Higher Ground

Hello All

This is a very rough start to a story i have had in the digital voice recorder for a long time. I believe I have cleaned up all the transcription errors in this first bit but please let me know if you see any i missed

Higher Ground

The only good thing about this pizza Adam thought was that it was
cheap, that and there was plenty of it. Well that was too good things he
supposed. His therapist had always said he needed to frame things more
positively. So here today on the worst day of his life, here was something
positive. Who knew there were still some places in this world where you
could get a large pizza for five bucks. And this was no 12 inch cop out
neither, this was a legit 17 inches of glorious greaseball. And Adam was
going to try and enjoy it. There Paul would approve he thought he had
reframed the situation in a more positive light and used humor to defuse
his distress.

It didn’t matter that this was probably one of the last pizzas he
would ever get to enjoy what with the insurance company denying his cancer
treatment and all. It didn’t matter that at 40 years old the only role he
managed to fill in life was professional hospital patient. It didn’t
matter that having this one pizza broke so many dietary restrictions that
he would be headed to the emergency room in a few short hours. And it
especially didn’t matter that all the dreams he once had were now so much
ash in his head. All that mattered was the here and now, and here and now
were all the hedonistic wonders that five dollars could buy. After this a
nice hospital bed for the night and in the morning he would do battle with
the medical bureaucracy once more

Except he kind of wouldn’t because of several reasons the ambulance
got a flat tire, his EpiPen was empty, what ever it doesn’t matter point is
Adam Clarkson age 40 would shortly find himself in a different sort of
white room, this one of a decidedly mystical and metaphysical variety.
Adam didn’t know how he knew, but however that was he knew he was
dead. The only other thing he knew was that he was standing naked in a
white room. Well that wasn’t quite true the other thing he knew was that
some short lady in black robes and purple hair was staring at him with
something akin to curiosity.
“Wow I never expected St. Peter to have tits” Adams said.
“I suppose, we can add one more instance of crude vulgarity to your
sin tally” the entity replied
“There are so many of those, what’s one more” is Adam said
“What, sins generally, or crude vulgarity and general lecherousness in
“Wait is this heaven or hell” Adam said.
The entity looked around curiously at that with and wrinkled her nose
“Another blank void, how dull, how pedestrian” she said. “This is
supposed to be a representation of what you think judgment looks like, most
people do grand Court rooms. Others are more and more individualized
settings; but a blank white room indicates that you never thought that much
about the last things while you were alive.”
Adam stared around shocked for this woman no child really was right.
He had scarcely contemplated what came after death since giving up religion
20 years ago. He was an atheist pure and simple. You only got one life and
after that you cease to exist was that simple. If the universe or God
had cared about injustice his and his Family’s situation one of long since
been remedied. And that was just for a bloody start. But now it appeared
he had been wrong. That or they had him on some really great drugs in the
hospital. But he instinctively knew that not to be true. Time to face the
music he thought as he hitq his knees frantically trying to remember the
act of contrition from his childhood. In the end he gave it up and just
screamed his apology into the void and to the mysterious Spirit woman.
“You have nothing to fear” said she smiling, although her voice
remained as flat as ever. “All of your offenses such as they were have been
forgiven. There are no injustices for which you owe a debt.”
“But…” Adam started to reply, however the Spirit halted him with a
“And…” said she “a great deal of injustice to remedy on your
“I’m sure I need not go over it your abuse as a child, your multiple
medical conditions, and you’re unwarranted blackballing from the teaching
profession.” She continued on
“All of these need to be accounted for in what happens next. So I
will ask you one question what you want Adam Clarkson?”
I then felt as if an oppressive weight had been lifted from his chest
with the Spirit’s final question. At the same time he felt an overwhelming
sense of confusion. Didn’t the good go to heaven and the bad go to hell?
Was this some sort of final temptation? If you gave the wrong answer here
would he be doomed to eternal torment? Was he already doomed to eternal
“Heaven… is hell to the wicked” the Spirit said at length “and try
not to think so loudly.”
“To answer you however, the scales must be balanced and human free
will must be respected. Everyone be they Sinners or Saints gets a choice.”
“What kind of answer is that” Adam said
“The only answer I can give” said she
“What is possible?”
“The only restriction is that you can’t go back to your previous
So this was it Adam thought he could wish anything in the world and
they would give it to him. No conditions except that he couldn’t go back
to his previous life. And who would want to anyway what with the cancer
the stupid wheat allergy, and all the rest. So did he want to go to
heaven? No he decided.
“So reincarnation is a thing” he asked
“Reincarnation is totally a thing” said she
“Although there are further restrictions with that option… well
restrictions is the wrong word. It’s like this the more you ask the more
will be expected of you.”
“Expected?“ Adam inquired by now totally confused
“God, the universe, or however you believe cares about justice and
mercy. Ask for power it will be given you but with that power comes heavy
A long silence ensued during which Adam thought about all his goals,
dreams and wishes. Truth was he wasn’t done with life. He had gotten so
little of what he originally wanted that it was tempting to ask for it all.
The jobs, the House, hell even the dog. But something within the whole
discourse on justice gave him pause. Who knew that the universe actually
cared? But it also had to respect human free will that explained a lot.
It seemed to him that God the universe or whatever needed people to
actively work in the interests of justice, mercy, love and all that. And
something in that appealed to him deeply.
“I would fight, fight for this justice you speak of” he said at
“And what is that have to do with reincarnation” said she
“Everything send me somewhere I can make a difference. Preferably
teaching but that’s not a demand. It seems to me that this choosing only
punishes the guilty and rewards goodness after the fact. But that in
itself is not enough justice demands more justice demands that we all
flight. And though I have not actively inflicted harm on others I
certainly have not done all I wanted to in respect of creating goodness in
the world. So I choose reincarnation without any demands or conditions like
God or the universe or what ever choose the path I walk. ”
“Done” the Spirit said
And in a flash Adam have disappeared from the room in between worlds
and found himself waking to the screech of a smoke detector. The room in
which he woke was at once familiar to him intimately and on the other hand
utterly alien. For he had not seen it in nearly 19 years it was the
apartment that he had inhabited immediately after college and his student
teaching days. Not that he had time to reminisce however as the building
sprinkler system immediately popped off, and out of force of habit he
scrambled down the fire escape. Or at least he attempted to do so the
universe must have been laughing at them however for the second he put his
foot on the first step he overbalanced and went clattering down, just
barely avoiding face planting on the pavement beneath.
“Miss, Miss, do you require assistance?”
Adam assumed that the paramedic or firefighter or whomever below for
addressing someone else, although he had no idea whom that could be.
Boots clanged up the stairs and onto landing of the fire escape.
“Miss… can you hear me” the paramedic said shaking Adam’s shoulder.
“Huh, what?” Adam said perhaps a little dazed from his stumble down
the fire escape. And then Adam froze captivated by an unfamiliar
“I… I… I have tits” Adam exclaimed


Wow, a great start. I’m looking forward to the next parts.

thanks didba

A very interesting and intriguing story concept. Many possible directions this story could take, and you’ve got a solid foundation/ starting point. I particularly liked how you showed how important/ special/ “ran out of fucks to give, pizza is my booze” is to the character- to most people, a pizza is a pizza, not delicious grease-laden death. And now I’m thinking of those old Tombstone pizza commercials. What do you want on your Tombstone? Pepperoni? Anchovies? ducks and hides
(8) 1992 Tombstone Pizza Commercial - YouTube