I flat-lined at 7.47, and flew up the tunnel to the bright light at the end.
A guy wearing pink robes stood there.
‘For Pete’s sake.’ I said, gesturing to his apparel. ‘You didn’t have to dress down for me.’
He touched the cloth and grimaced. ‘House rules, he said, ‘like you only got 250 words to negotiate.’
I smiled. ‘Look, I’m 69, my heart stopped ticking, and besides I like ducks.’
He waved his staff at me. Also pink. ‘I’ve heard it before, don’t step on one. I googled it, Stephen.’
‘Yeah, well, I’ve had my share of bad luck with women, and maybe an Essex girl looking like Pamela Anderson might fall for it.’ I looked around. ‘Where are your angels—aren’t you supposed to have them welcome me?’
‘Ah, he said. ‘We’re a bit short on personnel right now. Austere times. Can I rustle up an elf or something?’
‘A nymph, then.’
‘You’re hard to please.’
‘So would you if you had to live here for all eternity.’
‘At least you got a job. Even if it’s a meet and greet one.’
He turned away. ‘Sorry, old boy, but return when you’re in a better mood.’ He beckoned to a shadowy guy carrying a pink scythe. ‘Kick him back to life, and for god’s sake stop smirking.’
A defibrillator later, and an angelic voice said. ‘The quack saved you.’
‘Hi, Pamela,’ I said. ‘Was he wearing pink?’