There was a crowd. They didn’t seem too happy, but not loud. It felt like being in the DMV when all the seats are taken, except bigger–so much bigger.
“Excuse me,” Frank said, pushing. The people around him shuffled out of his way. He fought through with gentle nudges and “excuse me-s” until he managed to find himself at a golden gate, a fence that ran up, out of sight. A man stood there, smiling; all in white. Around him, people were less docile. Some yelled, some tried smashing the man with their fists, but still he stood, as if made of stone. He only continued to smile, saying something Frank couldn’t hear.
Frank watched. People yelled, cried; all different people, all different ages. Some gave up and began walking along the fence. Frank got closer and listened. People were saying all sorts of things to the man, some in English, some in what Frank recognized as French, or maybe Spanish.
To each of them, in turn, the man in white said something. Frank couldn’t catch it. He moved closer, avoiding blows. In the cacophony, he heard it. But, it was nothing Frank could discern. It sounded like Arabic, maybe.
“What is he saying!” Frank tried to call at an Asian man beside him. But the Asian man paid Frank no mind. Frank looked around and saw a large man leaning against the fence beside the gate.
“Hey!” Frank called, heading for the man.
The man waved, he had a great big beard.
“You know what is going on?” Frank asked once he got close enough.
The large man nodded. “Heaven is that way, he’s the gatekeeper.”
He pointed at the man in white, still smiling, saying something to each person as they flooded into him.
The large man laughed. “So, he doesn’t speak English.” He laughed again. “Oh, it never gets old.”
Frank frowned at the serene man in white. “What is he speaking?”
The large man shrugged. “No one knows!” He went back into fits of laughter.
“It sounded Arabic,” Frank said, hopeful.
“Nope, it’s been tried. I’ve been watching for years. No one has a clue. Some linguistics professor got him to stop smiling for a moment about nine months back, but even he gave up eventually.”
Frank frowned at the chaos that seemed to spread thin as it stretched outward.
“So, no one can get into heaven?”
“Not that I’ve seen.”
Frank thought for a bit. Then, he shrugged.
“I’m going to go try to find my family out here then, care to join?”
The large man shrugged, “got nothing better to do.”
They started walking along the fence.
“I’m Charlie,” the man said.
Frank held out his hand, “Frank.”
“So who are we looking for Frank?”
“A woman in a blue dress, and a boy of about four.”
Charlie looked at the crowd ahead of them.
“Piece of cake,” he muttered.