no control over anything at all. I just, plain and simple, was.

I spent some time laughing at myself for having been so foolish as to think that the afterlife would be anything like what was described in stories or shown in art. It was one of those things, when we're alive, we can't help but imagine the experience of being dead as at least in some ways similar to being alive, but once we're dead, there's no imagining that death has anything in common with life.

"I'm glad to see you've still got your sense of humor."

The voice spoke from the same place that my own internal monologue came from, which was an unbelievably odd and uncomfortable feeling.

"I've got to be honest with you, I got my fair share of entertainment watching you plan this plan of yours, and even more watching you do all the amazingly awful things you did to earn your ticket to Hell. That kind of commitment really is admirable, even if it was completely misguided."

As the voice spoke a new sensation started to arise in my awareness. The closest thing I could compare it to would be nausea, only it was pleasurable. As the feeling expanded, what I felt as myself expanded with it. Then there was a second voice.

"Ah but mistakes made with noble intentions, when seen from a compassionate angle, though still a tragic and awful thing for the victims, are equally as tragic and awful for the doer, and are less a result of some inherent defect as they are of the poor way in which the nature of existence is presented to a person."

This voice was an immediate comfort to me, but the comfort was short-lived. As the voice spoke other voices began to arise in my consciousness. Too many voices for me to possibly process. The screams and cries of victims, the droning buzz of news anchors, the questions of children, the assertions of adults, the lies of criminals, the deceits of the powerful, the whimpers of the hungry; they all flooded me and overwhelmed my understanding.

I had no way of blocking them out, no ears to cover, and though I tried to parse them the best I could, struggling to hold on to my own voice in the infinity of voices that now occupied its place, in time I had no choice but to let go, to let them wash over me.

As I surrendered to the cacophony, it became less of an assault. I began to hear singing and music, the lullabies of parents, the instruction of teachers, the laughter of children. Finally they all gently blended together into a quiet, joyful, whisper.

"Now you see."

The words had no sooner hit my ears than I felt my newly expanded consciousness contracting. The voices vanished and the only sound I heard was a high-pitched rushing sound, like a balloon having the air let out of it. It grew louder and louder until I could feel the pain in my head.

My head. I could feel my head.

I could feel.

I could.



"Head! There's his head. He's almost out, just give me one more good push."

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