Bloody hell, I hate these visits. Even a talented and extraordinarily successful angel will have to make these visits. Of course, the demons know this, and they relish in it. In fact they’ve got rubbing your noses in it down to a fine art.
Unfortunately we don’t get to reciprocate, partly as that would be sinking to their level, partly as we’re required to be kind and thoughtful in all things, but mainly because they never turn up to them.
Perhaps I should step back a bit though, perhaps you’re confused. My name is Serge, and I’m a guardian angel. We’re supposed to look after everyone on earth, gently tipping them in the right direction and helping them avoid catastrophes. The kind of thing that humans generally subscribe to a guardian angel however isn’t what we do. If you found an umbrella on a street corner just as it was raining then that was just good fortune; if you won three horse races in a row that definitely wasn’t us. However if you accidentally witnessed someone getting the crap beaten out of them, and that experience suddenly came to mind when you were drunk, angry, and bigger than the other guy – and it stayed your fist… That was probably us. We’re like a kind of spiritual social services; attempting to keep every human in existence out of trouble. Naturally, with you lot this is never going to be completely successful.
Which brings me to today, and the meeting just had. It also brings me to hell, and the tired jokes, endless ribbing and crushing sense of defeat that such visits elicit. Hell has had many things said about it, that it’s personal (it’s not, any personalisation would make you feel at least like they cared.) that it’s other people (partially true, there are certainly a lot of people there, but they’re not the core element.) and most comically that it’s all fire and brimstone, boiling lava pits and whipping. Hell is none of these things, it’s simply the worst place to spend eternity, at least fire and brimstone would lend the place character. Hell is the most boring office in the country, kept just slightly too cold for comfort, with pictures of people on the wall having more fun than you are, and they’re still bored out of their skulls. Imagine that, add in the tension of a job interview you don’t want, but desperately need, and stretch it out for eternity. That’s close to hell.
But however it gets for humans it’s almost worse for us. When a person dies the angels and demons responsible are supposed to get together to discuss the life of the individual. This is supposed to help everyone do their job better, but it never does. When a soul makes it to heaven we generally sit around and have lunch, as the demons – as I’ve mentioned – never come. When a soul makes it to hell (which is all too often) one of us has to trudge our way down to hell to sit in a cold and damp conference room to be taunted endlessly by a half-witted demon on work experience. We don’t get the work experience guy by accident or through not caring though, we get him because the demons know it winds us up. They usually research this bit quite thoroughly, and the posters on the grey walls are pictures of some of our failures, in their current state of mindless depression. They choose the souls we really fought for, the close failures or the tragic cases designed to pull at the heartstrings. They delight in this torment, and it’s really bloody annoying.
So I’ve just got back, and I’m trying to forget about the latest git who refused to be saved, and just get on with my background research on the latest case to land on my desk. As if I didn’t have enough to do, this guy’s been born into a wealthy family in one of the less forward thinking American states – I can almost hear the cries of glee from the demon who’s just received this envelope.
It’s a job; but you guys sure don’t make it easy.