— Have I died already? — asked a human being.
— Yes, — the Demiurge nodded, not taking his eyes away from a thick, impressive book.
— And what now? — A human being uncertainly steps from one foot to another.
— Demiurge casts him a fast glance and returns attention to his book.
— Now you need to go there, — he points his finger to a small inconspicuous door. — Or there — His finger points to another, similar door.
— And what is there?
— Hell, — answered the Demiurge. — Or heaven. Depends on the circumstances.
— A human being uncertainly looks from one door to the next.
— And … where should I go?
— Don’t you know that yourself? — Demiurge raised his brow a little.
— Well, I am not sure. I think it depends on our deeds…
— Hm! — Demiurge put his finger between the pages and finally looked straight into the man’s eyes.— according to your deeds, you say?
— Of course, how else?
— Well, well,— Demiurge opened the book close to the beginning and started to read aloud.— It is written here that when you were twelve you helped an old lady to cross the street. Did it happen?
— Yes, it did.
— Is it a good deed or a bad one?
— Good one, of course!
— Let’s take a look…— Demiurge turned up a page, — in five minutes this old lady was cut in half by a tram as she was trying to cross next street. If you did not help her, they would have missed each other, and that old woman could have been alive for another ten years. So?
— The man started to blink rapidly, dumbstruck.
— Here is another one, — Demiurge opened next page. — When you were twenty three, with a group of friends you participated in a horrific beating of another group of young men.
— They started first! — The man raised his head high.
— It’s written here differently, — retorted Demiurge. — And, by the way, the state of alcohol intoxication is not a mitigating circumstance. So, for no apparent reason you broke a seventeen year old boy’s nose and two fingers. Is it good or bad?
— The man was silent.
— After this, the boy, previously an aspiring and talented musician, could not play a violin any more. His career was ruined.
— I did not do it on purpose.
— Of course, — Demiurge nodded. — To tell you the truth, that boy hated the violin. After your encounter, he took up boxing in order to be able to stand up for himself, and ten years later became a world champion. Shall we continue? — Demiurge turned few more pages.
— Rape, — good or bad?
— But I…
— That girl turned out to be a great doctor and saved hundreds of lives. Is it good or bad?
— Well, probably…
— Amongst those lives, there was one of a serial killer. Is it good or bad?
— And a serial killer is soon going to slay a pregnant woman who could have become a mother of a great scientist. Is it good? Is it bad?
— If that great scientist was born, he would have invented a new bomb that could have burn half of the continent. Is it good or bad?
— But, I could not have known all of this! — The man screamed.
— Of course, — Demiurge agreed. — And here is another good one on page 296 — you stepped on a butterfly!
— And what happened because of this?!— Demiurge silently turned a page, opened the book and showed it to the man. He read it and hair moved on his head.
— What a nightmare, — he whispered.
— But would you not crush this little creature, that what would happen, — God pointed his finger to another paragraph. The man looked and swallowed with a spasm.
— So, it means … I saved the world?
— Yes, four times, — confirmed Demiurge.— Crushing a butterfly, pushing the old man, betraying a friend, and steeling a wallet from a grandmother. Every single time the world was on a brink of a catastrophe, but was pushed through by your endeavors.
— Ah… And about getting the world to the brim of a catastrophe…is it also me?
— You, you. Don’t even doubt that. Twice. First time, when you fed a stray kitten. And, second time when you saved a drawing man. — The man’s knees became weak and he heavily sat on the floor.
— I don’t understand anything, — he cried. — Everything I did in my life…everything I was proud of… and everything I was ashamed of…everything is inside out … everything is flipped, not being what it appears to be.
— That is why it would not be appropriate to judge you based on your deeds, — perceptively said Demiurge, — maybe just based on intention … but in that case, you are your own judge. — He closed the book and put it on a shelf amongst other similar books.
— So, when you decide where to go, choose your door. I have plenty of other things to do.
— The man lifted his wet face, — but I do not know which one leads to heaven and which to hell.
— This would depend on what you would choose, — answered Demiurge.