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Really Short Story: Heaven

short story - heaven

Really Short Story: Heaven

Harold was the only person in the world who could fly. He told me he discovered how to fly when he was twenty.

“How did you do it?” I asked him. I really wanted to know how to fly.

“I trained every day, ten hours per day, for twelve years straight.”

That sounded too hard for me, so all I did was raise my eyebrows and say, “Cool. Well done.”

Harold met Yukiko on the thirtieth floor of some building. She was frightened at first, because he was flying around her balcony, but then she settled down.

“How did you do it?” she asked him. “How did you learn how to fly?”

“I trained every day, ten hours per day, for twelve years straight.”

She raised her eyebrows. “Cool. Well done.”

They fell in love pretty quickly. She liked everything about him, and he sort of liked most things about her. Their favourite memory with each other was when they visited a castle in Scotland, and he flew her to the top of one of its chapels. They unrolled a picnic mat and ate chocolate and cheese.

She was the one who proposed to him.

“Hey,” she said. “Can I marry you?”

He smiled. “Sure.”

But she died three months after their wedding day, and obviously, it broke his heart.

“What do I do?” he asked me. “How do I put all of this mess together again?”

“You fly to heaven and find her.”

Harold nodded, taking me way too seriously as always.

He spent ten hours per day, every day for the next five years, training how to improve his flight. You’re going to hate this pun, but his skills soared. I remember watching videos of him flying to the top of some pretty tall buildings: he waved at cameras from the Statue of Liberty, then the Petronas Towers, then the CTF Finance Centre, then the Shanghai Tower, then finally the Burj Khalifa.

But that was just the start of it. We watched in awe as he reached peaks of mountains, and airplanes, and eventually, after learning how to conquer the atmosphere, satellites.

“Hey,” he called me one day, “I did some Googling and I’m not sure how high I need to fly to reach heaven.”

I quickly went on my computer. “Jupiter,” I said, skimming a few websites. “You need to fly past Jupiter, but only by a little bit.” I had been drinking.

“I miss her so much,” he said before hanging up.

By then, Harold had become so great at flying that he’d grown four pairs of wings; he could fly so fast that he could reach the moon in a couple of seconds. But that wasn’t fast enough, so he trained even harder.

One day, I think it was a Tuesday, Harold returned from heaven. He had Yukiko in his arms; she looked much older than when I last saw her and she had a strange expression on her face.

“How did you do it?” I asked Harold. “How did you reach heaven?”

“I trained every day, for ten hours a day, for over fifty years. I flew past Jupiter, as you advised, but not too far past it. Then I saw heaven. A lot of people were there, way more than I expected. And there were creatures, too, these creatures that were so enormous and amazing that I seriously can’t describe it. The people and the creatures were really happy to see me – they were actually expecting me. Then I saw Yukiko, and I cried, and she cried, and I had never been happier. She was crying so much that it was almost like she didn’t want me to take her from the glories of heaven and bring her back to the reality of earth.”

It seemed like a lot of work, much more work than just finding a new wife online or something.

I raised my eyebrows. “Cool,” I said. “Well done.”

 

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About the Author
David Bobis is an award winning writer whose stories have been published in The Melbourne Age, Ceriph, and Solarcide. He received a third place prize for a national Melbourne Age short story writing competition at the age of 18, was shortlisted for the Brisbane State Library Young Writer's Award in 2005 and received the third place prize for the John Marsden Short Story Literary Award in 2009.