Sphagnum Esplanade

This morning as she woke up Lacey was in two places. She was in her bed waking up and she was at a pool party somewhere in the afterlife. And it was “all in her head.”

An obese woman in the pool confessed to hating Lacey to the point of automatically being willing to be cruel to her to her face the instant she saw her. Pouting rage. Seething resentment.

Why?

“Because I wish that I was born as you.” she said.

“And you’re not like Jack. Jack was objectively less attractive than you enough to make people still relate to him but yet still attractive enough to intimidate people.” says Rocky.

And it’s true.

On this-

“What was the point of making you so beautiful?” interrupts the obese woman.

“You’ll have to ask God. Although, really, would it be a problem if everyone else was better looking too?” Lacey asks.

The woman is rendered speechless as she realizes Lacey is actually better than her in every way. Spiritually. Morally. Psychologically. Mentally. Emotionally. Cognitively…

“We agree.” she says to Lacey as if she’s a Queen in her head, gracefully mocking herself.

“You know if you’re really going to be a caring person, you should just apologize to Lacey for rejecting her the instant you met.”

“As a friend?” the woman asks weirdly in reference to the way she supposedly “rejected” Lacey.

“Yes.” says Grace suddenly acting like “an overlord.”

And the woman is suddenly genuinely “terrified.” Not of the power of God in His love through his human creature Lacey but because in the darkness this woman clings to she still believes Grace Kelly is a terrifying member of the Illuminati and that they’re awe-inspiringly vicious. Epic!

“God exists. But people struggle to grasp His power in Purgatory to a depressing degree nowadays when they die. You have to let them struggle with God until they figure out who He really is in relation to them.” Grace suggests, mournfully.

“Have we intellectually lost the concept of a deity?” asks Lacey.

“Yes!” says a demon on behalf of a perfume collector who is still alive. And Lacey rebukes the demon to Hell in the name of Jesus.

Or was that a person from the present commenting from the future?

“Do you still love me?” asks Lem frankly.

“Of course I do.” says Lacey. “Yes.”

“But what about me?” says Michael.

“That wasn’t the point of that question.” says Lem.

And “the-hateful-cable-newsman” suddenly manifests somehow in the pool and gets nervous from the future? Or is “his demon” representing him? …Regardless, this is exactly the kind of conversation he read on Lacey’s blog way back in 2015 that scared him. In her “short story of the month.” *he rolls his eyes*

Scared him?! Yes. How? What?! Why? …Well, mostly…he couldn’t stand how much she was loved by the dead. *he sighs* “I could tell they were probably real. You were channeling people… And I could tell that they loved you. And in my position that scared me.” *he shrugs* “I didn’t hate you at first, consciously. I just thought you were Marilyn Monroe.”

“Because everyone loves Marilyn Monroe!!!” says Arthur Miller sarcastically, with cool, hidden rage.

“Exactly!” says the “cable-dude” “This is what I mean!” he runs off thinking he just needs to get them to “drop their act” and stop loving Lacey. Because she’s the one making them “be this way.” There’s no way they’re all more like her than “us?!” There’s no way we could have changed that much?! “How did we change?!” he asks in a mixture of terror, excitement and awe. But he’s used to feeling this way…

“He’s at war with the past.” says Michael.

“They only want to remember it in ways that suit the present. Not as it really was or is.” says Jack.

“YOU RUINED MY PURGATORY!” Joe Jr. yells after the “cable-dude”. He had plans for Lacey after she died. “Oh well.” he muses sadly in the pool.

“That’s ok. We can fix it!” say his living nieces and nephews patronizingly in the Illuminati through the wonders of New-Age kindness and science. In shocking cognitive dissonance they both believe they’re talking to the dead but also not at the same time. At heart they’re just terrified, dangerously selfish and embarrassingly myopic but then again most people are today? And really they don’t want to get their hopes up and believe their fathers still exist only to be brutally disappointed…so to speak.

“They’re all experts in the every whim, fancy, disposition and perspective of their ancestors. …They’re all incredibly sure of themselves.” says Joe Sr..

“That was an awkward reference to Eyes Wide Shut.” says Joe Jr.. to clarify.