• I looked at him and wanted to sigh. I hoped he didn't notice the agitated twitching of my wings. He was one of those. Twenty-something years of being a self-centered, thoughtless, altogether useless human being and somehow, don't ask me how, but somehow he ends up here. And now, God being a generally busy type of being, I have to decide what to do with him. Honestly I do know how he got here, there's only one way that type of person goes to heaven. Right before he died he probably did something completely selfless and probably died because of it.

    "You know where you are right?" I asked him.

    He looked at me and seemed a little confused. "I'm dead right?"

    I did sigh now and knew my impatience would probably earn me another hundred years or so of gate duty if one of the senior angels saw. "You think?" I demanded. I took a deep breath and tried to imitate the serene presence that the senior angels were always telling me it was important to learn. "I mean, do you know why you're here, here and not somewhere much warmer?" I couldn't help bullying him a little.

    "Well, I, uh, I guess I must have saved that girl's life?" He seemed overwhelmed and he stuttered a little.

    I nodded. "That's precisely so." My next words were maybe just a bit sarcastic. "You chose the very last moment of your life to show that glimmer of goodness which brings you here and not Elsewhere."

    Hetook a small step back from my presence and seemed fairly intimidated.

    I could only feel that he deserved it, despite what the senior angels might have said. Why they even gave me my wings I'll never know. I studied the soul before me and watched him squirm under my gaze. Other souls were coming now but they were drawn to other angels. I couldn't help but think that I was always getting the hard ones. I took a deep breath and let the tension flow out of my wings as I came to a decision.

    "I'm going to do something that we don't do all that often. I'm not sending you away from heaven, not for good. I'm going to give you another chance at life. Maybe you'll do more good in this one." I told him.

    He exhaled in relief and looked for a moment at the shining gates before looking back at me. "Thank you." He told me sincerely.

    I gave him a stern look and imitated the tone that my least favorite senior angel used when lecturing me. "You won't remember coming here. You won't remember anything. Just hope that you learn to be a better person this time." I didn't even let him respond but sent his spirit careening off, back to a new beginning.

    "Hopefully he'll do better this time."

    The voice behind me caused me to jump and my wings fluttered. I turned to see the smiling face of one of the senior angels who was, in my opinion, much less of a mood-killer than the others. I relaxed a little.

    "Hopefully. I'll probably still be here when he comes back so I'm sure I'll find out."

    The senior angel smiled. "So little faith for one who didn't expect to be winged in the first place.

    My wings drooped slightly. "Well, isn't it a little ridiculous for me to be an angel? No one gets scolded as much as I do and I don't think I can ever be as serene and kind as an angel should be."

    The senior angel chuckled. "All angels have their problems. Only God is allowed to be perfect. Some of us are just better at hiding our own personal faults than others."

    I huffed. "Well I'm not." I told him grumpily.

    "Well, at least you're not under any illusions." He teased gently. He looked away from me for a moment, seeming to notice something just behind me. "I believe you have another soul to receive."

    I turned and sure enough, another soul had wandered my way. I looked back for the senior angel behind me but he was already gone. I resigned myself once more to the work of deciding who did or did not pass through those gates.