“AHHHHhhhhhh” cried four girls in unison as they fell to what seemed to be their death. The tunnel, flooding with too bright light engulfs them and their screams as they descended faster and faster, time ticking longer and longer. At last, they landed on a floor. Or at least a surface that held them up. The girls dared to open their eyes, afraid that either something terrifying would be in sight or that the light would immediately blind them. The girls were shocked to see where they landed. To the left of them is castle, tall and pink like in the fairytales the girls had seen from cartoons. The little girls, had not started school and did not understand. So they turned their heads to the right. Facing them, is a banner strung between two trees that reads “Welcome to the gates to heaven” Like before, they are lost at the sight. After more observation, they realize where they have been dropped. In the middle of a garden, laden with fruit trees and tall hedges, shaped into animals, people, and things. The little girls slowly get up, still in shock and they dust themselves off. Not knowing what to do, they started walking across the grass towards the castle. After only a few steps, the bush to the right of them, shaped like a lion, moves and begins to speak.
“Wait one moment.”
The girls are shocked frozen and filled with terror, unable to believe their eyes and ears.
“State your case. Why are you here?”
“W-we are here t-to…” Piped up one girl, uncertain and uncomfortable.
“We just got here.” Said another, unable to believe that she was talking to a bush.
“Welcome to heaven.”said the lion-shaped bush. “We reside here when we die. The castle is where we all live together in peace and harmony.”
The little girls process this information, drawing memories from their own mothers’ fables of heaven and God sitting waiting for them when they die.
The nod in unison as the lion points to where they should go, the direction of the castle.
The castle comes closer and closer and looks larger and larger as they approach.
They approach the big brown gate and look at baffled.
“Is this really heaven?” says one of the girls, who had finally found her voice.
“I dunno, I guess so. Now, how do we open this? What is inside?” said another.
All the sudden, a beautiful fairy appears and welcomes them once again to heaven. The little girls star in disbelief once again. With the flick of her wand, the gates swing open, as though the air currents simply pushed open the doors. The fairy beckons them to follow her into what would be their home for eternity. Once again, the little girls necks strain as they take in the view in complete astonishment. The ceiling is glass, stained glass, with pictures of the earth from outer space. The floors are a mix of blues and greens as the light from above falls like rain on top of the floor. Straight ahead was a grand staircase that seemed to never end as it ascended higher and higher and out of sight. The four girls were in awe. The fairy lead them to the check in desk, similar to the airline desk in the airport. Each girl told the clerk, a round man in uniform that slightly resembled Humpty-Dumpty only in a human form (and he was sitting at a desk), their names. They were then lead to their rooms. Much like the hotels the room consisted of a fluffy inviting queen sized bed and a large flatscreen. The girls squealed with delight as they immediately started to jump up onto the beds and bounce, shoes on and all. One girl, expecting the fairy to act like her mother and yell at such behavior, declined from joining the fun. But only for a minute. Seeing that the fairy was smiling, the little girl jumped up and joined them shouting, “Hooray!”
After being worn out, the girls began to notice their tummies rumbling. The fairy seemed to be able to read their minds as she escorted them to the dining room. There, the girls were met by a crowd of laughing children. The four girls knew they were going to have fun, and walked confidently in. They sat with a group of similar aged girls and became friends almost instantly. They also told them some advice and context to their seemingly complex situation.
“We are in heaven. We have died. We are going to live together for eternity.” said one girl.
This shocked the four girls as they had been digging a hole that evening before falling into it. The girls began to remember that they had family at home. This made them start to cry. At least that’s what they thought was happening. It turned out they were laughing, despite feeling as though they were crying. One of the residents of heaven told them this always happens to the new kids.
“This is kids heaven. When kids die around the world, we all end up here. We live together and never grow up, never change, always having fun.” said the same girl.
The girls began to question this as their vision began to become foggy. Blinking it away, they could not retain the focus on their friends for long periods of time. Eventually, everything blacked out.
The little girl woke up bathed in sweat. She opened her eyes and they immediately met the eyes of a young doctor, with a blue cap and a white germ protecting cover over his mouth. A muffled, “She’s awake.” were the first words the girl could process as she adjusted to the new environment, taking everything in. The little girl’s parents appear above as she repeatedly blinks her eyes, clearing her mind of the strange dream. The little girls parents are teary and touch her hand. “Your surgery is finished, honey.” said her mother, “We will be going home soon. Do not worry.”
“But… what about the castle? And heaven? And my new friends?” asked the girl.
“Oh honey, it was all a dream. You were under medicine that puts you to a deep sleep. We are going home soon.” replies the mother, patting the hand she is holding with her other. The little girl is not convinced. She understands something suddenly. While in the surgery, she died. Her heart stopped, and her mind travelled to heaven. But the doctors revived her and she is back from heaven. Never again, she thinks to herself, will she get to live in that castle, befriend the fairy, talk to the hedges. Never again will she go to kid heaven.