Most upvoted comment
[WP] A Man gets to paradise. Unfortunately, Lucifer won the War in Heaven ages ago. What is the man’s experience like?(r/WritingPrompts)
It took Jim 376 years to get bored. He stood at 1 Truth Road, thinking it was funny how small the building was.
When he walked in, the man behind the reception desk smiled.
“You seek the truth?” the man said.
“I suppose I do,” Jim said.
“If you don’t mind, there’s a series of questions I’d like to ask you. This is completely optional, but your honest answers help us improve paradise.”
Jim shrugged. “Shoot.”
“How would you rate your overall experience? These are all one to ten, by the way.”
“How helpful was our staff?”
“The event center?”
“You know what, just put me down for ten on everything.”
The man nodded knowingly. It took him a good five minutes to fill in all the tens, and Jim was glad he made the request.
“If you don’t mind my asking, if everything is a ten, why leave?” the man asked.
“I could go for a few sevens.”
“Fair enough. Just go down that hall, and you’re looking for the second door on the right. Good luck.”
He found the room easily enough. It was smaller than the main lobby, but with the same setup. It was mostly white, and there was a man behind a desk and a single chair in front of it. Jim blinked a few times. It was the same man.
“Take a seat.”
“You’re the same guy,” Jim said.
“I run things around here. Go ahead, sit down. Alright, so before we proceed I have to make sure you understand this all correctly. For starters, once you find out the truth, you know that you can’t go back?”
“And you know that you’re leaving of your own free will, that you aren’t compelled in any way to leave?”
“Well, I can only assume that, really.”
“Good enough. And the last thing, you’re aware that billions of souls are perfectly happy to be happy in spite of the paradox?”
“Great. Now, as for the truth. For the last 376 years, you have been living in paradise, and paradise is awesome.”
That’s all he said. He said it as if that was all that needed saying. For the first time in a long time, Jim was angry.
“That’s not enough,” he said through clenched teeth.
“I’m afraid it never is.” The man nodded.
“What about God? The Devil? Heaven and Hell and right versus wrong? Who runs this place? Where is it?”
“Oh. Really? That’s not even part of the paradox. God and the Devil are the same thing, and this where people go when they die. That’s all pretty much obvious.”
“But, but . . .” Had he made a mistake coming here? He suddenly wanted nothing more than to step back into the orgy’s oblivion. “But what about, I mean, who’s right?”
The man spread his hands. His face was brutally sincere. “If you can’t ask a meaningful question I can’t help you,” he said.
Jim was speechless. He had no idea what question to ask. All those years, the chicken, the women, the booze, he always just figured the truth was sitting here on a silver platter, waiting for him. God and the Devil are the same person? What kind of truth was that?
“The exit is through that door,” the man said.
It was a plain door.
“What’s on the other side?”
“I have no idea.”
“What??! This is 1 Truth Road! I’m giving up Paradise for this. The fuck you don’t know what’s on the other end of a goddamn door!”
“I never went through it.”
“Then you don’t know the truth!”
“I told you the truth.”
“What about the door?”
“That’s where you leave.”
“What’s behind it?”
“I don’t have a clue.”
Jim went to the door and threw it open. Before he went in, he looked back one last time.
“At least give me this. What’s the point of this place? 1 Truth Road. It sure as hell ain’t the truth.”
The man shrugged. “It wouldn’t be paradise with you moping around.”
Jim fell through the door.
EDIT: I hate to edit this, but I have to thank you all. This is a hell of a way to wake up. And if you know where I might submit something like this, please pm me. You guys are awesome.
EDIT 2: I doubly hate doing this, it feels like treason, but people are asking and it’s tough to get noticed. I do have a self-published novel, and if you’re interested you can PM me for the details.
EDIT 3: Okay, so apparently it’s not treason to do this. Here’s the link to the novel (not related to above story): Jarmo. Have at me, reddit.
EDIT 4: This is old news by now, but for those still stumbling across it, I’ve started a Jim series. You can find all of Jim’s Adventures in Lucifer’s Paradise right here.