Gatekeeper

   

Logline

A recently deceased man is sent to guard the gates of heaven. When he is told this is his job for eternity he escapes and goes on a search so that he can mend his wife’s broken heart.

 

Short Story

The Guardian walks on a white cloud. He approaches a golden gate that stands twelve feet tall and runs on each side for miles. Through the gate, down in the distance is a giant building. He wears a brown cloak. It covers his head and his body.

Demons with brown cloaks come running from behind at him and try to bite his face off. He then pushes them away and hit them hard in the face. They disappear right away. Their pale faces peak through the cloak. They have fanged teeth and dark shadows around their eyes. This goes on frequently throughout the day.

For some reason he cannot go through the gate. Its as if he is not allowed. For days he is alone in front of the gate just walking back and fourth. The day never changes. It stays bright. He doesn’t get hungry. He doesn’t get tired. He just keeps guard in front of the gates. And occasionally fight off demons.

St. Peter arrives and gives him a clipboard with blank papers attached and a large golden stick. He then goes away. So I have been waiting for someone, anyone other then the demons to show and when someone finally arrives I get a clipboard and a stick. Okay. I’ll go with it, the Guardian says.

The Guardian turned and before his eyes stood a line of people. Names appeared on the paper. He talks to each one of them, checking off their name on the list and letting them into the gates one by one. There’s been a few times when he sees demons entering in the line. He stops what he’s doing and goes over to them to smash them in the face with his stick. I guess that came in handy, he says.

He hasn’t really turned anyone away to hell, but there have been a few who have to wait before they can enter. Recently he’s noticed Peter hanging out and taking names. This is interesting. I now have a co-worker, the Guardian says. I want to talk to him but the day consists of taking names, opening the gate, letting them through and fighting off demons.

Time goes by and before I know it I am back to being alone. Peter is getting ready to leave. But before he does, the Guardian walks up to him. Peter, why am I here? You are the new gatekeeper, Peter says. I am the new what? I am training you to take over my job. Peter says. The Guardian asks, for how long? Eternity. Peter says. What about my family? I want to see my family. Can I go see my family? The Guardian asks. Sure. Peter says. But you have to come back here. This is your job now. You can go as much as you please to see them, but you will be here forever. The Guardian thinks for a minute. He stares blankly into thin air. Okay. I’m going to go now, the Guardian says.

As the Guardian walks through heaven in search of my family, he notices people are looking at him in fear. I guess it’s because of my brown cloak, he thinks to himself. The only things that can be seen are his hands. I would be scared too if I seen someone like me, he says.

Heaven seems to have streets filled with people. He sees his family in the distance. As he get closer he sees my wife Alma sitting on a rock facing the street. Behind her is a house. Mari, Alma’s sister, is standing with her back towards the Guardian facing Alma. Next to Mari is Leticia, their mom. Her back is also facing the Guardian. Next to Alma is their son, Roman. He wears a dark gray suit with light gray pin stripes and a white dress shirt. He too sits on a rock. His hand rests on Alma’s leg. He is a man, a much older man in his forties. He still has his baby face. The three of them are concerned for Alma. They all are just staring at her. She stares blankly passed them. The Guardian stops in his tracks and stares at his wife. He can tell she is lost without him. You see he died before any of them. And he knows she’s been waiting to see him. She gave up looking and she cannot live in heaven without knowing where he is. He can see the sadness in her face.

He continues to walk. He gets closer to the group. He walks between Mari and Leticia. As he passes them he thinks to himself, what is Mari doing here? She doesn’t believe in God. He laughs. He can tell they are all nervous. Alma doesn’t flinch. He stands in front of her. He knows Leticia and Mari are scared. He can feel their energy.

He reaches out his hands from underneath the cloak and places them in front of Alma. She doesn’t make any facial expressions but she knows they are her husband’s hands. She grabs them. He pulls her up. And they embrace. He instantly feels her pain relieve. He holds her tightly for ten years.

Peter walks back and fourth in front of the gates. Where is this guy? I was supposed to be done with this job.

 

*NOTE: I do not own the rights to the above image. It is clearly a depiction representing the story.

© Clint Horvath 2018. All Rights Reserved.