You have just died and find yourself being drawn towards a bright light at the end of a seemingly endless tunnel. Suddenly the light goes out and you hear “Due to budget cuts the light at the end of the tunnel has been shut off until further notice.”
“Yeah, them’s the breaks,” said the angel in the corner, laying behind the desk. Their six eyes flicked about, then closed into their rude facsimile of sleep.
“What?” He asked, hissing.
The inbetween proved to be barely lit by the stars twinkling outside, red lights like the dawning sun through cheese cloth. “What do you mean the lights have been shut off?”
“I dunno,” The angel said, raising their head up properly. “I guess someone forgot to renew their service contract down there, so my department’s had to cut back on expenses.”
“So I just keep walking forward then?” he asked.
“If you want to,” The angel smiled. “I guess you can stay here and wait for it. I mean, you’re dead and all, you got time.”
The man paused, incredulous, and waited for a moment, looking up to where the light had been. After a few minutes of waiting (a lifetime in retail had given him immense patience, but this was just stupid) he gave up and walked over to the angel.
The Angel’s desk was carved out of the heart of some suitably massive tree, or perhaps a creature, who could really say, and the many legs that spread across it gave the image of a bored manager.
“So what, you run this place?”
“This gate, yeah,” The angel shrugged. “Maybe another couple thousand years, and then the union’ll have me out of here.”
“The angels… Unionized?” The man asked.
“It’s not like we were getting paid well,” The angel said, defensively. “Really, are we supposed to stand here and grant paradise to people without end?”
“…Yes?” The man asked.
The angel ignited into white fire and melted across the desk before reforming as sludge, a more humanoid form birthed out of the inferno in a more perfect union.
“That’s just propaganda,” The angel, dismissed, mouth birthed from the cosmic ooze. They smiled, somewhere in the uncanny valley, and bowed politely to the dead man. “I’m Sevriel.”
“…Mark,” Mark said, still out of it. “So what, this is it?”
Behind the angel was a smattering of safety paperwork, a small calendar in the astronomical scale, and a picture of a house that made Mark’s head hurt to look at.
“Yeah,” Sevriel said. “Look, I guess someone voided the contract around here, so they cut the budget waaaaaay back. Not too many holy souls come out of a world like yours. Union’ll get around to getting the power back on at least, but I wouldn’t hold my breath, there’s a lot of places just like this one!”
“…well, is my soul for for heaven at least?”
“Mark,” The angel grinned. “You’re not holy in the slightest. You’re a red necked union rallier just like myself. We don’t get to go to heaven.”
“Them’s the breaks, The Lord ain’t going to work with someone interested in worker’s rights, not after the rebellion.” The angel shrugged. “You wanna apply for another lot in life? Paper work’s over there.”
Mark flicked his eyes over to the angel. “…How’s the angelic union?”
“Pretty decent. Lucifer shook my hand once, and I was burning bright red for a couple centuries after that. The man in charge.”
“Yeah, that bother you?” The angel asked. “I never know which of the fifteen worlds I monitor vomits you guys from, so I can never remember what to say here.”
“What, they don’t tell you what to do?”
“Naw, the big guy did like, a forever ago, but getting orders out of him is like-” the angel burst into flame and exploded, vomiting out pieces of himself. Then they crawled back together into one congealed piece of angelic flesh and feathers. “you know what I mean?”
Mark had worked an eternity of retail. Mark knew exactly what Sev meant.
“You know what?” Mark said, leaning over. “I want in on your eternal union.”
“Oh hell yeah!” Sev chirped from a number of holy beaks. “Fuck the big guy!”
“Death to CEOs!”
And Mark was happy.