The girl standing in front of her turned back with a smile. "Hey." She said, extending her hand towards her.
"Hi," Beth replied, giving the girl a firm handshake.
"I'm Kate." She introduced herself.
"Beth," Beth replied with a tight smile.
She was not used to small talks. Neither did she like them. Beth knew that the moment the girl called Kate turned around, that she was going to have to bear with it. Meh, but what was she going to lose now anyway? She was already dead. There was nothing for her to return to.
Like everyone else around her, Kate too looked around ten years of age. The girl had thick black hair curled around her angelic face. Her huge brown eyes seemed warm and kind as she opened her mouth once again.
"How did you die?" Kate asked, looking curious.
Beth sighed. Small talk it is. "Gunshot, apparently." She replied with a shrug. Looking the girl up and down, she asked, "What about you?"
"Got hit by a car while trying to save an old lady." The girl replied, smiling sweetly.
"Ahh," Beth said, nodding at the girl.
She couldn't help but peep ahead. There were not many standing in front of them in the queue. Very soon, it would be her turn. She was a bit nervous as she stood there watching the people in children's bodies grab a paper from another man in the purple robe and walk towards the gate. The adults in purple robes were everywhere. They didn't look a day above twenty. She wondered what they were or exactly who they were.
"That's a nice bracelet you got there," Kate said, pointing towards her hand.
"Huh?" Beth asked, confused.
What bracelet? She wondered. That was when she noticed a slight coolness on her right hand. She raised her hand in front of her, looking at the simple bracelet in awe. It was a beautiful piece of jewelry. She didn't remember ever owning something like that. Perhaps...She remembered the screen and the dark place. A system. Was this real? She was dead and she got a system?
Beth glanced around her. She seemed to be the only one with such a bracelet in her hand. She licked her lips nervously. She had read way too many light novels to know what came next. It would be best that she hid it from others now. Beth quickly hid her hand in the folds of her dress. She had to distract Kate from it, she thought to herself. Looking around, she found the perfect distraction.
"There." She said, pointing with her left hand towards the queue on the other side. "Why are they standing there?" She asked in a single breath, eager to change the topic.
Her trick worked. Kate turned towards the direction in which she pointed. Her face immediately fell. "I heard that that's the queue to hell." She said with a sad expression, "Poor things."
Great. Wrong question. She didn't want to know about that. She was scared that she'd be thrown in with them any moment. Change of topic!
"Any idea why we're in the body of children?" She asked, raising her brows.
Kate shrugged. "It must have something to do with the hierarchy." She said, looking thoughtful.
"Hierarchy?" Beth asked, her interest piqued by the answer.
"Next!" The man in purple shouted, his voice rising high.
The boy in front of Kate moved ahead and started to talk to the man. Two people later, it would be her standing there, Beth thought nervously. Each child was being given their sentences and some sort of number and then sent along towards the gate. She was worried about herself. She had never done a good deed. And now there was even going to be a hierarchy in heaven?
Kate moved forward in the line, nodding at her. "You will enter heaven's gate in a child's body. It could change once you reach the other side of the gate, depending on your place in heaven. Let's hope that all our good deeds will earn us a nice spot." She said, beaming at her.
Beth gulped nervously. Great. What was she going to do now?! She looked at the bracelet on her wrist. Was the system going to be of any help? She wondered.
"Next!" The man in the purple robe shouted, thumping at the table in front of him impatiently.
Kate stepped ahead and started talking to the man. Next was her turn. Beth's heartbeat shot up like a rocket.
"You will be known as number four-thirty-three from now on." She heard the man tell Kate. "Proceed to the gate."
"Thank you," Kate replied, taking a white paper from the man and ran towards the gate with a huge smile on her face.
"Next!" The man called, his attention solely focused on her. He was quite good-looking like the other man and woman she had met a while ago. His hair was tied up in a high ponytail in a similar manner to the others.
Beth stepped forward hastily, not wanting to annoy the man. "Umm.. hello." She said awkwardly.
"What is your name?" The man asked, opening an ancient-looking book.
"Beth Wilson." She replied, licking her lips nervously.
"Age at the time of death?" He asked without looking up from the book.
The man nodded, saying, "Hmm... let me see." He quickly flipped through the pages until he found the one that he was looking for. Beth stood on her tip-toes peeping into it. On top of it was a photo of hers with her name written in bold letters below it. "No good deeds." The man said, tapping on the page.
"Uhh..well," Beth said, scratching her head awkwardly.
That wasn't a surprise. But she was sure that she wouldn't have any bad deeds too. After all, she had done nothing but read all her life. Maybe that was why they were sending her to heaven.
"Ahh, I see one." The man quickly said, a slight smile appearing on his lips.
"You do?" Beth asked, her eyes widening in shock.
The man nodded. "Yes, you helped catch a murderer at the moment of your death." He said, closing the book.
"Ohh." She replied, not knowing if that was supposed to be good news. She had only done one good deed in all her years and it had cost her her life.