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Brightest and Best

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Heaven is a sterile highrise office. Hell is a dank basement. Earth's side operates from a warm conservatory. Beams of sunlight dance with golden motes like dust, outpourings of joy and mirth, compassion and friendship, while in the corners inspiration and creation flourish like green plants. The soil in their pots smells damp, as if freshly watered with tears and perspiration, and built up from the quieter, less showy parts of life. Determination, comfortable routines, perseverance in the face of trouble, tiny everyday pleasures, grief and growing up, new perspectives, fear and courage together against the outwardly tiniest things that never feel small. It feels connected and intertwined, like ivy wrapped around a tree, or a much-loved book of linked tales nestled on a shelf.

Two figures wander in and out of it, their wings half black and half white, with an iridescence that shimmers into other shades. For the redhead, those shades lean to golds and greens and purples like the shadow of a nebula at night. For the blond, they lean to blues and silvers and palest pink, like the first hints of a summer dawn.

Once in a while, they stand together, wrapped in their wings until it's impossible to tell whose is the black and whose the white feathers, and watch the stars come out all over the sky.

Neither of them ever looks at the certificate framed above the door. It reads: You chose humanity's side, dearest hearts. I charge you to gather for your own side, not that which is good or that which is evil, but that which shines brightest in humanity.

Be my magpies in the garden of the universe.