In this most significant for him day Artem Sergeyevich was, as they say, out of sorts. As a matter of fact, his spirit, which has grown extremely tired from a fifty-years life, was a flyer of sorts, soaring over a silently lying in a bed body, performing such sorts of air pirouettes, which would surely give a birth to envy in hearts of even the best of human stuntmen and acrobats. The body in its turn didn’t show even the slightest signs of what is usually considered to be the only one given to a human life. And how hard did the spirit of Artem Sergeyevich try to bring it back to life! He even tried both slaps in a face and uppercuts – yet no to avail.
“What, did I really died?” the spirit, floating over a body, was thinking to himself. “Silently, touching and warning in advance no one, died in a dream? And for what’s sake was all that, I would like to know? And where should I, as a matter of fact, go on now?”
Whatever you may say, but hard is the realization that you are still alive and standing nearby an already breathless corpse, and not every Artem Sergeyevich can easily bear with it. Having performed some more dozens of somersaults and finally convinced himself, that he is indeed a little bit off himself – at least habitual to himself – the spirit of Artem Sergeyevich silently sat down on the edge of a bed near his last vessel and got lost in thoughts.
“What did I live for – and for whose sake did I die? What was the meaning of this, so suddenly ended life, if it turned out all of a sudden that it was not the only one? What is life and why do we need death, eventually? Where have I got and what do I do now?” these and a great number of similar to these questions soared in a consciousness of incorporeal Artem Sergeyevich, and the lack of clear answers to them forced his spirit to become more and more out of sorts.
He was distracted from these sad afterlife reflections by someone’s soft coughing behind his back. From a surprise, the spirit of Artem Sergeyevich made yet another somersault, turning towards a source of the sound. Directly in front of him a beautifully looking – perhaps even to a degree of how Artem Sergeyevich thought about himself some thirty corporal years ago – a young man with snow-white wings was standing.
“Ghm!” perplexedly said Artem Sergeyevich.
“And kind spirit to you as well!” the young man said in reply.
“Who are you, actually, and what’s your name? And why do you creep towards me to silently?”
“You can call me as the Guide of the Other World”, the young winged man replied kindly. “I was sent here to help you to orient in these, so to say, unusual for your circumstances, and further to accompany you through all necessary instances.”
“Indeed! Circumstances are truly unusual,” agreed Artem Sergeyevich. “I have died, damn it! And I had thought that I would live forever! It’s absolutely unusual!”
“In the highest, that is, in spiritual degree,” smiled the Guide. “Not every day we are given a privilege do die, isn’t it? Though some people began to consider that they have been dying since own birth… So, are you prepared to move further?”
“And where shall we go, I would like to know?” Artem Sergeyevich interrogatively raised his eyebrows. “Don’t I need to say a final goodbye to my relatives? I, by the way, had two children and a wife in this former world. It’s very unlikely that they will rejoice of hearing about my sudden death.”
“I am afraid, Artem Sergeyevich, that they won’t be able to see or hear you any longer. If only through dreams – but you will have to ask for a special permission in the Department of Dreams in that case, and at present times it’s seldom given to, so to speak, temporarily and untimely resting in peace ones. Therefore, we should move forward together, there is no other way. Especially when control periods for passing through necessary social instances are strictly limited. So, are you ready to go with me?”
“Well, if I have no other options left…” the spirit of Artem Sergeyevich made a helpless gesture with its translucent hands.
“You had a broadest free choice when you have lived in so habitual to your physical world, Artem Sergeyevich. And now we must accurately follow well-established procedures.”
Having that said, the Angel, who has called himself as the Guide, raised own covered with feathers hand, drawing a spiral in the air. With each newly made pass of his hands, this spiral was becoming brighter and more visible and finally turned into a gracefully looking sparkling tunnel.
“Transition between the worlds,” explained the Guide. “Some people see it by themselves when they leave own bodies. Let’s go,” he continued, having taken Artem Sergeyevich by hand.
Two figures – one of a casting golden light Angel and a gray-brown figure of Artem Sergeyevich’s spirit – bravely stepped into the tunnel. At first, something pinched in the eyes of Artem Sergeyevich, then started to sparkle, then sparkles began falling down, his head started spinning and from what he has seen somewhere inside these tunnel labyrinths he finally lost his consciousness…
* * *
“Scatty one you’ve got this time. He even didn’t manage to pass through circles on his own.”
“Few are capable of doing that now. Therefore, they send us more and more often for them, you know that well.”
“And I should guide a suicide spirit tomorrow, his term of near-earth tortures has just come to an end, and term for spiritual pain has just started.”
“That’s not a big deal. I was once given a mission to guide a couple, who for the sake of eternal love, as our opponents inspired them, jumped together into the industrial tank, filled with sulfuric acid. You’d better not see, how their souls looked like when their term of Transition has finally come…”
“Well, they are not the first, and surely not the last.”
“Looks like your ward got recovered at last. His consciousness resonates from a surprise on awakening, I can feel it even from here.”
“Yes, precisely. Guide him to estimators. Man, he will be surprised.”
“Well, till our next meeting in the sky, brothers.”
With these thoughts, by means of which he communicated with his colleagues from department and hierarchy, a young white-winged man went with a fast pace to Artem Sergeyevich, who was lying on a lawn’s grass of emerald color.
“It’s good to see that you have finally regained consciousness,” he answered with a smile to a spirit of Artem Sergeyevich, which was drowsily looking around. “I had to lull you somewhere in the middle of our journey, because due to the nature of your earth affairs the route, that we were obliged to take, as well as inhabitants of these other-worldly tracks were not the most pleasant ones,” he added quietly.
“I… what… where… oh!” barely managed to mutter our hero.
“You are in a special place now, on fields of restoration and healing. But we need to continue our journey because we are already somewhat out of a required time schedule. By the way, while you were resting, I have already managed to bring all necessary informational materials to the department of returned souls, including your family tree, data on your lifetime affairs, habits and hobbies, merits and demerits. Therefore, at present time we, my dear fellow traveler, need to proceed to estimators in bookkeeping department, and after that – vast waiting halls will wait for you for a whole million of earth years. As writers of your world said – ‘One million of years before doomsday’… or the end of darkness. It depends on your final score, calculated by estimators in the bookkeeping department.”
“What sort of… bookkeeping department? Is that a business of… sorts? Sales of tunnel attractions or souls?” muttered half-asleep Artem Sergeyevich.
“Oh, by no means,” the Guide burst out laughing, “no sales at all! Our accountants neither buy nor sell human souls, don’t you worry. They are engaged in the estimation of their quality because only qualitative souls will be taken into account. Well, and how qualitative is your soul by our standards, you will learn soon enough. I am, by the way, will be interested in knowing that as well,” the Guide smiled politely.
With these words being said, he took a soul of Artem Sergeyevich on his hands, made a jump from the ground and soared up into celestial heights.
* * *
“Good afternoon, Rael,” smiled the young white-winged girl in a celestial-blue dress. “Newcomer?”
“And in a first-person,” answered the Guide, lowering Artem Sergeyevich on a habitual to him soil, which had a shape of shining in bluish shade floor. “Registration department must have already sent you his data, check incoming messages. You calculate and estimate him now, and I will be waiting in a corridor, all right?”
“Certainly,” smiled the estimator, who obviously liked Rael. “So kind of you to carry him by yourself. People have become noticeably weaker recently. Unlike the times when the leader Jesus personally descended into their world…”
“By the way, I wanted to ask that a long ago, – does your program takes it into account? Well, weakening of human spirit?”
“It does,” Angelina smiled. “But that’s a minus, as you certainly understand.”
“I do…” Rael answered lingeringly. “Well, I am waiting in a corridor there. Come in, Artem Sergeyevich, take a sit.”
“Take a seat!” repeated the accountant and moved up a chair to Artem Sergeyevich, who unwillingly sat down. “So, let’s take a look…”
Within ten minutes the girl diligently typed something on the input device of her visor, and then uttered:
“It’s a real pity, Artem Sergeyevich, but it turns out that your balance score is negative. Minus one hundred fifty absolute points. And we, unfortunately, have no plans to take souls with negative balances on a balance of the new world.”
“What does it mean – negative? What kind of calculations are these? What sort of absolute points?! Madhouse of sorts!” Artem Sergeyevich’s spirit was indignant.
“You see, in calculations of quality of human souls we use absolute points of Light. Unlike the conventional financial points, which are being used in your physical world and have blinded so many souls of their adherents, we use the evolutionary measure that is not subject to time. Here, I will show you,” and with these words, the girl took a long printed-out sheet and gave it to Artem Sergeyevich. “Here, for example, your care for your family, – its worth was estimated to be equal to a hundred forty-five absolute points. It’s an average result because you have been very little engaged into education and upbringing of your children, having shifted these duties to your wife, and devoting the most part of your time to building a career. By the way, summed total results of your labor feats turned out to be equal to fifteen absolute points, – that’s a very small amount, because the social usefulness of your work, associated with the deception of people, wasn’t high at all, and in this job you didn’t show much diligence. And for the treason of your wife – performed twice, it worth noticing – you get minus forty-seven absolute points…”
“Wait a moment, wait a moment!” cried Artem Sergeyevich. “Why is it only fifteen points?! I am a Holy Father, believer, I turned people into your belief, led them to the Christ! What, have you decided to mock your loyal servants?!”
“Wait a moment, wait a moment!” laughed the accountant. “Why do you persist in calling yourself a saint? Saints by our criteria are those souls, whose balance exceeds ten thousand absolute points. And regarding the believer… you see, but due to those events, which have taken place many centuries after our Jesus arrival into your world, and your attitude towards him, we ceased to use that concept in our calculations. It was fair for the first Christians, but nowadays every idler is ready to beat breast and call himself a believer – and we don’t even speak of how many souls have been tortured, exhausted and corporally killed for the sake of that ‘belief’, and how many self-deceptions were made due to illusions of its presence.
Therefore, we no longer use your pseudo-belief in our calculations, we use the concept of ‘soul dignity’. Tell me, Artem Sergeyevich, is it worthy in your opinion to urge to kill gentiles?”
“I did no such things!” muttered our not-really-a-hero with rage.
“And how many times did you call your belief as the best ever existed, do you remember? And how did you publicly derided those, whom you called as atheists on your sermons, have you forgotten? And how proud you were of the power of your faith and your readiness to kill anyone to keep it strong, should I remind you? Why don’t you believe us now, when we are telling you about you? And your wish to a pedestrian, I quote – ‘Where the hell are you going? Rest in peace, walking creature!’ – which you have made exactly a day before parting with your body, when you were rushing inside your BMW through city streets and have nearly brought him down, costed you, for example, minus five absolute points. Here, you can check it all by yourself. Everything is measured correctly.”
“Why do prayers for souls of our parishioners have a negative value, aye?” Artem Sergeyevich continued to be angry while reading an estimation sheet, issued to him.
“Because you demanded from our Supreme Commander, whom you traditionally call as the God, to add a certain amount of absolute points of Light to these souls, which in most cases don’t deserve that at all – and you seek to get a reward for similar generosity by yourself in the form of those conventional financial points. This also concerns your prayers based on schedule instead of call of your soul – they are estimated to have a small, yet negative value.”
“Well, you know!” Artem Sergeyevich got furious, “you will condemn each and every one that way! Even saints!”
“No, saints are the best judges for themselves, even during their lifetime.”
“And what is there… five and a half thousands of absolute points?!” Artem Sergeyevich cried out from surprise, having seen with a corner of his eyes one of the lines in the estimation sheet of another soul, that was lying on a table.
“Rescue of a soul,” Angelina answered with a smile. “Absolutely sincere and real. Plus, five hundred absolute points for the rescue of a cat, whom this woman cured, having sold out a part of own hand-painted pictures for these purposes. Her art and creativity, which has inspired several other men to develop own talents, was estimated to be worth two and a half thousands of points. Our scales are extremely accurate, Artem Sergeyevich, have no doubt of it.”
“Go to hell with these scales-mails-miracles!” Artem Sergeyevich exclaimed in a fit of temper. “Where do I sign here? I sign here and go to my rest place for a million of years! I deserved that!”
“Wait a moment!” suddenly exclaimed the heavenly accountant. “Our system shows a change in your estimated data. The matter is that… your wife… she learned about your double betrayal during your lifetime, but… just at this moment there, on the Earth… she forgave you and asked us to help you in any way possible. Now your balance is… let me see… now you have zero points, Artem Sergeyevich. Well… probably, I should congratulate you with that. Now you have a chance, whether you deserve it or not, – she added quietly.”
* * *
“What a bitch,” thought Artem Sergeyevich to himself while being led by his Angel-Guide to the halls for a very long awaiting of the Court. “Though by the end of my life, but she had finally made something worthy. I beat her in youth for a reason, not for nothing!”
“Zero… a total zero,” thought the angelic Guide, while looking through the estimation sheet, issued to his ward.
“Saint…” thought Angelina with a smile, watching how the balance of soul of an artist and Artem Sergeyevich’s wife, who has saved his soul this day, confidently overpasses the mark of ten thousand of absolutely unconditional points.