Welcome to the afterlife. You look confused. Do you have your papers? Ah, I see. You, sir, have earned a place among the heroes. Tell me, what great deeds did you accomplish to earn this honor? Nothing? What do you mean nothing? I know Judge Minos is getting old but he never makes mistakes. You may not realize it now but you did earn this honor. I shouldn’t be so surprised. Many great heroes didn’t think they were heroes themselves. In fact some of them were downright rotten folks during their lives. But it’s never too late in a person’s life to make a good decision. That’s all it takes sometimes, one good decision.
Anyway, let me tell you how this works. Normally, you would give me your coin and I take you to the afterlife. Since you are a hero, I’ll waive the fee but tips are still appreciated. You still look confused. You don’t have any money, do you? That figures. Everyone forgets about the ferryman. You know if you weren’t a hero I would make you wait a hundred years, right here, before I let you cross. I’ve been thinking about upping that to a thousand years actually. What is a hundred years compared to eternity, right? Most people just say they will wait. No one ever has any money for me anymore. For some reason people think I work for free. Oh, then there is the whole “They said I couldn’t take it with me” argument. That is just a bunch of greedy family members who want all your money for their inheritance. Everyone forgets the ferryman. Don’t they know I have a wife and kids to feed? Sheesh, what a thankless job. Anyway, they pay for it in the end. No one ever realizes what a hundred years can do to a spirit in this realm. You see all those poor wandering ghosts on the shore? That’s them. They forgot who they are. Most of them lost their papers. It’s not good to not cross over. Only a few ever come back and actually cross. It is a sad existence to wander between worlds. I cry for them every day, but rules are rules and the Gods won’t let me make exceptions for anyone.
Back to you. Since you are a hero, you get to go wherever you want, and you have free rein to wander between worlds. You look confused again. You see there are many different worlds in the afterlife depending on what you believe. Most people have some concept of heaven and hell, and plenty of people go to both, but there are some beautiful parts of the afterlife that many people don’t know about or remember. The Greeks have Elysium, the Norse have Valhalla, the Celts have Avalon. Whatever paradise you can imagine, it probably exists, and if it doesn’t, we can make it. Perhaps before you make your choice, we should go talk to some of the heroes that came before you. It might jog your memory and you’ll see that it isn’t how grand your story is that determines whether you are a hero; instead it is all about the choices you make. Get in the boat and let’s go find some friends of mine.