[WP] You die and enter the realm between heaven and hell. You come to learn that this space is 'owned' by your own inner monologue, a separate entity from yourself. You begin trying to convince the sentient apparition, who sounds and thinks like you, to let you enter heaven.

How do you convince yourself of something you don't believe? We had both been pondering the question for hours before we began to have the slightest clue what we were doing. Why I deserved to go to heaven wasn't exactly in the forefront of my thoughts during life, somehow now in death it was all I thought about. The world was like a dream, alien, but somehow recognized as familiar. Time and conversation streched out before us.

Charles was smart, I'll give him that (he was me after all, however pretentious that may sound). We had taken to referring to me as Charlie and him and Charles, not that it was difficult to mistake who the other was talking to. Charles was identical to me in every respect, except he was forced to tell the truth. No tired rationalizations for my sins on earth seemed to work on Charles. When I first got there, we actually broke things down relatively quickly. Once he spoke that I was worthy of heaven's gates, I could waltz right in. But we both knew that wasn't true. I would be forced into hell. He seemed at ease with this information, but couldn't offer any explanation as to how he knew it. If there was some god behind this game, surely he was clever. At least Charles was on my side. He didn't particularly want to go to hell either.

"It's not like we can just sit here forever and debate the facts of our life, can we?" I remember Charles asking. Frankly, I wasn't sure how long we had been talking in the first place. Minutes, hours? It didn't seem to matter. I'll credit him with the idea.

"Why don't you just try to convince me?"

It must have been years. Years of thought, years of breaking down every belief I had about morality and meaning. Painstakingly, I changed the way I viewed myself. I changed the way I thought about life in general. I began to see my actions on earth in a different way, in their proper context. I wasn't that person anymore. But I understood them, I felt their pain. I saw why they did the things they did and I forgave them.

I must have realized, at some point, the true purpose of this place. There is no judgement like your own. Near the end, Charles started to crack a smile. "So, you think you deserve to go to heaven buddy?" he asked. I kind of laughed as I always did when he asked me. "Of course" "Of course what?" " Of course I deserve to go to heaven".

"Look up" he told me. It was my long dead father, offering me a handshake and a glass of champagne.

/r/WritingPrompts Thread