Unspeaking Heaven

[Today’s challenge from The Daily Post is to describe an idyllic community]

“What’s Heaven like, Daddy?” The smiling blonde pig-tails of Chastity Goodman looked across the dining table at the Reverend Joshua Goodman as he hastily swallowed the first bite of his steak dinner.

“Nobody knows, sweetness. Nobody who’s ever been to Heaven has come back.”

“Why?” The smile had disppeared from Chastity’s ten-year-old face.

“Because they’re with God! Who doesn’t want to be with God?” Sitting to his sister’s left, Butch shifted uneasily in his chair, which groaned under his immense weight. Chastity pondered her father’s response, before her face lit like a searchlight.

“So why don’t the people in Heaven call us, or write letters saying how wonderful it is there?”

Butch’s quick interruption enabled his father to avoid what he feared would be a futile explanation. “Life in Heaven is different than life on Earth, Chastity.” The lines in his father’s face grew long and sharp with apprehension, then softened, followed by a quick nod of approval for his son to continue. “People don’t talk to each other, I mean with their mouths, like we do.” He pointed to his mouth as he continued. “Here on Earth, we have to use our mouths, ‘cuz of we got bodies. But when you’re in Heaven, all you are is a spirit, see, and spirits can communicate just by thinking, don’t need no words. So even if someone was in Heaven and wanted to tell us back on Earth what it’s like there, they can’t, no suh, ‘cuz of they don’t got mouths, or bodies.”

Butch’s father and sister seemed to be competing in a befuddled look contest. It was the younger Goodman who eventually broke the silence. “So do people in Heaven not like having a body?”

Reflexively, the tow-headed teen glanced down at the distended orb around his waist, and replied in a soft voice that conveyed embarrassment. “It’s not that they like or don’t like having bodies. Just like we don’t know if we like using our mouths to speak. It’s just, that’s how it is.”

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