The idea originated in a conversation with a friend. I forget how we got on to the subject, but we ended up joking about how the only people who will ever get to Heaven are people who never do anything interesting enough to count as a sin. The idea buzzed around my idea swirl for a while and re-emerged with the metaphysical replaced with the technological.
A middle management Heaven, populated by the sort of people who used to be the butt of all the best Monty Python jokes, hardly lent itself to a riveting story. I needed a cat to throw among the pigeons. A man who had lived the sharper end of the 20th century that the Heavenly managers had only seen on CNN. I needed Ray Marken.
I have to admit a degree of embarrassment over the spectacles the sales rep uses at the beginning of the story. When I wrote it, it seemed a safe to call them newfangled in a story set several decades in the future. By the time the story emerged from its own limbo of homehunting, Google Glass and Oculus Rift are making those spectacles look almost dated. Such are the perils of near future settings!
Originally published in Qualia Nous. Republished by Digital Fiction in Quickfic Anthology 2, with the full text available online.
Qualia Nous on Goodreads, with links to retailers.
Quickfic Anthology 2 on Goodreads, with links to retailers.