Gabe looked back at the line; that interminable line he’d just spent his first eternity in. It snaked out past the first cloud mountain, then around it, then looped over itself and disappeared into the distance. Back where he’d started, ages ago, just after dying.”Seriously?” he asked the angel at the gate.”Seriously. You don’t meet the requirements for this heaven.” Simple as that, it seemed. They could have told him earlier. Like an eternity ago. Inefficiencies of a bureaucracy as big as this one.”Are there others?” Gabe scratched his head. This wasn’t how dying was supposed to be. Well, he wasn’t sure how dying had supposed to be. His faith didn’t detail that. It just said what came after, once he’d gotten past the angels standing guard.Gabe had been a pious man: he went to church on Sundays, he hated folks the clergy told him to hate, and he even read the book they told him to. Well, parts of it, at least.And suddenly here it didn’t matter? That was basically what the angel had said. Everybody came from the same place and wound up in the same place, and all that hate he’d thrown at other faiths during his life had been for naught.”Yes,” the angel sighed. “There are other afterlives.” Then they rummaged through a filing cabinet until eventually finding the paper they wanted.So inefficient, Gabe thought to himself. Especially having had so many eternities to perfect the process.”Easy there,” the angel told him, reading his mind. “Here. This a list of afterlives you may qualify for.”The paper wasn’t so much informational as it was a list. This heaven wasn’t on there, but dozens of others were. Some of the names didn’t seem all that heavenly–Second Tier of Hell, for example–and Gabe shuddered.”So which ones do I meet the requirements for?”The angel stared at him as if he was an imbecile. To be fair, he might have been. But he still didn’t like being treated like one. “I said it details the ones you may qualify for,” the angel snapped. “Do I look like God to you?””No, sorry,” Gabe muttered quietly.”Damn right you’re sorry.”Gabe took the paper and then cast one last glance at the line behind him. If he stepped out of line now then reconsidered, it’d be at least another couple eternities before he got to the front again. “You’re positive?” he asked the angel one last time.”Boy, I will boot you out of the clouds if you ask me one more time,” the angel snapped in a not very angelic manner.”Okay, sorry.” Gabe hung his head low. A tear trickled down his cheek and all he wanted to do was sit down on his bed and cuddle with his dog. But he couldn’t. Because he was dead, and his dog was at home, probably being tended to by some paramedic before being shuttled off to the pound.And there was no bed here anyways. Not outside the gates on these clouds. They looked so soft from below, but after standing on them for an eternity, they sure had started to feel awful hard and treacherous to walk on.The angel sighed again. They’d read the file, even if it only took the briefest instant. Speed-reading was a prerequisite for the job. That and several eternity’s experience. Chronically understaffed and overworked.Gabe had a led a tough life. Victim of his circumstances, some might say. Didn’t matter here though, but the angel did feel bad for him. “Look, bud,” they said more kindly, leaning in close to share a secret. “All I can say is don’t discount the scarier sounding ones.””Like Second Tier of Hell?” Gabe asked, glancing back down at the list to get the name right.”Yeah, like that. The name is there to deter folks. From what I’ve heard, it’s really not half bad. Not heaven, obviously. But it sure ain’t like the Seventh Tier of Hell.”Gabe paled a little and glanced down at the list. “But that’s on the list, too.””Well, sure,” the angel said. “You may qualify for any of those. Just don’t make the wrong choice. It’s permanent.” The angel shrugged. “Just telling you what the rumor is.”Gabe forced himself to smile and lifted his head just slightly. “Thanks,” he said.”You betcha. Better get going though.””Why? What’s the rush?” Gabe asked curiously.The angel smiled, the drawn-back cherubic cheeks revealing two fangs. “Well, you’ve got to make a choice. Can’t just dawdle out here forever. Trust me. You don’t want to be outside the gates after dark.”Thanks for reading! If you enjoyed this, please check out more stories at r/MatiWrites. Constructive criticism and advice are always appreciated!