The young angel frowned in confusion, and began following his father down the hall. “You didn’t answer my question.”

The father turned around to regard his young son. “I did, and I would say that you were not listening properly. Now, what did I say?”

“You said, what goes up must come down.”

The father nodded. “Yes, that is the rule amongst those earth dwellers down there. You see, son, the gravity thing that you just asked me about means that. Whatever goes up in the sky, is forced back to earth by gravity.”

“Oh,” the boy said as if he understood, but he clearly did nothing of the kind. “I just thought that it was something that the teacher made up to try and scare me.”

“Gravity is a real thing, but it does not exist up here in heaven. You never know, they may have just been using it to scare you. Tell me exactly what they said about it.”

“We were learning about becoming one of the fallen. I did not understand the concept of falling, and they told me that it was the effect of gravity. They told me that if I was not good then God would send me to Earth to experience gravity first-hand.”

“Well, that bit is certainly true. As you know, God is in charge of everything that we do. If we displease him in any way then he will banish us. We will become one of the fallen, and many of the places that we are banished to have gravity. In fact, I think all of them do, because that would be the very definition of the word fallen. I mean, you can’t fall without gravity.”

“So, they weren’t just trying to scare me?”

The father thought about this for a moment. “Yes and no.”

“What is that supposed to mean?”

“There is always a risk that you may become one of the fallen, but I think that partly they were trying to stop you asking questions about gravity. I mean, none of us have ever experienced that so it is not like they would be able to give you a definitive answer. I can’t describe falling to you, because simply I have not done that. As you know, this just simply is not possible in heaven. We simply hang suspended in midair until we correct ourselves. Down there, they literally hit the floor and they can hurt themselves by doing so. The concept of pain is alien to us as well, so please don’t ask me anything about that.”

“Maybe I should ask God about this.”

The father wrapped his chin thoughtfully. “I am not sure that he has ever experienced that.”

“Then how could he impose it as a punishment? I mean, it is just not fair that he is doing this to people without knowing what it is that is happening. Maybe this falling lark is actually a good thing to be doing, and we simply do not know.”

“If you do decide to talk to him, then I would probably not go with that argument. The last thing that you want to is anger him and end up as one of the fallen.”

“What if I am right though? What if it is a good thing?”

“I really do not think that it can be a good thing. Those people down there get hurt when this happens, and sometimes the consequences are severe for them. It is a punishment for a reason.”

The young boy cocked his head to the left as he contemplated this. “I guess it must be, but, at the same time, it is not something that I can realistically fear. As far as we know, it might well be a better life than what we have here.”

“I really do not think so, son. How can it be? Up here we do not have any form of consequence for our actions, there is no pain, and we are certainly not restricted by forces such as gravity. God may not have experienced this first hand, but he did create everything down there so I am sure that he knows what it is like.”

“You are probably right.”

“I know I am right.”

There was a blinding flash, and God himself suddenly appeared in the room. “I have been listening to the both of you, and young Michael does have a point. I have never actually experienced what falling is really like. Michael, would you help me with an experiment?”

“What kind of experiment?”

“I would like someone to experience falling, and then come back and tell me what it is like. Would you be willing to be my teacher?”

“Wait a minute,” the father suddenly spoke. “Is my boy in any kind of trouble with you?”

“No, and there is no payment for crime going on here,” God was quick to reassure the father. “It is just that, as Michael pointed out, I have no idea what falling is actually like, and whether it is indeed a bad thing to do. I suppose I just need to know that the form of punishment I have chosen, is actually punishing.”

“I will be allowed to return?”

“Of course, and I will definitely be expecting you to.”

“Then I will,” the young boy replied, and before he had a chance to change his mind God snapped those fingers, and he felt himself dropping.

When he got used to the sensation, his first thought was that he had been right, and this was actually a fun thing to be doing. Michael found himself twirling through the sky as he hurtled towards the ground at great speed. The fact of the approaching floor did not actually bother him, simply because he did not know what pain actually was.

Of course, this all changed when he actually hit the ground and made a small crater.


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