We aren’t supposed to speak ill of the dead, even when they were monsters in life who hurt countless people.
Okay. But nobody said we couldn’t write fan fiction.
Pat Robertson walks past thousands of souls, smugly and full of pride, and cuts to the front of the line at the velvet rope in outside the entrance to his version of Heaven.
The bouncer looks up from their clipboard, observing Robertson with thousands of eyes in a swirling cascade of light.
“Pat Robertson,” they say. “We’ve been expecting you.”
Pat Robertson silently congratulates himself. He swells with joy. All those people who died from AIDS, natural disasters, even 9/11 … they all deserved it. They were sinners!
The bouncer speaks into their headset. “He’s here.” They listen. “Yep. At the front of the line.”
The bouncer turns most of its gaze back to Pat Robertson. “Just wait here for one moment, please.”
Pat Robertson steps to one side and waits.
After one thousand years, he begins to wonder if there was a miscommunication.
“Excuse me,” he says to the bouncer, “I am Pat –“
“Robertson. Yes. We know. We’re just getting everything in order for you. It will just be one more moment.”
Tens of thousands of victims of gun violence walk past him and enter Heaven. The population of an entire village, lost in a typhoon that was intensified by climate change, is welcomed. And still he waits.
They file past him, all the people he looked down on. All the people he hurt, directly and indirectly, don’t even notice him as they pass. It’s like he isn’t even there.
Another thousand years pass. Pat Robertson realizes he hasn’t had a thing to eat since he died and he is so very hungry.
“Hey!” He shouts at the bouncer. “What’s the problem? Don’t you know who I am?”
The bouncer rolls half a million eyes at once. “We know exactly who you are.”
“Well, alright, then!” Pat Robertson spits out, exasperated, “if you aren’t going to help me, get someone here who will!”
The bouncer speaks into its headset again. “We’re ready.”
A gibbering mass of what is mostly human flesh — or was, once — slithers / rolls / flops into Pat Robertson’s view. It is covered with mouths that bleed and weep and click their teeth together. Enormous open sores swirl and burst and close and reopen and drip pus and viscera across blistering skin. The faint memory of a smell surrounds it, something like very old cigar smoke and very expensive liquor.
Pat Robertson tries to scream. Arm-like stalks extend from the quivering shape. One resembles a hand at the end of an arm, dripping viscera.
In a flash, it grabs Pat Robertson’s hand and shakes it. Something hot and acidic splashes up on his arm, blinds him in one eye. He feels weak. Afraid. Alone. Confused.
Hundreds of mouths try to speak. Dozens of them vomit acrid bile that splashes across his chest. Dozens more silently spit out the lies they’ve been cursed to repeat for eternity to an audience who will never hear them again.
One mouth speaks clearly. So clearly, it’s inside Pat Robertson’s head and everywhere else all at once. “I’m Rush Limbaugh,” it says. “I’m your new roommate. Come with me.”
And that’s when Pat Robertson knows. That’s when it all hits him, all at once. He’s getting everything he deserves.
The line to get into Heaven does not see or hear or notice him, or the Limbeast. They can’t hurt anyone, anymore. They are, finally, invisible.
The cancerous mass of hate wraps its arm around his shoulder and just like that Pat Robertson finds himself in a vast parody of a cathedral. It’s built of bones and flesh and lies. The walls writhe, and he sees that they are not bricks and lathe but bodies wrapped in confederate flags and wearing red hats.
The pews are filled to capacity with the souls of people who followed him in life, hated who he told them to hate. Only their hate is now focused on him, hot and unforgiving. Relentless.
Pat Robertson looks for his companion, but it has vanished. It has left him alone to suffer.
A sermon rises in his chest and pushes against his throat. Pat Robertson is compelled to speak, and as he does each word tears through him like broken glass. He spews his hate and his lies, just as he did in life. Only in this place, he doesn’t feel the glee and the satisfaction he always did. No, he feels the pain and the suffering and the agony of every human being who he deliberately hurt. He. Feels. All. Of. It. He tries to stop speaking. Of course, he can not. He can not ever stop.
And Pat Robertson’s eternity begins.