‘I think we’re lost’ Annabel said to her companion.
‘We can’t be. I followed the instructions to the letter. This has to be it.’
‘Well it doesn’t look very inviting, and it is rather, well, plain.’
‘Never judge a book, or a gate in this instance, by its appearance Annabel. I know I’m right and we are exactly where we’re supposed to be.’
‘But don’t you think something’s missing?’
‘The trouble with you is that you’ve seen too many movies and expect too much.’
‘Well I have to say I’m rather disappointed. I mean, isn’t there supposed to be someone here to check us in?’
Hurrying down the path towards them was a short bald-headed man in a white robe.
He looked anxious and perplexed to see them.
He stopped on his side of the gate and removed a log book from an invisible pocket.
‘Oh dear. Oh dear,’ he kept saying as he checked the blank pages.
Peering over the top of his wire framed glasses, he asked their names.
Arthur stood at his five feet six tallest and announced pompously
‘I am Arthur Philogene, and this is my wife, Annabel. I believe you are expecting us.’
‘Oh dear,’ the little man repeated. ‘Philogene you say, spelt with a P?’
‘That’s right, ‘Arthur replied. ‘P H I L O G E N E,’ spelling it out slowly.
‘I’m sorry, ‘ he said. ‘I don’t have you registered. Are you sure we’re expecting you?’
‘I damn well hope so! Arthur and Annabel, victims of a car accident, 5th March 2013’.
‘Oh no. No . No, no, no. Arthur and Annabel aren’t due to join us until the 3rd of May 2013. We’re not ready for you. Just not ready. Nothing is prepared.’
Arthur was furious.
‘Well what are we supposed to do now then? Flutter around in limbo for 8 weeks?’
The little man blinked rapidly at them.
‘I have an idea. Be back in a minute.’
And he was gone.
Sure enough, sixty seconds later he returned with a trolley of brushes, gold paint, pearls and two pairs of overalls.
‘I’ve checked with The Boss, and He said if you wouldn’t mind repairing The Gates for Him whilst you’re waiting, he’d be most grateful.’
Arthur glared at him in disbelief.
‘Vandalism and cut backs you know. Some cheeky devils came up and stripped our lovely gates of all their glory while St Peter was on coffee break. You should find everything you need in here…’ he added pointing to the trolley.
He disappeared in a wisp of vapour to the unmistakable sound of Annabel’s stifled laughter. Finally, someone had put her obnoxious husband in his place.