Flash fiction …
Her Glowing Life Review
When Davann suddenly passed from the Earth, she felt
dismay that the crash ruined her shoes,
relief to escape before old age wrinkled her, and
eagerness for her reward in heaven.
She anticipated a glowing life review. After all, she always helped her friends, followed the rules (except for speeding), and donated to charities.
She stood before a council of wispy angelic beings whose love saturated her.
One said, “Sit down and relax, dear Davann.”
A chair magically appeared.
Images danced through the air – her baby years – such a cute toddler – sweet moments with Mommy and Daddy – moving on to school years, her circle of friends.
Emotional ups and downs made her laugh and cry, even now.
Many mistakes, loves and hates, but she learned from them. Falling in love, marriage, divorce. It was all so human – working her job, struggling with conflicts, mean bosses, aggravating neighbors, fun friends.
“You did all right, yes?” said the angelic leader.
“All right? I thought I did well.” Would the council members give her a score, like in the Olympics? “When I was good, I was very good,” she added.
“Yes, although… as it is for modern humans, one major complaint is registered against you.”
“Yeah,” said a knee-high gnome who had suddenly appeared.
“Welcome, Galen,” the leader said softly.
Davann blinked at this lawn ornament. “You’re not real. You must be a figment -”
“I’m as real as you are! We live in Mother Earth, and She ain’t happy about you!” His stubby finger stabbed the air. “Watch!”
Young Davann threw out garbage. Juice packets with sippy straws. Cracker snack packs with extruded cheese. Messy globs of paper towels. Plastic toys, pudding packs.
Grown up, she tossed Styrofoam egg cartons and take-out bowls, disposable cups, plastic spoons, heavy packaging on fancy foods. Acres of bubble wrap from online purchases.
She produced forty-plus years of rubbish.
Her trash flowed into landfills and oceans, into floating islands of plastics and scum.
The next scene went into a cave, down through dark tunnels, to a room where several gnomes sat around a table.
“That’s me family,” said Galen.
The gnomes gazed disgustedly at their ceiling, where bits of trash emerged and fell. One little guy on a ladder pulled down an old milk carton. Dirt clods fell on his face. He applied a drippy mud patch to the cavity.
“I recycled as much as I could,” said Davann.
Galen’s face stiffened. “Humans throw it out, they think it disappears.”
Passing through more tunnels, the view opened to a murky wet place. Miniature people, eight inches tall, moved about ministering to those lying upon tiny blankets.
“These fae folk live in the marshlands,” Galen explained. “Trash mold is killing them off.”
“You’ve no idea how many societies live underground, and how they suffer.”
The next dim place revealed large hairy beings. They moved like humans. Some shoveled mounds of trash, turning it over. Others pushed wheelbarrows of garbage to the piles. On the far edge, two gnomes unloaded their backpacks of debris.
“Thank God for the Yetis,” said Galen.
“Yetis,” Davann said flatly. They looked scary. And mythological.
As if reading her mind, the council leader said, “The Yetis possess more kindness and patience than most humans. Look closer – with your heart.”
In a deeper hollow of trash, a trio of Yetis sat with their backs against each other. Their hands and hearts glowed green toward the rubbish. Their furry faces gazed upon each piece, whereupon it melted into black mush.
“They convert it back into carbon,” Galen murmured. “They’re amazing.”
“Yes. We need more of them to handle the workload,” said the leader.
Silence descended. The images dissolved.
Everybody looked at her.
“Well,” she said. “I hope the Yetis thrive.”
“As do we,” a council member said pointedly.
The quiet made her uncomfortable. “What do they eat down there?”
“Roots.” Galen stared at her. “Vegetables, legumes. Phosphorescent light grows their gardens.”
“Cool. Do they hunt animals?”
Galen sniffed. “No flesh eating in the interior.”
He stepped back, deferring to the council.
The leader said, “Yes, we need more Yetis.”
Davann nodded. “I hope they have lots of babies.”
“You could be one of them.”
“Me?” she squeaked. They were so hairy, she couldn’t tell females from males.
“W- wouldn’t that take me backwards in my progress?” They were barefoot. She couldn’t imagine what they might step in.
“A Yeti life, my dear, will develop your heart.”
“Well now – well now – I could go back to California instead, and set up a foundation to reduce garbage. You could give me philanthropic friends? We could do amazing things.” She recalled the elegant swimming pool and gardens at a hoity-toity function she had once attended.
“You could do an amazing thing for your heart and your compassion, when you live as a Yeti.”
“Eww.” Whoops, wrong word. She pushed her palm over her mouth. Oh heck, they could see right through her anyhow.
“We see this is a shock for you, compared to your recent life and its trappings. Yet it will feel refreshing. This is exactly the remedy you need.”
“But I – look, that’s not all my garbage. I’m just one person. Could I just clean up my own?”
“That misses the point of heart development. Besides, it’s impossible now to separate your stuff from others’ stuff.”
“I – might – recognize it?” She bit her lip. “If you gave me that power?” she mumbled.
“My dear, you’ve never been a Yeti before. You might enjoy it. This is our recommendation.”
“Hmm,” she whimpered.
“You aren’t required to do anything at all. It’s always your choice. Just relax in Paradise for as long as you wish, until you want a change of some kind. Then – who knows?”
©2020 Diane Langlois Stallings
Thanks to pxhere for this image.