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Wednesday, June 29, 2011

From "The Afternet" by Peter Empringham

The AfternetSaint Peter walked across and gently touched the cool metal jacket of the nearest processor. In front of him was a big red button, flashing rhythmically; as a reflex it created in him a desperate need to press.

‘What’s this?’ he pointed to the button.

Saraswati did some kind of extraordinary shimmy with her arms, like an epileptic fit at a darts tournament, then smiled at him benignly.

‘It sets the machine running. Press it, and all of the admissions to Heaven and Hell will be performed by this machine. Let’s face it, you’re eight hundred years old and you can’t cope with the workload you have now. Imagine what it’s going to be like when they really start going at it.’

Peter looked from the smiling deity back to the sweep of the enormous lighted room and then his eye was drawn to the flashing red button. No more whining usurers, loan sharks, stinking thieves, beggars, devil worshippers, sister-, daughter-, brother-, son-, or motherf*@!rs demanding their place in heaven. Conversely, no innocents, blessed children, good Samaritans, devoted worshippers…Saraswati began to play Greensleeves. Saint Peter pressed the button.

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