Reddit Writing Prompt #16: Fish and Throats

You choke on a fish bone and die. You are transported to Heaven where you must live with the fish you were eating for the rest of eternity. – COMPTON4LIFE

The pearly gates of Heaven stood silently behind Saint Peter as he leaned over the podium to look at the man on his knees, clutching at his throat and making horrific choking noises. “Are you alright, mister…” He checked his list. “Peter Happman. Nice name.”

Peter Happman opened his mouth to try and speak, giving Saint Peter a good luck at what was caught in his throat, staring out at him and just as surprised as both Peters.

“A fish?” Saint Peter said, disbelieving. He checked the list for cause-of-death. Peter Happman, age twenty-nine, cause of death: choking on a bone in his salmon fillet.

Peter Happman screamed as the fish tried to struggle free, but the sound was muffled. He reached into his mouth, trying to pull the fish out, but it just bit him. “I’m afraid you can’t,” Saint Peter said, feeling pity for this man whose parents had a good sense for names. “You’re stuck with it, since you died with its bone in your throat. Can you try breathing through your nose?”

Peter tried, and sucked in deep, panicked breaths. He nodded, and a second later was rolling on the ground again, clutching his throat, current contents: one struggling salmon. “Yes, it would be a good idea not to make too many sudden movements with your head or neck,” said Saint Peter. “You’ll just frighten the poor thing. It’s just as pleased with this turn of events as you are, I assure you.”

The salmon calmed down enough to stop flailing, leaving Peter breathing through his nose and crying. “Look, you’ve lived a very good life, so you’re being let in to Heaven,” Saint Peter said quickly; he really didn’t want to keep looking at the living fish head sticking out of the back of this man’s throat. It seemed like the animal’s beady eyes were staring at him, begging for mercy. “Er, I can direct you to a support group for souls with your condition. It’s surprisingly common, you see. Would you like that? Wait, no, don’t nod-”

Too late. Peter Happman nodded vigorously. The salmon was very displeased.

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