Rich man goes to Heaven

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  House: Booksie Classic

He was a stern man who earned every penny he ever made. When he arrived at the pearly gates he immediately demanded to know the disposition of his money.

Rich Man Goes to Heaven
A short story by Andy Andrews – November 2010
Arrival
He wanted to know the disposition of his money.
St Peter’s expression didn’t change one bit; “It’s available to you in its entirety,” he said.
“Very well,” Rich Man sternly approved. “There’s another matter we must discuss--“
“Next!” St. Peter interrupted. Rich man was nudged away and on down the line. Way needed made for the next up to see St Peter. After all, the line was always late - sort of ‘very last minute late’ so to speak.
Rich Man began looking for the supervisor of the line of people he was in, who were walking somewhere for some reason. He didn’t like following behind people, he wanted to be in front of the line, the way it always had been. And he liked to know where he was going as well. When he tried to slow down and step aside, he felt pain.
It came about that the line stopped moving and someone pointed and told him “Your money is over there.”
He saw tall stacks of large bills gathered together and there was a large sign on it with his name. He was pleased to see the bills stacked neatly in tall stacks and even more pleased to see a ledger on top. He scanned the ledger and saw there had been a full accounting of every penny, and so at that he was most pleased.
He glanced around for a supervisor; he wanted to find out where he could store his money. There was no way he would leave it lying around like this; someone might steal it, he thought, I don’t know these people. But no one was around and he suddenly didn’t know what to do.
He thought about walking away to find somebody, but he didn’t want to leave the money unguarded. He decided to wait until someone came by and he would ask for a bit of temporary assistance. He might even offer to pay them. He could start by offering them the minimum wage to stand guard as long as they accounted for their hours properly that is, and there might even be a small tip for them as well, even though he was loathe to do that. He didn’t approve of ‘over-paying’ people needlessly.
He kept waiting but no one came by. He peered into the vast whiteness surrounding him in all directions and then he strained to hear a sound - any sound – but there were none. He decided to be patient and simply wait it out. Sooner or later someone HAD to show up.
And so he began to walk slowly around the stacked bills and he smiled as he stared at stack upon stack – his life’s work. It suddenly occurred to him that he was losing interest on the money. “That’s a cardinal sin,” his brain reminded him. “You can’t have good money sitting around doing nothing – no returns or leverage, and thus no influence!”
He needed to get things started in this new place he found himself in – where ever it was and whatever they called it. No one had yet bothered to tell him what the name of this place was and he was beginning to not like being here. “They’re understaffed,” he said, “I’ll have a talk with the management first thing – I’ll tell them to schedule a meeting.”
Time passed by and he became more and more impatient. Not only was his money losing the interest it could be accumulating, but no one was coming around so he could demand to see a manager and get a few things straightened out. Things needed to be straightened out sometimes – people needed to be made aware of the lack of their abilities and he could do that well – better than anyone. He never pulled any punches; never.
As more time passed and still no one came around, he began to slowly venture a few steps away while keeping his stacks in sight. He didn’t want to go too far, where he couldn’t see it anymore, he might lose it again like he had before they showed him where it was again.
He kept venturing further and further away. Once, he almost lost total sight of his stacks and he quickly ran back to stand beside them again. That’s when an idea came to him. “I can leave a trail,” he said. “Use the small bills to leave a trail, until I can get someone’s attention, and then pick it back up before someone gets it – the trail money.”
He began to look closely at the stacks of bills; they were all hundreds. He discounted that idea quickly, as it would be too tempting for someone to stop themselves from following it, and eventually would lead them right to the entire stack. He needed a better plan.
At some point it came to him that nothing whatsoever was happening. He didn’t know how long that had been going on, but he suddenly knew it to be the case. His mind jumped immediately to the interest rate because if he could determine how long nothing had been happening, he could calculate how much money he had lost, and then he could invoice them for time lost just waiting. He hated waiting around like this. “Time is money,” he said loudly.
And then another idea came to him; he would call for service! But his desk wasn’t here and there were no phones and no secretary, nor were there any doors he could open and yank somebody inside and tell them to ‘go get so-and-so immediately.”
“Over here!” he said loudly. He listened for a reply but there was none.
“Hello!” he said louder. And then he yelled “HEY!” But there was still no reply. He tried again; “OVER HERE!” he screamed, but to no avail.
He was becoming frustrated now, and began to pace back and forth as he contemplated what to do. He didn’t like being ignored, especially about legitimate concerns over the interest he was losing.
The numbers kept ringing about in his mind, the long term sound investment rates, and the shorter term high risk rates which he seldom ventured into unless he had a man’s promise on the guaranteed return. He didn’t know what they would offer him around here. “Probably don’t have a good plan,” he thought. “They’re losing money too. This place is doomed for failure at this rate!”
He kept multiplying and adding and dividing the numbers in his head and the more he did it the angrier he became. A thought began to assert itself in his mind; “Maybe you should just go ahead and try to find somebody,” the thought said. But he ignored it, didn’t like that idea at all – he would wait it out.
After more time seemed to pass, he began to forget what he had decided to do and what it was he had been waiting for. But when he turned and looked at the money stacks again, it reminded him of his cause and he suddenly brightened back up and felt better about things.
“And so I’ll just wait here until someone comes along,” he told himself.
And so the cycle and the conflict went with Rich Man – an insurmountable conflict it seemed; he couldn’t bear to lose sight of his money for one second, but until he did that very thing, he was losing money in interest because it was just sitting here yet to be invested.
The conflict began to make him sweat and he tried to WILL it away from his mind but he could not. Every time he recalculated how much he was losing he became even more frustrated, and he could not stop himself from continually recalculating. And when he thought about taking action to venture out and find someone to help, he couldn’t bear to do that either; that meant leaving his money unguarded, and that was totally unacceptable. But unless he capitulated to the unacceptable, he would continue to lose money. He had come to the ultimate of dilemmas.
He was in a vicious circle; one which he could not extract himself from no matter how hard he tried. For a man like him there seemed to be no way out. But the pressure was building - he was losing money.
**
Decision Time
At once there appeared a person who began to speak; “You must decide soon.”
“Now see here,” Rich Man harrumphed. “I demand to see your superiors—“
“You must decide now.”
“I said, I demand to see the management--” Rich Man shouted.
“What will be your decision?”
“My decision on what?” Rich man asked angrily. “And stop saying that--”
Suddenly there appeared a road and then a fork in the road with signs pointing left and right. The sign pointing left read MORE MONEY while the sign to the right read HEAVEN.
Rich Man loved these decisions, the no-brainers.
“Go,” person said.
He looked around at his money stacks and said to person; “I require a courier to guard--”
“Go,” person interrupted and repeated.
“No!” Rich man exclaimed. “I DEMAND to see the BOSS--”
And then the person and the road were gone. He looked around at his money and saw it was still there. “HEY!” he demanded frustrated. “COME BACK HERE!” But the person didn’t come back and the road didn’t come back.
Enraged, Rich Man kicked at a stack of bills sending them scattering all about. The other stacks began to sway as if they might fall over and he hustled to stop them from leaning. He wrapped his arms around them as much as he could but managed to only make things worse, and then they were falling over. When all stopped falling he saw that his money stacks were now no more than a big money pile.
He slumped down to a sitting position and started to put his head in his hands, before the thought came to him that by sitting, he couldn’t see if someone might be sneaking up on the other side of the pile. He jumped up quickly and looked all around for such a thief as might be, but found none.
He was suddenly furious. “I’M LOSING MONEY DAMMIT!” he shouted at the top of his lungs.
And then he saw the ledger lying open with a high-lighted column. He yanked it up and looked. The right-most column read INTEREST and someone had written in PAID IN FULL. He heard a noise behind him and when he looked around, he saw a new stack of bills sitting separate from the pile. It had a small note attached which read INTEREST.
He counted it and looked at the ledger again and then he smiled a great smile. “Bastards paid up huh,” he said. “I got their attention and they paid up! They know who they’re dealing with alright!”
He whistled a tune as he began to restack his money. When he had finished, he slid the interest stack alongside and quickly recalculated the rate. It seemed they had overpaid or else more time had gone by than he had thought.
“It can’t possibly be a time error,” he said. “Because that would mean I’ve been here for 10 years. That means they got the rate wrong.”
He wasn’t going to say anything else out loud about that. They screwed up and so be it; they should be more careful, get better accountants around here, he told himself. He would take it and not say a word about it.
**
Back In the Circle – His Wife
He had restacked the money ages ago it seemed, and he had waited forever for someone to come again, but they hadn’t. He tried to yell for somebody again but to no avail. Lately, he had once again begun to fret about losing money and he had started calculating what he should be advanced due to the lack of service.
He couldn’t say when or how and especially he couldn’t say why, but suddenly and out of nowhere, there stood the person again. “You must decide soon,” the person said.
“Now see here!” Rich Man scolded. “Hold ON--”
“You must decide now.”
“Stop—“
“What will be your decision?”
And the road with the fork appeared again. This time, the sign to the left read MONEY (just as before), and to the right TO REUNITE WITH AND SEE YOUR WIFE.
“Go,” the person said as he waved his hand toward the road.
“I STILL need a guard here first!” he blasted at person.
“Go.”
“You’re not listening--”
And the road and the person were suddenly gone.
Sometime later, another lone stack of bills appeared and as before, the note attached read INTEREST. He hustled the stack of bills up tightly against the others before checking the ledger. “They did it again,” he thought, “messed up again, paid me for ten years again. Hah!”
**
Back In the Circle - His Son
It happened again just as before, with the difference being the sign on the right side of the fork in the road – the sign said YOUR SON HAS ARRIVED AND WISHES TO REUNITE. Otherwise, the situation was identical.
And to his delight another interest payment arrived and he hustled it in and stacked it up neatly against the others.
**
Back In the Circle - His Sister
He waited again - waited for something to happen - but nothing happened. Until the entire scenario happened again, just as it had twice now, with one exception – there was a change in the writing on the sign. This time the sign read YOUR SISTER HAS ARRIVED AND WISHES TO REUNITE.
**
Last Time through the Circle
Somehow the time passed by, and as before and always, he began to fret over the loss of money due to the inactivity. His frustration grew to unbearable proportions, when at the last minute possible a PERSON appeared out of nowhere. This time it was a different person than before; he was sure it was St. Peter himself – the one who had greeted him when he first came to this place.
St Peter did not speak but waved his hand outward and a single road WITHOUT a fork appeared. This road had no left or right, but it seemed to go downhill out in the distance - at least from what he could see.
He turned to look at his money and saw it had been stacked neatly on a giant wagon with big wheels and a tongue and handle for one to pull and guide it.
And then the strangest of things occurred. The white surroundings began to fade very slowly to dark and the dark seemed to close in around him and his wagon full of money. St Peter didn’t need to tell him what to do either, he seemed to somehow know. He reached down and picked up the handle, and began to pull the wagon out on the road.
**
The Toll Booth
He was walking along the white road with dark walls and dark top, and he was doing OK and all seemed well, until he came upon of all things tocome upon - a toll booth with a big gate. The toll fee was written on a big sign; ONE MILLION DOLLARS.
“Bullshit!” he swore. “No!”
He looked back behind him at the road he had been on – it was gone to black and there was no going back. The darkness closed quickly behind him and suddenly he heard voices in that darkness – eerie sounding voices and other strange sounds of things rattling and clawing and snapping. He turned to the wagon and lifted the million dollars from it and placed it where the sign said PUT HERE.
The gate opened and he pulled the wagon through and quickly put distance between him and the toll booth area and those horrible sounds. Eventually, he stopped for a break and began walking around his wagon inspecting his stacks. His mind began to ease some until he noticed the darkness closing in behind him again, and he heard those sounds again, and so he picked up the tongue and moved forward again.
The road seemed to suddenly have a slight tilt downhill he thought; the wagon is much easier to pull. And that’s when he looked ahead and saw another toll booth. He tried to pull up short and stop, but the wagon was hard to stop and he was unable to stop it, until it bumped up against the toll booth gate and came to rest.
TWO MILLION DOLLARS the sign read.
Rich Man swore loudly but quickly toned down as the noises and darkness behind him closed in. He quickly shelled out the two million but decided to hold back ten thousand. He sat the shorted amount where the sign said to do so and then he stood waiting. The gate didn’t open.
He quickly threw the ten thousand on the stack and jumped back when the toll fee sign began to blink INTEREST DUE it read - TEN THOUSAND MORE.
“Damn Thief!” Rich Man swore, as he took the money off the wagon and placed it on the spot. The gate swung open.
Rich man kicked the air as he pulled the wagon ahead which began to pick up speed quickly as the road became a bit steeper downhill. He found himself walking faster now, trying to stay ahead of the wagon and then his heart sank as he saw another toll booth up ahead in the distance. He tried to slow the wagon but it was too heavy. He finally got it stopped right at the new toll booth gate, where the fee sign read TEN MILLION DOLLARS.
“Illegal! This is GOUGING! I WON’T PAY IT!” he screamed furiously. But he did.
**
Hot Dog and Ice Water
At some point he abandoned the wagon – just left it there on the road. Hell, he didn’t need it anymore; he could carry the last stack of bills and he wouldn’t have to deal with the stupid wagon trying to roll over him. But the stack got heavy and he dropped it once. Some of the bills flew away into the dark area along the side of the road and when he tried to reach in and get his money back, something growled or groaned or snapped in the dark there, and so he hauled ass out of that spot and on down the road.
The air began to get warmer and he began to sweat, and he suddenly realized he was thirsty. He hadn’t thought about water or food in who knows how long - he didn’t – didn’t know how long it had been, but now he was very thirsty and very hungry.
That’s when he saw the hot dog vendor stand up ahead on the side of the road. HOT DOGS the big sign read and under that another said WATER. Rich man smiled as he wiped the sweat from his brow and licked his dry lips; “Perfect timing,” he said.
He walked up to the stand and saw there was no vendor guy, but there was a sign; HOT DOG $10K it read, and underneath that on a smaller sign WATER $10K.
“Rip Off!” Rich Man grumbled. He looked at everything and saw a hotdog simmering behind a glass wall, turning slowly on a stick, simmering as if it were the best of steaks ever. He could smell it! Next to the hotdog there sat bottled water - with ice rolling down its sides. He could see how cold it was, almost frozen but not yet; just perfect it was!
“That smells and looks like heaven!” he said. He looked all around to see if anybody was watching and then he looked at the glass and tried to see how he could snatch the hotdog and water out.
He would NEVER pay that much money for a hotdog and water. But he finally did.
**
The Final Balance
He found himself wondering if he had eaten the hotdog or drank the water. He had been walking along when he asked himself that question for some reason, and he decided that he must have did that but he couldn’t be sure. It was too hot to be sure of anything; it was so miserably hot.
The bottoms of his feet were burning hot and his forehead was pouring sweat on his face, and his lungs seemed to be hot. His eyes kept trying to squint closed on him and his knees were getting weak for some reason. He was beginning to wobble as he walked and suddenly his nose began to run onto his lips and then he felt the misery close in on him. He wanted to lie down and sleep.
“ON YOUR FEET!” somebody shouted at the same time a kick in his ribs came. “MOVE YOU SCUMBAG!” Then there came another harder kick – this time in his stomach.
He grunted and gasped for air, and then there were nasty and dirty hands yanking him and he was kicked in the butt and spun around. He stood wobbling and groaning as he saw a huge and tall angel in a white robe on one side of him and a small ugly and nasty dwarf with sharp crooked teeth and long fingernails like claws on the other side.
The angel in white spoke;
“Presenting Mister--”
The dwarf interrupted; “Yeah, yeah, yeah,” he said. “We already know who this guy is.” Nasty Dwarf shoved Rich Man over on his side of the gate and slammed the gate shut.
“You know Angel, I keep telling you and your boys, but you ain’t listening,” Dwarf scolded the Angel. “You don’t have to come down here to tell us about guys like this one here. Hell, we knew about HIM since day one. You’re wasting your time and MY time Angel!”
“Wait!” Rich man begged the Angel. “Please, don’t leave me here! Please!”
And then dwarf kicked him right on his spine, sending him hard to the hot ground where his hands burned as he tried to stop his fall. His face slid against something and he felt the skin pull away. It burned hot and he cried out in pain and fear and rolled over to stand up.
“PAY UP!” Nasty Dwarf yelled.
Rich man looked for the angel but it was gone.
“I said, PAY UP!” Nasty screamed as he kicked rich man hard on his right shin.
Rich Man staggered and wept as he reached into his pockets and drug out the last of his money. He held it up and the Nasty dwarf slapped it away out of his burning palms.
“YOU’RE WAY SHORT!” Nasty yelled in his face, as his yellow teeth and horrible breath made Rich man want to puke right in his face.
“TAKE HIM AWAY!” Nasty yelled to somebody, and then somebody was grabbing him and dragging him and kicking him along, as they cursed at him and called him names. Somebody spit on him and somebody else kicked him right in the balls.
“BIG RICH MAN HAH! NOW LOOK AT YOU!” he heard.
He was being chained at the ankles and then around his chest and neck. The chains hurt and burned and he cried out in pain and agony. And then he was in a line against a wall and his head was jerked forward, and his chin was slapped upwards.
“LOOK UP RICH BOY!” they yelled. “FACE UP BIG MAN!”
He saw the most horrible face in front of him, no more than a foot away. It was the most frightening thing he had ever seen in his life. His knees began to buckle and his heart began to pound with terror.
“Welcome to hell,” Satan said. “Look over there.” He pointed and Rich Man looked. Stacks and stacks and stacks of money were being shoveled into a huge fireplace by miserable bleeding men in shackles and chains.
“That’s your place,” the Devil said. “You owe me eternity. Get busy!”
Rich Man hobbled toward the line of men. “Thompson,” one of them said, and then another one piped up “Thompson old boy.”
And then a shovel got shoved at him and somebody kicked him in the ass again and told him to get to work.
Rich Man never knew it would end like this. He didn’t think he deserved it. This didn’t seem fair at all.
“GET TO WORK!” came from behind him along with a swift kick.
Rich Man scooped up his first shovel full of hundred dollar bills and slung them into one of hell’s furnaces.
“There you go,” Satan quipped as he walked up behind him. “The first one is always the toughest.”
Before he walked away, Satan took a swift kick at Rich Man’s already sore backside. As he walked away he chuckled and Rich Man thought he heard him say something about an elephant and the eye of a needle, but he wasn’t sure, because he got kicked in the rear-end again and got told to shovel faster or else.
**AA**


Submitted: November 12, 2010

© Copyright 2022 AndyMax. All rights reserved.

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LOUnaNIK

"liked"
I pity the rich man, now he is left with none of that precious money AND he is in Hell. He should have just left the pile when he had the chance. So rich, yet so poor.
Greed does not pay. Nice work.

Sun, November 14th, 2010 2:48am

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Thanks LounaNIK.

Tue, November 16th, 2010 12:01pm

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