A Story by Peter Rogerson

When an atheist dies and meets his god, what could possibly go wrong?


Gregor Handpick was an atheist and so convinced he must be right that he forgot one thing: he forgot that he might be wrong.

And one day he died.

It was only a brief bit of dying because his wife, having been a nurse in her younger days, knew a thing or two about resuscitation. And she resuscitated him.

It involved quite a lot of chest banging and mouth blowing (she would never admit to kissing him, and hadn't since nine months before their last offspring had been born thirty-odd years earlier), but it worked.

But, technically, Gregor was dead for around three minutes. His heart stopped pumping. His brain received absolutely no blood that it hadn't already exhausted of oxygen and, yes, he was dead.

But not as a dodo. Not extinct. Not quite.

But he was dead enough to meet his maker, which he did post haste.

He found himself crouched on top of his own wardrobe gazing down on his corpse, which was an unpleasant enough experience for anyone who has only just passed from the land of the living. And from his vantage point he observed his wife of forty-odd years pummelling away at him, and wondered why she was kissing him. Apparently.

Then he saw God.

It had to be God because the figure (dressed in shining white and beaming in the most angelic way) was beckoning him. The shining finger of what could only possibly be a deity wiggled and waggled, and he found himself following.

It's odd walking on air, he thought as he made his way on air towards his Maker.

Gregor,” sighed that divinity as he approached him. “Why have you spent so long denying me?”

Who are you?” asked the recently deceased, miffed because he was sure the shining figure couldn't possibly be God on account of God's non-existence.

You know me,” replied the deity, a little sanctimoniously. “You might have put all that effort into denying my existence, but I didn't care! I knew I existed because it hurts when I pinch myself, and your little opinions didn't really count for very much.”

Are you God?” asked Gregor, a feeling of deep regret suffusing his dead brain. “Are you really and truly real? And if you are, why didn't you tell me about your reality before this?”

The deity smiled the way that deities do and whispered, “Because you have to take me on trust. You have to look around at all that lack of evidence and still believe. That's what faith is. Looking at the plainly ridiculous and seeing your Maker!”

Why should I do that?” demanded Gregor. “Why should I, say, look at a virgin birth �" no sex, no placenta, no ruptured hymen - and see the impossible when the only realistic explanation is the rape of a teenage girl in a society in which teenage girls got punished for being raped and found lying a preferable option to telling the truth about something that happened?”

Because of me,” smiled his Lord. “Because I demand it of you. Because believing in the plainly impossible is the way to my happy gardens and noble courts!”

You must think I was born yesterday!” complained Gregor.

Not me. But I know you died today!” grinned God.

Prove yourself to me, and I might believe,” muttered the ghostly corpse almost regretfully.

Then I suppose I better had,” grunted God. “Come with me, over here, and let me show you a glimpse of Heaven... come now, it won't hurt you and after all now that you're dead you've nothing tying you to this earthly life...”

I suppose...” muttered the late lamented Gregor.

Elysian fields,” sighed his Maker as a sun rose over a beautiful horizon and nymphs wearing the flimsiest floral outfits that teased their lovely thighs quite erotically drifted past them. “See how splendid it is! There are loads of little ladies dressed like that, all ready to dance before your eyes, all quite happy to drift here or there as you desire, to be with you at your whim … aren't they beautiful?”

Gregar had to admit, grudgingly, that they certainly were beautiful. Every one of them was at an ideal age, too old to be shallow and too young to be deep. And their smiles, white teeth, rosy cheeks, perfect bodies, legs to die for...

Careful!” warned God. “Don't forget that you're already dead!”

But what about their opinions?” asked Gregor, “what if they don't really want to sojourn with an old fart like me?”

But that's why they're here... and don't say fart, please, not in Heaven,” grunted God.

Who are you?” asked Gregor as one of the nymphs floated up to him and rubbed her bosom against his chest.

I'm yours, for ever,” she breathed, “come with me, down here, to my bower, lined with flowers and scented with all the sweetest fragrances of Heaven, and together … this is Heaven you know ... together we'll do heavenly things...”

Maybe later, sweetheart,” murmured the deity, “he's a new-comer and I need to assess him before I release his testosterone onto your Eden.”

The nymph winked at Gregor. “Whatever the boss says, but I'll be waiting for you...” she whispered.

Gregor was going to tell her just how perfect she was, how all he wanted to do was lie down with her in a quiet place and make glorious love with her and to her, but an explosion that rocked his chest and made his head swim made God wibble and wobble.

And wibbling and wobbling deities very soon disappear in a puff of common sense. This one did. One moment he was benevolently waving his hand over the perfection of his Heaven and extolling its every virtue and the next he was looking at Gregor with a face like thunder.

Sod off, then!” he cursed, and Gregor found himself wondering why his wife's once gorgeous lips were floundering against his own and why she was pummelling his chest with a punch that must, surely, have been in the megaton range.

Thank God,” she breathed when he opened his eyes, “I thought I'd lost you, darling...”

And when he saw her own eyes, the way they were weeping genuine tears, the lines that life had painted on her face, the genuine, real affection built up over a lifetime of years, he knew the fairy kingdom that was already fading in his mind had only been a dream and that Heaven was here, in life, on Earth, and this woman was as wonderful a god as he ever wanted to meet, and she had all the most worthy attributes of a heavenly nymph.

© 2015 Peter Rogerson

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Added on November 2, 2015
Last Updated on November 2, 2015
Tags: wife, death, respiration, kiss of life, deity, nymphs, beguiling


Peter Rogerson
Peter Rogerson

Mansfield, Nottinghamshire, United Kingdom

I am 80 years old, but as a single dad with four children that I had sole responsibility for I found myself driving insanity away by writing. At first it was short stories (all lost now, unfortunately.. more..