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Is this Heaven?
by Bill Tope

The newly-dead lay unattended in
the chapel, but the room was filled
with whispers.
The shadows of the long-dead
wrangled and bickered and quarreled
over the suitability of the corpse in
residence to join their unearthly
estate. The argument was spirited,
so to speak, particularly amongst two
of the ghostly denizens.
One female spirit took exception to
allowing him in. "In life he was a heavy
smoker," she complained. "Gather near
the coffin, and you can still smell it on his
"That may be," said her male companion
spirit, "but in the afterlife, there is no
"He was also a drunk!" she said with a
sniff. "No alcohol in heaven either," the
other spirit pointed out. Though she was
invisible, one could almost see her lips
"Furthermore," she went on crossly, "he
was something of a Lothario during his
earthly existence. Who'll protect us
women?" she wanted to know.
He replied, "In heaven there is also no
....well, at any rate, your virtue is safe."  He
paused for a moment. "Say," he asked,
"are you certain that we're in heaven?"