January 23: Meeting St. Peter

Based on this prompt on my Blogger blog.

Rebecca stared at the tall white gates that sparkled in the gloaming. She turned around and around, looking for the sun, but could not find it. The last thing she remembered, she’d been in that snooty French restaurant, trying to choke down some rubbery escargot. Her date had been speaking to her, his tone gentle and calming yet concerned; he had said something about using more melted butter and then the world had gone black and she had woken up here. Wherever here was.

I should be in a hospital, shouldn’t I? Surely Pete would have brought me to a hospital. She glanced about at the other people there, all of them looking as dazed and confused as she did. They were obviously in some sort of waiting room, but this looked like no hospital she had ever seen.

There was no discernible floor, nor were there any chairs; no tables with old magazines strewn across them, either. A low fog clung around everyone’s legs, although the area did not feel humid. In fact, it was odd that the temperature was so completely comfortable; New York was under a freeze warning this evening and this place had the feel of being outdoors.

The gates swung open, the movement catching her eye, and she watched as an old man skipped through; odd that a man his age should be skipping. To the right of the gates, she saw a dais that she hadn’t noticed before; behind it, a tall man in flowing robes with a long white beard was jotting something down in a book with what looked like a feather pen. Rebecca started toward the man, only to have an old woman lay a hand on her arm, stopping her.

“You must wait your turn, deary.” Her pale blue eyes were kind, the wrinkles at their corners giving evidence of a lifetime of smiles and laughter.

“I’m sorry, ma’am. Wait my turn for what?”

“For your accounting, of course. To see whether or not you can pass through the Pearly Gates.”

The Pearly Gates seemed like an odd name for a club, and besides, what sort of club let senior citizens in? A shuffleboard club? Bridge club? Rebecca snorted at the idea. Could be fun—who knew?

However, there was still the mystery of how she had been sitting in the restaurant and was here now, with no memory of where here was or how she had gotten here or even of finishing her dinner.

“I just need to ask a quick question is all. Is he the maître d’?”

“Maître d’. I guess you could call him that; he’s been called worse.”

“I won’t be a moment.” Rebecca strode toward the man, determined to get some answers.

“Excuse me. I don’t know what happened to me. Can you tell me where I am, please?”

The man looked up, smiling beatifically at her and she gasped.  “Pete?”

“You’re in Heaven’s waiting room, Rebecca. And that’s Saint Peter to you, please.”

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