Image by Stuart Miles, courtesy of Freedigitalphotos.net
The spell worked. I’m in a new place now.
Do you want to know how I feel? Ecstatic. I am every bit as brilliant as they said I was, and more. I’m not even paying attention to what’s around me because it doesn’t matter. I got here and they all said it was impossible. I want that victory to sink in before I start contemplating the rest of my life here. It’s not even as if it will be living, it will be existing, for all time. Eternity. It’s not a gimmick it’s real. He said to me once,
“Even if such a thing were possible, how could it be tolerable, bearable?”
He didn’t believe in Heaven. I should have known better than to talk to him, but he had a little slice of knowledge that I needed so I took it.
“Heaven isn’t a place, it’s– I don’t know how to talk about it really, but even if you could go there before death, even if you could, it isn’t somewhere you can just break in, don’t you see? You have to earn a place there. Wherever you thought you went it wouldn’t be Heaven.”
That’s what she said to me, I came to her because I needed all of her belief. And so I took it, every last drop.
“You’re being ridiculous. Magic isn’t real.” They said.
I came for them as well and took their will, their confidence. I needed it, because in order to get into Heaven you need to know you belong there. You need to know you’re right. You can’t carry doubt into Heaven.
“Heaven is real, and you have no place there. Heaven is for the good, for the meek, for the pious.” I knew that, and so I took one righteous soul. That’s the toll isn’t it?
Magic binds everything together like a fabric. You have to un-sow some stitches, you have to remake what’s real if you want to change anything. You need to be a garment maker, and have a tailor’s knowledge. The Universe is a weaver, so must I be.
I took what I needed and I re-made myself.
When that was done, I called on my new belief and I fastened it down where it would never stray. It became only a part of me, it had to be, because I could not relinquish all of my true self. I could only hide what I really was.
I had the ability, and the strength to make the magic work. I became the hybrid of their knowledge, their will, their belief, with their soul. I was two beings, both the cynic and the saint with one beating heart. Only for a moment. As I died I made the spell, and wished for Heaven.
Now don’t think I meant someone else’s heaven. You see, what you have just missed, is the realisation that as I have made myself new, I have conceptualised a new Heaven too. Half of me never believed, and that half is free to choose whatever heaven it wants. It was never tied to any conventions, any concepts or images. No crucifixes, no altars no lambs. The half of me that believes in Heaven now, has taken me there. Do you understand? I can have my cake and eat it, like no one else. That’s what makes this all so brilliant. I am smiling now thinking about it.
What does my Heaven look like? I wish I could show you. When I died I imagined a place of sensory delights, a place that would be changing all the time; new experiences, new colours, new wonders, just like a kaleidoscope. All I would have to do would be to blink my eyes and I’d be exposed to something fresh. That’s what got to me about Earth, and my life there. Nothing could ever satisfy me. Sooner or later even the things I enjoyed looking at bored me to tears.
Nothing was worth loving forever.
This Heaven is just what I imagined as I lay there, exploding on the carpet, every cell in my body being re-aligned. Now as I look around I can see rainbows everywhere, patterns, shapes, colours. It’s dazzling my eyes and it won’t stop moving. I’m in the midst of everything, this must be the very heart of the universe. This must be the very heart of matter, of every molecule, every particle, every space. I must be just as infinite. I am now the garment maker, I have the tailor’s knowledge.
I want to run and run and never stop. I’m running now and the colours are flying through me and they’ll never stop. Each step is a new vista, unfolding a new fractal, geometrically perfect and never ending. I see blue squares and yellow triangles, purple flowers and orange insects, red balloons and green jewels. I’m going to keep running forever–
Wait. I’ve hit something.
A wall. I’m pressing against but it won’t give. I can see a blur beyond it, more shapes, more colours, but I can’t pass through! It looks so much bigger, and brighter, and better out there but I can’t get through this barrier. I don’t understand, my Heaven shouldn’t have walls…
“Hey this is awesome! I haven’t seen one of these in years. This one has really cool patterns.”
Jim passed the kaleidoscope to Susie who shook it and then held it up to her eye.
“I think there’s a speck of dirt trapped in there, stuck to the lense. Shame. Where did you say you found it Suz?”
“Oh, it was on the floor of the library, in the reading room on the second floor. It was just sticking out from under one of the chairs.”
“Hmm. Funny thing to leave lying around.”
“I know. But there it was. I used to love these as a kid.”
“I’m surprised they even let you in there. That’s where they found those students you know.”
“What do you mean?”
“You know, the reading room, it was all over the papers!”
Susie shrugged. “That was a month ago. It’s funny but I was just thinking how I needed something to cheer me up after all this revision.”
“Looks like you got exactly what you wished for then.”
Susie laughed. “I know! Isn’t it great when the universe gives you exactly what you wish for?”