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Mister Seventh Time Lucky
The twenty-eighth day of the first month, the year 1547.
At the gates, Saint Peter had no real clue to dates and times, so the significance of this day in Western Europe was lost on him. Had he known, he wouldn't have given a Serpent's backside about it anyway.
The sound of approaching footsteps through the thick mist spurred him into action, and he secreted his copy of What Pitch-fork? beneath his robes, aware that the 'boss' could be prone to directorial visits at any time.
When the figure appeared it had a beard alright, but to Saint Peter's relief this was a short ginger one rather than a long flowing white one.
The beard was attached to a bloated face, nestled above a portly frame dressed in badly soiled bed-clothes.
" Don't we know you? " Peter asked.
" Should do, " Ginger replied, " Certainly made my mark. "
" Name? "
" Henry. "
" Last name? "
" Err.....The Eighth. "
" Right bear with me Mister Err The Eighth. "
Peter began unravelling his scroll of names. It took him two weeks.
" Ah... " he said eventually. "....Oh...oh yes, we know about you don't we?...uh-huh, six wives..." He tutted, trailing a finger down the scroll, "...mm, a couple of divorces in there... "
The Tudor King shuffled from one foot to the other.
" Well? "
" Well it's not looking great is it Henry, my old mucker? "
" You're not going to let me in are you? "
" Henry...." Peter scratched his head, " Tell me about Love. "
" About what? "
" Not your strong point I realise, but tell me about love. And I don't mean a quick ' wham-bam thank you ma'am, chopping block's over there ' type of love....I'm talking about Luurrrve. " Peter did a quick grind of the hips and snogged the palm of his hand.
Henry looked baffled.
" Okay, " said Peter, " Let's gloss over your misdemeanours down below. What can you offer us here in Heaven? What are you looking for here? "
" A wife. "
" What? Another one?! "
" I still need a wife who can bear me a son. "
Saint Peter regarded the fallen King, almost sympathising with his desperation.
" But Henry, I'm rather afraid that can't happen now. We could provide you with a spiritual wife maybe, but you couldn't copulate with her because you are dead, and she couldn't reproduce because she is dead. "
" Well, what use would she be to me then? "
" It brings us back to the question of 'Love' Henry. "
" I stiil don't know what you mean by that word. "
" It would have to be a spiritual marriage if we gave you a wife here. Nothing more than companionship and respect. You would have to love her, purely for who she is. This is the land of the departed, Henry. You can't divorce the deceased, or behead the dead. "
" Well, " the King shrugged and sighed. " Thanks but I er... I think I'd better leave it. "
" Where are you going? " Peter asked. He kind of liked this guy.
" I'll have to give the other place a try. "
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