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A Little Piece of Heaven

Shari L Klase lives and writes in a small town next to the beautiful Susquehanna River. She shares her time with an artist husband, fellow speculative writer daughter, and a corgi named Lucy, who has eaten at least a third of her belongings.

Susanna closed her eyes in death and opened them to the glittering, golden streets and pearly gates of Heaven's entrance. There waiting for her were her mother, sister, and grandmother. She knew all along that they would be there. After her initial registration by St. Peter and some paperwork, she rushed into her mother's arms.
"So wonderful to see you," Mom said.
Susanna remembered how her mom's hugs felt when she was little. She died when Susanna was just fifteen. It was years before she could fully accept her death but it had never altered her faith. It was Stu that did that.
Susanna asked the big question she already knew. "Dad?"
Her mom shook her head. "He didn't make it."
"I knew he wouldn't," Susanna said simply. There never was any doubt in her mind that the man who had abandoned his family when Susanna was five, and didn't even bother to come around when she was granted custody to her grandmother, would not be welcome in paradise. She was glad of it.
"Mom, you're wearing your hair different, parted on the other side."
Her mom laughed nervously. "I am?"
"Why sure, but it doesn't matter. I like it that way."
Her grandmother waited patiently. Susanna knew that she would understand that even though she had spent more of her years with her grandmother, there was no one who could take the place of her mother. It was only right that Susanna missed her mother most.
But at last Susanna fell into her Grandmother's arms. "Hi Grandma, I sure missed you. I cried for days after I found out you were gone. My grades slipped a bit that semester, but I made up for it."
"I know," her grandmother said. "I was watching."
"Were you? I always thought that, at least I did for a while."
"Yes. Well, we don't need to talk about that, do we?" her grandmother reminded her.
Susanna peered deeply into her grandmother's green eyes, but she thought that they were blue. Well, maybe she was mistaken. What does eye color matter anyway?
Susanna wished she didn't still have these bitter feelings toward her husband. She thought all that went away after death. Stu, the kind and benevolent pastor, who tossed her aside for another woman. She hoped to God that he'd never make it here. She'd have to avoid whatever section of heaven he was in. Thank God she married Rich the second time around so she didn't hate all men in life. Rich was always kind and patient with her, even through...? What was it she had gone through?
Why was she even thinking about Stu or anything else when Anna was standing there smiling at her?
Anna, her little sister. She lost her battle with cancer when she was just twenty-four. That was too young. Of course, dying at 35, that was too young also. Susanna had time to prepare herself but that didn't change things.
"Anna, you were always so pretty. You still are." Then she did a double take. "Your hair is red. I didn't know people did that in Heaven; changed their hair color."
Anna looked strange. In fact, everybody was just a little off.
"I think we're going to have to put her back into deep Stasis. She's beginning to realize something is wrong again," Joe said.
"Why didn't you remember about the hair color?" Danielle asked the other technicians.
"I didn't know all of those little things would really matter. Who remembers side parts and hair color?" Steve asked.
Danielle rolled her eyes. "Women do. Now, let's try it again. This time, get your facts straight. She's going to be in this limbo state for a long time and her husband paid for the best experience ever. Heaven on Earth, he said, and that's what we're supposed to be giving her, until the Cure is ready."
"Okay, okay, let's roll," Joe said. "Heaven, Take seven." He laughed.
"Do you think this time we should have her dog there? Are there dogs in heaven?" Steve asked.
"Hmmm, maybe," Danielle said. "At least dogs don't have speaking parts. We don't need word accuracy. Are we ready for Dream Stasis again? Cue the German Shepherd."
The End
This story was first published on Wednesday, October 15th, 2014

Author Comments

My inspiration for this story came by way of musing about Heaven and what it would be like, especially seeing loved ones; and then including a little sci-fi twist. Since Heaven is a mystery, it leaves plenty of room for the imagination to run wild.

- Shari L Klase
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