You lay your head down on the pillow and close your eyes. Mmmm, it feels so good to be drifting down into unconsiousness, nothing seems to matter anymore -- deeper and deeper you go, far removed from all the troubles of the world -- |
A beautiful white vision unfolds in your mind. You're standing in front a pair of gates, exquisitely designed, encrusted with pearls. You glance to the right and see Stephen by your side. Ahead of you is an old man with a white beard who is examining a huge leather-bound book.
"Mmmmmmmmm", says the old man. "Stephen Clark and companion. You're both a little early, I fear. Ah well, it makes very little difference -- we were expecting you both to come in within a few days."
You ask, "And where are we?"
"You mean you don't know? These are the pearly gates, and inside lies heaven. Your eternal happiness starts now. I'll just open the gates, and..."
The old man presses a button and the gates start to move.
You say to Stephen, "You know, it's it a pity this is only a dream -- I really would like to see what heaven is like."
The doorman overhears you and says, "Oh, this is no dream. You may think it's a dream, because you died in your sleep."
"He's right, you know", says Stephen.
Now you're confused. "I couldn't really have died in my sleep... could I?"
The old gate-master says, "Oh, I'm afraid there's no doubt. You see, you have a rare medical condition known as ParaDust Syndrome. Whenever you go to sleep in a comfortable place like a bed, you become so relaxed that your heart slows down to a critically slow level. Your brain doesn't get enough blood and so it dies. You should really sleep on something hard and uncomfortable -- there's less danger of dying, then. Of course, it's a bit late to be giving you advice about it."
You turn on Stephen angrily. "Why didn't you tell me I had ParaDust Syndrome? I wouldn't be dead now, if you'd only told me!"
Stephen stammers, "I dunno, I just -- I was -- -- look, I -- it's not my -- well I couldn't -- I mean -- -- I just -- you -- I mean -- me -- I -- it wasn't -- "
You think to yourself that he's not as articulate outside your head as he was inside.
You step through the gates into the heavenly glorious wonders beyond.