A Short Story from River Ape

Discussion in 'Religion Archives' started by River Ape, Jun 9, 2010.

  1. River Ape Valued Senior Member


    Alan felt rather as if he were in a sort of daydream. He had known this feeling after having had one or two too many drinks. But that couldn't be the reason this time.

    Sitting at his desk, he turned over the final page of the Opinions and Attitudes Survey and answered the last ten questions as truthfully as he could. It was one of those multiple choice jobs. He was glad, because he did not think his concentration was up to giving written answers.

    He was beginning to wonder what he was doing this for, anyway. Then, as he put down his pen from answering the final question, he seemed to drift off into unconsciousness. He did not know how much time had passed when he revived, still sitting in the same place, but he felt much refreshed. There in front of him lay the second part: the Personality Inventory.

    The second part of what? He didn't seem to know, but he began to tackle the new set of questions. These questions called for more introspection. These, he felt, were himself defining himself. He felt the urge to do so honestly. After all, he mused, he did possess a certain brutal honesty – towards himself as well as others. Whatever his failings, honesty and a certain physical courage were redeeming features.

    As he came towards the end of the paper, he allowed himself to look at the other candidates. Candidates? Why had that word come into his head? This wasn't an exam, was it? He could see about a dozen of them, mostly older than himself. Those sitting furthest away seemed slightly fuzzy, and he felt somehow that there were more, beyond them and out of sight. It made no sense. It didn't feel quite real, but if this were a dream he couldn't wake up from it. In fact, as he finished the paper, he found himself once again drifting into unconsciousness.

    When he came to, the world was solid reality again. He was in a bright sunlit room with the single figure of a man standing before him. The man wore some kind of tunic, and beyond him were a doorway and a garden.

    “I expect you wonder what's been going on, Alan,” the figure said.

    “Well, this is going to come as a bit of a surprise to you, I think. The fact is, you died yesterday. You were in a road accident. It was not your fault, and no one else was hurt.

    “We restored your consciousness on a temporary basis initially in order to set you a couple of tests. Tests to see if you would fit in here. Or whether alternative arrangements would have to be made. I don't expect you thought it would work like this. Some people think we spy on them all their lives! As if any organisation would have the manpower to do that with the world's population what it is these days.

    “The questions you answered were all drawn from tests devised by psychology departments at several American universities. HE realised that they were just the job! So simple, fast and reliable. We have been using this system for quite a few years now.”

    The figure smiled. “Well, I expect you wonder how you've done!”

    Alan dreaded what he knew must come next. He reflected on his answers. Wrong answers! He had said that he didn't believe in God. As for the answers he had ticked on Jesus Christ, Christians and Christianity ... he shuddered to remember. And the life he had led. It had been far from blameless. That question about the number of women he had bedded in the course of his life. He had had to think hard whether he needed to tick the 50 to 99 box or the 100 and over.

    But the figure before him was still smiling. Wasn't that rather cruel?

    The figure spoke again. “Oh, I know exactly what you are thinking! Don't worry! HE knows perfectly well how few people believe in HIM these days. HE's had a long time to get used to it. But, well, the people HE really has it in for are the Jesus freaks. HE blames them most of all, you see. Oh, you scored top marks there all right! And as for the over 100 women ... I think HE was quite impressed. We shall see to it that you have a great time here!”

    Alan felt confused. “Er, when you say HE ...” he stumbled.

    “Zeus”, said the figure in the tunic. “Welcome, sir, to the Elysian Fields!”

    Well, you can never be sure. Can you?
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2010
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  3. Cris In search of Immortality Valued Senior Member

    Hehe - I'll have to work on my score count I think.
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  5. Pit JAADD Registered Senior Member

    Interesting Neo-Greek story. I suppose Zeus would blame the Christians for destrying belief in him. And he was famous for his sexual escapades.
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  7. River Ape Valued Senior Member

    That's it, Pit.
    In hoping that everyone would pick up on those two points, I may have been hopelessly overoptimistic of course!
  8. Pit JAADD Registered Senior Member

    What do you mean?
  9. Warrior61 I saw the Light Registered Senior Member

    Sorry I had to post this. Meet the Alan I imagined.


    But good story, I do feel if he has been with 100+ women then he most likely did not die of a road accident. So for all you who are sexually active, WRAP IT UP!
  10. River Ape Valued Senior Member

    Just that to GET the story, you have to grasp the two facts that you clearly did grasp.
    I was uncertain how many readers of the story would fail to do so.
  11. Pit JAADD Registered Senior Member

    Who wrote this?
    It's excellent.
  12. River Ape Valued Senior Member


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