Exiting Babylon

When we’re given the transport code to the next life, where, so we imagine, we’ll be told of and be able to see all the grand, strange, complex, and unimaginable intricacies of the universe, other dimensions and tasty eateries in other time dimensions, we’re told by some religions and non, that we’ll be able to see and understand all the decisions we made and the impact they made upon the lives of others – maybe.

Exiting Babylon

A Short Story

***

“What station are you going to?” the attendant asked.

“Station?”

“Where are you getting off”?

I”‘m not getting off anywhere,” she said.  “Actually, could you tell me where I am?

“Look out the window there. See the landscape passing by? You’re on a train taking you somewhere. That somewhere is up to you to decide.”

Not wanting to cause a sensation of sorts, she blurted out a fictious name of city that never existed.

“Garden’s Rest, eh?” the attendant repeated. “Very well, it’s the next stop, in about 15 minutes. You’ll be exiting in the cabin in front of this one.”

She quietly, yet a bit frantically looked about her. Travelers all about, with all seats taken except the one next to her.  She saw a very elderly man walking down the aisle toward her. A bit hunched over, wearing a tastefully tailored 3-piece tweed suit, thinning white hair and pale blue eyes, he gave her a smile and sat down in the vacant seat next to her.

“A beautiful day for traveling,” he said.

She half smiled at him and continued to stare straight ahead.

“I’ll be your guide.  My name is Hugo,” he said.

“My guide…to where.  I’m sorry, you said your name is Hugo…who the hell are you?”

“No one from Hell, I assure you.  Just your guide…to Garden’s Rest.”

“But there is no such place. I made it up,” she said.

“I know, that is why you need a guide.”

She turned her gaze to the hillside rolling by, remembering the last thought she had before finding herself on the train. It was an exasperated thought of ‘when’?

“Samantha, or should I call you by the name you prefer, Sam…do you know why you’re on this train?”

She never knew any man by the name of Hugo.

“Do you know that the planet you’ve left is known as the Babylon of the universe? The gods, or as you might put it, the creators, abandoned it long ago. The landscape you see rushing by out there is your new home, Gardens Rest.

Oh, there were flickering souls here and there throughout your ages who spent their lives attempting to be an example of the life the creators wanted for all. But for the most part, they were rejected time after time. Once the non-humans multiplied and took over control of all forms of government, media and entertainment – we call it mind manipulation – your breed stood no chance.”

“My breed?”

“Human,” he said, pulling out a pipe from his vest pocket and tobacco pouch from another.

“You know you can’t smoke in here.”

Hugo laughed.  “Of course I can.  Such rudimentary pleasures that some humans relish are completely accepted.  The simple pleasures that the non-humans banned – all is welcome here.”

His hands were steady as he lit his pipe.  He puffed away, and the scent of wintergreen was refreshing to smell.

Waves of nauseating ignorance took over her. “I still cannot grasp any of what you are telling.”

“But you will once you step off the train. You see, your life on Babylon has ended. That corrupted den of vileness is a memory, soon to be erased from your mind.  All that you will take with you to your new home is your body and soul.  Your orange hair, your freckles, your upturned nose, your sense of purpose, sense of humor, and most importantly, your sense of truth and love goes with you. In fact, any and all who transport to Gardens Rest, are the purest of humans.”

“What of those whom I loved?”

“They will note the passing of your life as most humans and non-humans do – with the obligatory celebration of the things you loved…reading, poetry, classical music, smoking cigarettes – of the kindness and love in your heart and soul.  Sadly, they will miss the entire point of your life on Babylon.”

“And?” Sam impatiently asked.

“There is no ‘and’ here. You are of the 1%, Sam. The point of your life was truth. You lived it, you spoke of it and conducted your life in accordance with the truth. Many of the 1% are exiting Babylon presently for that hell hole cannot stand for your kind.  Those one or two souls whom you loved and who loved you during your life – those who lived truth as you have – you shall see them again.  Count on it.”

The train quietly came to a stop.  Hugo stood up, gave one last puff on his pipe and extended his hand for Sam.

“Your last thought was when…your prayer has been answered, for when has become now.”

***

Tonight’s musical offering:

VIVALDI: Concerto in A minor ~ for two violins ~ Orchestra Perpetuum Mobile ~ Conductor Igor Longato

Photo by Johannes Plenio on Unsplash

2 comments

  1. where is the door to the station….i want to go NOW…not after I die!! what a beautiful story! Thank you for writing it. I would very much like a one way ticket please!

    Liked by 3 people

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