You know the saying “All dogs go to heaven?” Well so do all martians, but, just like dogs, we have a different heaven. One detached from that of Earth. Separate. Alone. Just rows and rows and rows of hollow doors. I stare at them and sometimes I feel that they stare back at me.
Sheila, my guardian angel, walked me to my door, it wasn’t a far walk. I, being the first death on Mars, get door number one which is specifically tailored to be my personal heaven. All the desires and dreams and wishes that I want deep down inside can be found in that room. Thing is though, I don’t know if I believe in a deep down or, could be, that I am scared to know my deepest desires. Maybe that’s why I haven’t opened the door yet. As for all the other doors, right now they are empty. Blank slates to one day be painted with by the death of future men. If anymore men try to make it to Mars that is.
I feel like Sheila resents me because my place of passing affected her as well. She was forced to transfer here from Earth and leave behind all the friends she had made. She is now the lone angel of Martian heaven and I am the lone man. The two of us just sit most days and talk. We talk about everything. When you’re the only two people in heaven you’ll figure out a way to be friends. Maybe that’s why I haven’t opened the door yet. When I leave Sheila will have nothing to do but watch me enjoy my biggest fantasies while she waits for another human to die on Mars so that another angel can be brought here. After want happen though she may have a long wait.
I was part of the first group of settlers sent to colonize Mars. I know sounds like a sci-fi cliché. Well here’s another cliché. The voyage didn’t go as planned. Out of the three ships sent mine was the only one not to be torn apart by engine failure before passing the 1.5 AU mark. That meant that only the thirty men and women on my ship would complete the journey… or so we though. We suffered engine failure a few minutes before Mar’s gravity would begin to pull on us. I was in the cockpit while the other 29 members were tending to matter in the main halls of the ship. The explosion started suddenly and ripped through like a mudslide.
They all died instantly.
Luckily for me, or maybe unluckily, the cockpit is air-locked separately so I, in my personal metal pod, was propelled to mars. Becoming the first man to die there. I just wish it hadn’t been on impact. Maybe that’s why I haven’t opened the door yet. If Mars and Earth have their own separate heavens then where did my 89 comrades who died in transit go? Did they go to the Earth heaven? Did they go to the heaven of the void? Or are they all just gone, their eternal souls forced to wander space while the unfilled solar wind rips them to shreds.
I don’t know.
It’s probably been about twenty years now. Maybe the living are planning another trek to Mars but I don’t know if they’re going to risk it after losing so many the first time. When, or if, someone claims door number two and Sheila finally gets another angel to talk to… I’ll start thinking about opening my door… and facing my deepest desires. As for now though I have to go. Sheila is going to tell me the story about the time she met James Franco again.