Get ready to depart with our character into the first moments of his afterlife, where he learns a terrible truth. At the Judgment, he faces the Judge of Man Universalis who uncovers something buried deep in the past of one Stone Rivers, 57… newly dead, of Milwaukie, Oregon…
In the room of judgement and review it is a charcoal darkness. It is warm. There is a Judge but no bench. Sometimes he walks near. Sometimes he disappears into the corner. There is fear there, because the judge has many names, Dualis is one- a god of binary justice and mercy. The justice of Dualis is a just justice, self-defined and possibly anything.
See Stone Rivers? Jeans and t-shirt. Just died while delivering a new washing machine to his mom. She doesn’t know yet. She’s going to want to die too, the news will hurt so bad. But she will get better. Then she will come to this room in 8 years. Lymphoma. I am watching this family. I am not going to say if I am from Earth or beyond. I am L’sairre.
So in this place, Stone Rivers wakes. I cannot speak. I am only the wind of wisdom carrying words and thoughts. Okay, I have a French accent, so imagine it and it will decrease the feeling of suffering you will sense in Stone.
And so God speaks to Stone,
“Son of Adam?” Stone is sitting on a wood chair, simple and pricelessly beautiful. “Who are you?”, says Stone. “Hahahah!”, laughs GOD. “Who do you think I am?”
Stone says, “Well Jesus, I…”.
“Maybe!”, says God. “Maybe.”
Stone stands and gets in his face. In… God’s face. God’s smile turns down fast and he screams, “SIT… DOWN!!” Stone is flipped and thrown down and hits his head. “I am, your God. Pardon me, but I do not like being approached like that.” Tears were in his eyes. “I do that more often than I like, Stone,” said God.
“Are you blaspheming, sir?”, Stone stands again to say. “For no hell or lie will stand against Stone Rivers…” Stone approaches closer to God. But there was an indirect way about God and he thought of him as “Weirdo Number Whatever”.
“So you think I am a weirdo? Stone? I am wanting to do this and perhaps you can move on.” Stone approaches. God thinks to say, “I’d stop, Stone”… but no it ends badly. God lights on fire as Stone approaches quickly and blazing orange he says, “I AM hell, Stone,” and Stone screams. God snaps his fingers and the fire stops and smoke crawls up his apparently human body.
“Oh my GODDD!!!”, screams Stone, “I’m so sorry!! Oh God…”
“Stop it,” shouts God. Ease up, buddy. You aren’t going to whatever hell you’ve ever feared.
Stone cries here for about 20 minutes and God holds him as would a father of a child.
After that time, Stone says, “I’m here. And you are real! Hah. I knew it! But why don’t I feel any better?”
God says, Stone, you have been pronounced dead at Providence Milwaukie hospital. Your heart is stopped. But your passions are still on Earth. You must cross over now. But to do that… to finish dying.”
“So you are saying I am not ‘Stone’ cold dead yet, sir?” God fell over laughing. “Omigod!”, said God, I knew you’d say that when you died one day, but would you believe I forgot?”
“Well, Lord, I am tricky”, said Stone. “No!”, God said laughing, “Don’t call me ‘Lord’. Call me sir. You called your dad, ‘Sir’. I am your dad now you complicated fellow. I paid for your soul in a contest.”
“The cross?”, asked Stone. God stopped and turned his right eye to him. “Yes, soon enough. Look at me…”
Suddenly God was gone and Stone was in a desert of white sand and magenta sky. It was night and very cold. Just a little ways away was a herdsman’s tent. Stone enters. There are no usual tapestries or carpets. The same wood chair and a wardrobe mirror 4 feet long.
“Sit,” says God, suddenly standing behind the mirror. “This is going to be hard. I am going to show you one part of your life. You will tell me the truth and only then will you cross over. I will be here. The accuser will be here. You are on trial. This is very serious.”
“Look into the mirror”, a voice said. “Is that you, Sir?” “All voices in the room are in your head,” said Satan. “You are busted”.
“Wait”, said Stone. “Look in the Mirror Stone.” In the mirror, which was a circle, was playing as a television a view of boys in the woods with a few dogs.
One of the boys, Stone’s brother Tom was playing with a .22 rifle. A shot went off and hit ‘Sgt. Barker’, Stone’s golden retriever. The dog was his friend for 4 years, there when his dad died, Tom Senior.
“He was only a dog,” said Satan whispering quietly. “And this a a stupid judgement,” Satan whispered to Stone. “Why am I on trial here???”, yelled Stone. “Tom shot him, and it was an accident.”
Lights went on and Stone screamed. A very LARGE spider was crawling OUT of Stone’s ear and dropped and ran away.
“Whew!”, said God. “Finally!” Stone said, “What is this? Its all so weird. Is there anything here that isn’t like a Star Trek episode?”
“Listen, Stone, Tom shot your dog on purpose.” Stone cried, “Yeah! I know! He shot my goddam dog. He’s just a dog. Leave me alone…” Stone slumped on the ground.
God said, “The Father of Deception spoke that lie to you. In my new world made for you there is no more death or crying, lying, pain… and I’ll hang out with you…
Stone, Sgt. Barker (God laughs) was a silly name for Kane. He is not a dog exactly anymore. We renamed him and neither will you be exactly human when you leave this tent, your body…
You must acknowledge that you hurt someone very badly by saying that Sgt. was “just a dog”.”
Outside the tent, Sgt. was breathing. Stone could hear him. Sgt. popped his head in and walked in up to Stone. “I hurt…”, “Pardon me?”, God said.
“God,” said Stone. “Yeah,” said God putting his arm around him walking him to the door. “I lied to myself.” Stone said. “I love my dog. I lied, said he was nothing to cover up the pain. I couldn’t believe Tom did it to cause suffering. Tom did it because he was suffering. Dad just died and life seemed meaningless to him. Then Tom shot himself, so dogs seem low on the priority list. And God, you made people weird.”
“Judgment’s done,” smiled God. Stone said, “So out that way?” God said, “Well… yeahh. Pf.” So outside they began to walk in the desert dawn. Dualis, Stone… and Kain, who I won’t describe. Its way too cool when animals uplift, ie resurrect. So over the hill was a gigantic orb, one with lights. It was probably a spaceship and Tom- Stone’s brother was there. I don’t know. The story fades when they go away, because I’m not allowed to do more than see in.
People hurt each other, they hurt themselves, they lie. But sadness lingers by lying to yourself and disowning what you love. It is simultaneously heartless and stupid and many do it. A protected true heart, however, is just that much more ready for heaven… and heaven on Earth…
By Andy Harrison