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Poem: "A Little Heaven and Hell" - The Wordsmith's Forge
The Writing & Other Projects of Elizabeth Barrette
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Poem: "A Little Heaven and Hell"
This is today's freebie, inspired by a prompt from LJ user My_partner_doug. It also fills the "19 Evaluate Your Life Day" square in my 9-30-18 card for the Fall Bingo fest.


"A Little Heaven and Hell"

[October 19, 2015]


If you're going through hell,
keep going -- unless you're in
Hell, Michigan, which is
actually a nice town.

The way you store up
treasure in heaven is by
investing in getting people there --
especially if you happen to live in
Little Heaven, Delaware.

They have been sister cities
for some years now, not just
because their town names make
a funny combination, but because
their storm seasons are mirrored:
winter snowstorms in Hell and
summer hurricanes in Little Heaven.

People are used to mixing
a little heaven and hell instead of
seeing everything in black and white.

So Hell and Little Heaven trade
pen pals and exchange students,
honeymooners and other tourists,
so that people will know each other
in case they need emergency hosting
during a disaster someday.

They share each other's holidays.

Hell, Michigan celebrates Hell Night
with bonfires and fire safety talks, and
invites queer people to go to Hell
for National Coming Out Day.

Little Heaven celebrates
Christmas Day as Heaven's Day,
and each year they choose
a Heaven on Earth project
to pursue for a week.

Together they observe
Evaluate Your Life Day
on October 19, looking at
what's good and what's bad.

People dress up as angels and devils,
virtues and vices, from all kinds of cultures.
They give presentations on life balance
and hand out free worksheets on
how to assess your progress.

Community counseling offices
offer ten-minute wellness checkups
and church outreach offices talk
about spiritual wellbeing.

Everyone is surprised when
two of the costumes come to life
during the Hell, Michigan celebration,
with Aniela Jaskolski becoming an angel
and Rafael Abaroa becoming a devil, but

nobody from either town is surprised
when they promptly fall in love.

* * *

Notes:

Aniela Jaskolski -- She has fair skin, blue eyes, and long wavy hair of golden blonde. She can manifest white angel wings. Her heritage includes American and Polish. She speaks English and Polish. Aniela lives in Hell, Michigan where she works as a community counselor. She spent a year of high school in Little Heaven, Delaware as an exchange student. She does well with people, but often struggles with practicalities.
Origin: She was dressing up as an angel for Evaluate Your Life Day, and her costume came to life.
Uniform: Casual girl clothes
Qualities: Good (+2) Citizen, Good (+2) Community Counselor, Good (+2) Compassionate, Good (+2) Emotional Intelligence, Good (+2) Graceful
Poor (-2) Keeping Her Feet on the Ground
Powers: Good (+2) Angel Powers
She can manifest angel wings, fly, produce a glowing aura, and bless people. Other abilities are developing over time.
Motivation: To help people see the good in life.

Rafael Abaroa -- He has tinted skin, greenish-brown eyes, and short wavy brown hair. His mustache and beard are darker, almost black. Freckles frame the edges of his face. He can manifest red skin, short horns, and a prehensile devil tail. His heritage includes American, Jewish, Hispanic, and Lenape. Rafael speaks English and Spanish. He lives in Little Heaven, Delaware where he works in the community outreach office at the People of Freedom Church, a nondenominational religious facility. He spent a year of high school as an exchange student in Hell, Michigan. Rafael typically has a good balance between logic and passion, but sometimes his temper gets the better of him and he can be really vindictive about it.
Origin: He was dressing up as a devil for Evaluate Your Life Day, and his costume came to life.
Uniform: He likes men's business wear, along with the colorful expressions of the creative black tie mode.
Qualities: Good (+2) Church Outreach Worker, Good (+2) Heat Tolerance, Good (+2) Logical-Mathematical Intelligence, Good (+2) Passionate, Good (+2) Sophisticated
Poor (-2) Vengeful
Powers: Good (+2) Devil Powers
He can manifest red skin, short horns, and a prehensile devil tail. He can levitate but not truly fly. He has the ability to manipulate desires and passions. Other abilities are growing in over time.
Motivation: To give people a hand out of the darkness.

"Jewish" can be described as an ethnicity and/or a religion, depending who you ask. This can be rather a hot debate in the community, especially when someone wants to leave. I have noticed that practicing Jews tend to define it as a religion, while nonpracticing people with Jewish ancestors tend to define it as an ethnicity. DNA indicates that Jews are a race. There are different branches of the religion and different subgroups of ethnicity. For instance, Ashkenazic Jews come from central Europe while Sephardic Jews come from southern Europe and northern Africa. In this case, some of Rafael's ancestors are Jewish, primarily Sephardic Jews, but he himself does not practice Judaism. However, his mix of family religions did incline him to seek out a multicultural church.

Creative Black Tie is one of many dress codes., toward the formal end but with a quirky and colorful flair.

* * *

“If you're going through hell, keep going”
Winston Churchill

"The way you store up treasure in heaven is by investing in getting people there."
-- Rick Warren

Sister cities have a social connection, usually between towns in different countries but they can be in different states within the same country. In Terramagne-America the towns of Hell, Michigan and Little Heaven, Delaware are sister cities. They are a little bigger there than here, and they are official towns instead of just "unincorporated communities."

Storm seasons are easier to handle if your community has made arrangements with another community for support during emergencies. Hell and Little Heaven are well matched because Michigan's winter storm season and Delaware's hurricane season put the highest risk of disaster in different times of the year.

Hell, Michigan takes a tongue-in-cheek approach to the claim that "all gays go to hell." In one memorable case, their mayor-for-a-day banned heterosexuals from coming to the town. National Coming Out Day is one feature of Pride Month. Some queerfolk like to visit Hell just for kicks, and most of the ones from T-Little Heaven have visited there at least once.

Hell Night or Devil's Night is an arson spree observed in Detroit and other parts of Michigan. Not wanting to get set on fire, the town of T-Hell has sensibly channeled this into constructive directions by holding bonfire parties and fire safety presentations.

T-Little Heaven celebrates Christmas Day as Heaven's Day and each year they choose a communal activity for the Heaven on Earth Project.

October 19 is Evaluate Your Life Day, which people observe by examining what's working or not working for them. Explore the Wheel of Life self-assessment tool and find your purpose in life.

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