Sunday, April 12, 2009

Short Story: Hell Yeah, It's Real!

Scott Bailey posted a short story on his blog, and I told him I would post one in return.

This is very short, but I like it. I submitted it for a contest, I think it was in Writer's Digest. The premise was "A couple quickly finds themselves in reality TV Hell" and this is what my twisted mind came up with...

Hell Yeah, It’s Real!
By Richard Daley

I died about three years ago, I think. I’m not really sure. I stopped counting after my first day in heaven. It’s pretty nice up here, and it can distract you from the memories of life on earth. There are still some things in heaven that make you think about earth. Things that really fuel your nostalgia, like a cool fall breeze feeding the flames of a campfire.

There are trees, lakes, mountains, and beaches. They are communal comfort items. It seems like each person who dies brings what they liked best on earth to heaven, so with each new soul, heaven gets a new gift to share with its occupants. We don’t have to use all the comfort items, though, and that’s a good thing because last week some lady’s contribution was a smelly old blanket she has as a kid. Once it was made available as a comfort item, all of heaven smelled like moth balls for a split second.

My contribution was something better than that. There is only one thing on earth that I could not live without: reality TV. I watched everything. Dancing. Singing. Comics. Dating. Assholes living together. Everything. I even counted professional wrestling as reality TV and watched that, too.

I may have a biased opinion, but I think reality TV made heaven better. Heaven feels earthier than ever before. It’s funny if you think about it. When we were alive we wanted to make heaven on earth, now we’re trying to make earth in heaven. At least the bad stuff is filtered out. All the bad stuff is safely tucked away in hell.

Hell. What a peculiar place. I’m really glad I didn’t go there. The souls in hell are like the afterlife’s version of rednecks. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying all rednecks go to hell. Heck, I was a redneck. I did choose reality TV as my comfort item, remember? It’s just that the people in hell, they’re just so backwards. That’s why I chose them to be the subject of heaven’s first reality TV show, Hell Yeah, It’s Real!

My favorite episode was this husband and wife that didn’t know they died. I can’t even imagine how messed up their lives were that they didn’t even notice they were in hell, but I swear to you they didn’t. It was hilarious. She kept saying, “I’ll hate you as long as I live,” and the husband kept yelling, “One of these days I’ll kill you!” Everyone in heaven that was watching would laugh and laugh, because they were both already dead! Life is really good in heaven, it doesn’t take much to amuse us.

That couple was on again recently, and they were in top form. He was trying to get dressed because he was late to leave for the airport, and she was trying to get him to fix the car first. He kept yelling at her to forget about the car and help him find his tie. In the end, he found his tie and got dressed, and then realized that since the car was broken he couldn’t get to the airport anyways, and then the sparks really started flying! Then, like Groundhog Day, they went to bed and the same thing happened the next day. And the next...

We don’t feel bad watching people in hell. On earth, even I would feel guilty sometimes, like I was violating someone’s personal space. Not that that stopped me, but at least the guilty feeling helped me get into heaven. But for the people on Hell Yeah, It’s Real! it’s different. None of us feels bad for watching them. They deserve to be stuck on reality TV. After all, they are in hell…

9 comments:

Litgirl01 said...

Cool! :-)

Lady Glamis said...

LOL! Like in Groundhog Day, they repeated it over and over. That was my favorite part.

You have an interesting idea here. I chuckled through. Thanks for sharing!

Justus M. Bowman said...

An interesting perspective on Heaven, or Hell...I can't tell. Perhaps both.

scott g.f. bailey said...

"all of heaven smelled like moth balls"

I liked that.

Interesting (and sort of creepy) premise. Me, I'm hoping there's no TV in Heaven.

Anita said...

Funny!

It's shorter than I was expecting...I wonder what word count makes a story a short story...if I h ave time to find out, I'll let you know (even if you don't want to)!

Davin Malasarn said...

I like the voice in this piece. It's very straight forward and trustable. The story was funny, but my favorite part of it was the heartwarming stuff, like how everyone gets to pick some things that go into heaven.

Rick Daley said...

Thanks everyone. This is very short, almost micro. I think it's about 650 words. I like the idea, though.

I've always imagined that Heaven is what you'd want it to be. It may be a beach for me, mountains for you...

It turns out a lot of my short stories are really just expanded premises (is that the right pluralization?). The good news is that most of the other ones could easily be expanded into novella or novel length if I dedicate the time to it.

Vodka Mom said...

:-)

did you win??? Great short..........

Rick Daley said...

No, I didn't win. First place went to something more serious.

I just dig up the link:
http://writersdigest.com/article/yourstory-13/

It was limited to 750 words, that's why it was so short.