Transcripts from the Other Side
By David Kutai Weiss
Transcripts from the Other Side is a Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Comedy/Satire short-story lead-in to a longer adventure. To steal an apt summary from a reviewer: "What would you do if you got to Heaven and it was NOT what you expected? That's what happened to Bill...the comedy just begins..."
The following excerpt is our protagonist's first interaction with Lucifer, who in the story is the rather responsible, if unexpected, governor of Heaven. Bill, being raised an honest man, is immediately perturbed by the fact that God's alleged nemesis is running things and is convinced that he must pass some sort of test before being allowed into the real Heaven. This passage was a ton of fun to write because I found myself balancing Lucifer's boyish sense of innocence with Bill's aggressive righteous
indignation. Happy reading!
Bill opened—with some difficulty—the heaviest door he had ever encountered and strode into the largest room he had ever seen. The floor was rough concrete and the walls appeared to be corrugated sheet metal. At the far end of the wall was a small desk and a man sitting at it, though he was too far away to discern clearly. Bill strode across the vaulted room, taking in the high ceiling and small windows that lined the upper walls. After several minutes of plodding, Bill reached the other end to see a man intently running his fingers along a number of scrolls on his desk and murmuring under his breath.
“You must be Lucifer,” accused Bill. The man looked up, startled.
“How rude of me—yes that’s me. I’m dreadfully sorry, I didn't even hear you. It’s these high ceilings you see, the acoustics—”
“Do you really need a warehouse for an office?” challenged Bill, immediately on the offensive in an attempt to prove his faith. I shall not fail this test. I have come too far.
Lucifer cast his eyes down, “I know, it’s dreadful. But with elections coming up, my marketing team insists it’s more impressive. Industrialize. Optimize. Synergize,” reflected Lucifer with a tinge of sadness.
“You hold elections here? Ha, and how often are these so-called elections?” asked Bill.
“Why, every day, obviously. In fact, the results are just coming in…” Lucifer’s sentence fell off as he put one finger to his ear, “…And it seems I've been re-elected. This calls for celebration, wouldn't you say?” he remarked cheerfully as he removed the lid from a glass container on his desk. The rich smell of single malt scotch filled the room. He poured himself a glass and offered one to Bill.
“Don’t touch the stuff,” Bill sniffed. Man, I could use a drink. Outside of a dream, this was to be the first time Bill ever consciously told a lie.
“A pity. Suit yourself,” said Lucifer as he brought the glass to his lips and took a delicate sniff with closed eyes, followed by a sip. “Ah,” he exhaled.
“How often do you get re-elected?” asked Bill suspiciously.
“Nearly every day,” Lucifer remarked proudly.
“Imposs—Wait a second, are you wearing Google glasses? Those haven’t even been released yet! How do you have those here?” asked Bill.
“My boy, you don’t get as good as Google without a little ‘outside help’, if you know what I mean,” Lucifer said with a wink.
“I’m sure I’d rather not,” said Bill.
“Well, how can I help you today…Err, haven’t been pleased to make the acquaintance—”
“Bill. You can help me by releasing your grip on Heaven and delivering it back to God,” said Bill, ever the faithful servant.
“We all know that’s not going to happen. Last I heard he’s in Siberia breeding hounds for bird-dog hunting competitions. Surely one can argue it’s dishonest to win every time, but I suppose crime is down—”
FIND OUT MORE:
David's books on AMAZON.
Check him out on GOODREADS.