There are many different names for the places where people believe their gods to live: Valhalla, Paradise, Heaven etc. It is little-known that the deities of all religions, of all ages, dwell happily together in a vast land which they call “Hereafter”. Hell or anyone’s concept of it, is just down the road and there is a bumpy track which leads to the land of the Fae.
They were offered a picnic table in Hereafter but as they were not strictly speaking worshipped and had more to do with humans in their day to day activities, they chose to stay half way between. Those who were meant to find them, would. Those who were staring firmly at the skies would, as usual, walk into rabbit holes and fences.
Tink, the Happy-Endings Fairy, hardly ever “came upstairs”. She was kept so busy on Earth that she’d recently taken on her half-mortal half-sister as a trainee assistant. This was why she was stamping up the path, still in her “materialisation gear”, her DM boots throwing up mud as she covered furious amounts of ground.
At least up here she didn’t need to smoke her purple sparkly cigarettes which contained Fairy-air, allowing her to breathe properly and she could cut back on the gallons of black coffee which served to keep her awake while with humans. The atmosphere in Hereafter gave her massive energy which was probably going to prove unfortunate for somebody.
There are no pearly gates. I’m sorry but there it is; those who are meant to come in, do so, those who aren’t, are re-directed elsewhere. So Tink just came to the end of the path and strode towards a building which changed shape to reflect whatever the viewer expected to see. In her eyes it was a concrete and glass office-block with no distinguishing features apart from a very large revolving door at the front. As she barged through the entrance the inside became a very luxurious gentleman’s club from Victorian London. Tink’s heavily-pencilled eyebrows narrowed and she tutted audibly.
“SHOP!” she called loudly, banging her fist on the reception counter, but, hearing voices from a room on her left, the Goth Fairy marched into a large dining room where many of the gods were leaning around a table. The papers in front of them and the profusion of multi-faceted dice told her they were in the middle of a Role Playing Fantasy Game, but in this case it was far from fantasy, because she knew the victim.
Just as Thor was jabbering about “rolling her intelligence” Tink stamped her foot very hard and roared “Oh no! Don’t you dare! If you do it will be three times higher than yours, you hairy git!”
All of the deities around the table jumped at the sudden noise and turned to glare at her but a fairy in a fury, especially a Goth fairy, is enough to impress most beings, even gods. There were a few blushes and a woman in blue and white, bustling through with armfuls of roses, snapped “There! I said no good would come of it!”
Pressing her advantage while at least one were on her side, Tink took a step forward, a finger raised, her black-varnished nail quivering. “I thought you lot were omnipotent!” She hissed. “Nothing is impossible for you. Why do you think those pathetic creatures down there petition you day and night? Because you can do it. You can surmount all obstacles. You don’t have to obey the roll of a dice, you can decide for yourselves what happens.”
“Thank you, Tink. I have been trying to get that across for some time. Perhaps I’m not scary enough!” The sarcastic remark came from a young man with mutilated hands, entering the room whittling on a piece of wood.
“Glad to see you aren’t playing, JC.” Tink replied. “I don’t expect your dad approves much either.”
“Well, he and Mo are kept rather busy at the moment with their respective followers exploding each other.” The young carpenter raised a sardonic eyebrow. “But then they still have very active followers.”
A very fat man sat cross-legged in the corner joined in. “I found it far more useful to encourage my own group to find out the answers for themselves. Guidance, not dice.”
Tink nodded before addressing the game-players.
“Listen, you lot. I know you are starting to gather more worshippers now. The New Agers are getting very keen. Why can’t you go and play with them instead of visiting all this crap on my sister? Do you know what you’ve done to her in the last few weeks?”
There was mumbling and shuffling of feet before some deity decided, ill-advisedly, to blame the “fall of the dice”. This seemed to enrage Tink even more.
“I’m not talking accidents and illness – you all know she is used to those. She just gets on with it. Skies but you have doled out enough of those in her life. Recently she has had her husband diagnosed with a terminal cancer. OK. I’ll take that. But her aunt? The one member of her human family left to her? And now her beloved career is on the line. How is she supposed to concentrate on that with all this other crap going on? Hmm? I know she’s only half human but you are treating her like one of you. There are limits. She’s helping me as well now. So I’m going to make a deal with you. Listening?”
Bacchus timidly approached her with an ornate goblet of nectar which she drained in one gulp.
“I’m the happy endings fairy. You rely on me to do half your job for you, all of you. You say yes or no but I make it happen. Well if you go on playing silly beggars with my sister, I’m going on strike. Your people can light as many candles as they want, you can snap your fingers and shout “Make it so, Tink” but, know what? I won’t be listening. I’ll be off on a sunny beach with my sister having a well-deserved holiday.”
Juno drew herself up to her full height and began to speak but Tink held up a hand.
“Before you say it, madam! Yes I do know “to whom” I’m speaking but I’m threatening industrial action because of management incompetence. Stop chucking dice and do your jobs properly or the trouble Mo and Dad are having will be as nothing when the humans realise you really can’t do anything.
I’m not asking for any special favours for Sis, just stop using her as your character. A couple of good things for her would be a nice gesture but I leave that up to your holy consciences. Good day to you, Ladies and Gentlemen.”
As she turned to leave, the fat man called her over to give her two fortune cookies. “One each for you and your sister. Go in peace.”
“Peace be with you too, Buddy.”
On her way down the track, Tink smoked a cigarette, not for the air effect but because she needed to calm down. It wasn’t every day that some fairy took on the entire pantheons of all ages. She giggled as she broke open her fortune cookie and read “Atta girl, Tink. Give ’em hell!” Seeing as this came from the most enlightened being the world had ever known, she took it as an enormous compliment.
She cheated slighty and looked magically through the cookie for her sister. “Change must come from within. May I improve the world, starting with me.” Yes, that was one of his favourites and maybe Sis needed to hear it.
Crunching happily, Tink magicked up some music in her head and danced enthusiastically back down the path to her own land. Job done!