Everyone goes to heaven. There's a reason why the American court system has the opinion of "innocent until proven guilty." Everyone goes to heaven when they die. What damns you to Earth or hell is what you've done with your life. That's what determines if you stay in heaven or not. See, a sin is not exactly what everyone believes it to be. A sin is not something evil you've done, it's the mistakes you've made.
You killed someone? That's a mistake. You've stolen? It's a mistake. You called your friend a jerkface, it's a mistake.
Problem with mistakes, is that you can't fix them. Not like you can on paper. Sure, just erase it, write over it. Life… doesn't work like that. School lied, made a mistake. Happens to all of us. But one mistake isn't enough to send you to hell.
When you make a mistake in life, you lose a feather. Angel wings are very large, they have to be to lift a whole solid-bone person. Even in death you weigh a ton. Now, think about how many feathers a bird has. Hummingbirds have nine hundred forty feathers on their body. Swans have over twenty five thousand. Now, since people only get the wing portions, well… you do the math. There are a lot of feathers.
When birds molt, they lose two feathers at a time. If one primary feather falls off the right wing, the exact same feather falls off the left wing.
Angel wings don't work like that. For each mistake, you lose ONE feather. Tends to get a bit unbalanced after a while. If you make fifteen mistakes, you'll list a little to one side. Now, you don't realize this when you're alive. You have no idea what happens to you when you die. You're not supposed to. But the fact still stands; for every mistake, you lose a feather.
Lose enough feathers, and you can't stay in heaven, it takes more work than your wings can handle to stay that high up. You're stuck on Earth, where you're able to keep yourself aloft enough to drift past the living. Most angels that are stuck there become listless, knowing what they could have had, knowing what they did have… being there every day watching what was once theirs that is now gone.
But some unlucky angels lose more. They are the ones that have made more mistakes than it keeps to even stay above the crust of the Earth. When you've lost that many feathers, you plummet to hell. It's not the burning sulfur pit everyone is taught to fear. It's nine levels of darkness. There is very little light, normally from the feathers that are still on wings. They glow, faintly. But enough for you to see the dull, dead faces of the trapped.
And then you get people like me. The ones that have made too many mistakes. The ones that have no feathers left. Empty, freakish looking arms sprout from my back. Naked, exposed, ugly. Even the fallen avoid my type. And my type don't go near each other. All around hell there are little groups of semi-feathered people, clinging to each other to try and keep their mind from crashing. But there is no hope for us, and even less for my kind. I've made far too many mistakes. And now my wings are barren for them.