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St. Peter (Howard's End)

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My dear Howard, whatever made you think you'd gone to Heaven!?!
~ St. Peter

St. Peter, or, the Devil, is the main antagonist of the Horowitz Horror short story Howard's End.

St. Peter first appears when Howard has been killed by being run over at London. St. Peter welcomes Howard into Heaven, and interrogates him at the Pearly Gates as reasons why he could go to Heaven. Howard tries to conceal all his sins (shoplifting, mugging, theft) but one of his stolen CDs (he was shoplifting before being run over) falls out of his pocket, and he confesses. Howard believes this had got him a ticket to Heaven, and is surprised when St. Peter admits him into Heaven. St. Peter bows and gets him into the gates.

Howard is delighted with what he believes to be Heaven, and he doesn't miss anyone on Earth. Howard does, however, begin to get bored. He has no one to talk to apart from saying "God bless you" to everybody in Heaven, and the angels are too boring and polite to talk properly with. Howard picks a fight with several angels to relieve his boredom, but the angels have no injuries and still forgive him. Howard tears his hair out, but it grows back, to his irritation.

One day, centuries later, Howard finds the Pearly Gates again and berates St. Peter, who remembers Howard perfectly, for letting him in when Howard feels he'd rather be in Hell than Heaven as it would be more fun. Howard calls St. Peter a stupid old man but then St. Peter transforms into the image of Satan himself and he jeers at Howard, laughing as he says that Howard isn't in Heaven at all.

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