The cackling flames in the fireplace did little to mask the noise of the thunderstorm outside. She kept her eyes focused on the fire, wishing she could go closer to the fireplace and warm herself up. However, she couldn’t risk losing her place in the queue, and it was a long line behind her. She didn’t fancy the idea of rejoining it.
For a moment, she almost wished she had been brought to Hell. At least there it would theoretically be warmer than waiting in purgatory for her soul’s new assignment.
She hummed for a moment while waiting, the queue moving slowly but steadily, and she listened in amusement and wonder at the other souls getting their new tasks. That spirit seemed confused at his assignment, muttering about how he had gone from Italian painter to French chef. The next soul nearly flew out of purgatory at high speed, eager to climb the ladders of a large business corporation in her next life. There, someone was to be an acrobat in a circus, but will need to make a pivotal choice when he reaches his twenties, one that will alter which way his next life would end.
At last, it was her turn, and she greeted the guard of purgatory with a polite smile. She placed her hands in its, and allowed the cleansing sensation to wash through her spirit. She got images of grass and bright sunshine and cozy fur and sharp smells and…
She stared in stupefaction at the purgatory guard, which provided no answers to her. Instead, it pointed a sallow hand up toward the ceiling where an image of the earth was spinning leisurely. She obeyed, her thoughts reeling with what she had felt in her cleansing, and had little choice but to see what her next life awaited her.
With her eyes closed, she floated up toward the spinning earth, allowing her spirit to be whisked away in the winds that made it turn. The breezes would drop her precisely where she was meant to be, and she was sucked into the body that would house her spirit for however many years she was to remain on the earth this time.
She awoke to a world that was dark, and she squirmed, following her senses to a warm body that held the delicious scent of milk. Somewhere in the back of her mind, her spirit’s last remembrance of purgatory was recalling the disbelief that she was to spend her next life as a dog.