The Start of It All.
A booming voice startled me awake, and I slumped forward in surprise. Why was I sitting upright? My surroundings were entirely unfamiliar- a waiting room of sorts. A breeze drifted through an open window and sent chills up my exposed legs. I was wearing a hospital gown and holding a clipboard full of papers.
That voice again.
I looked around to find the room empty, and then looked down at the papers. 104.
"That's me" I mumbled, unsure of what it meant.
There was only one door in the place. I got up. My legs felt like jelly. The place didn't smell like anything, didn't look out of the ordinary in any way.
My last memory was getting a ride home from a party. I fell asleep in the backseat. Maybe there was an accident? I quicked my pacing with worry.
When I reached the door handle, and threw open the thing- I was expecting a doctor.
A doctor is not what was behind it.
A woman sat at a desk. She was wearing a business suit and doing paperwork, next to an enormous machine that appeared to be printing something. Her hair was black and pinned back neatly, she wore bright red lipstick, and her face just read 'don't fuck with me.'
"Finally" she sounded annoyed and carried a thick New Yorker accent "sit down."
I did as I was told. I don't intimidate easily but damn. A pretty woman that takes zero shit is undeniably hot. I set down the clipboard with my 'number' on her desk. I pulled out the blue plastic seat and my butt hit it with a dull thud. In the back of my mind, I hoped I wasn't wearing the absolutely whorish thong from the party underneath my hospital gown. I cringed then- thinking about whoever had to dress me.
"Uh…who are you?" I cleared my throat trying to sound less anxious "What happened?"
She finally looked up from her work then.
Sparkling green eyes colored with boredom. I winced for what felt like the hundredth time since I woke up.
"I'm gonna go through this spiel pretty fast, so keep up. There's about one hundred more souls that I gotta get through before I can take a break. My identity isn't important but since you asked- I am, what your world would consider, God's assistant. I do the dirty work for the creator of the many universes."
I tightened my grip on the arms of the chair to keep from reacting.
"You, Elizabeth Lang, died at 2AM in a car accident leaving a New Years party at age 20."
Now the horror sat clear on my face. Desk woman's features peppered with amusement.
And here I thought I was just getting billed for a stomach pump.
"You're here because your decided death date upon birth was to be on your 61st birthday. Sometimes there's a blip" she shrugged "we can't account for human error and it results in earlier passings. Your driver was behind the wheel high off of ecstasy. But she was never meant to be at that party and therefore...here you are."
"Normally when people die- they are reincarnated. No mess and no fuss. But in the instance that a life is cut short, that soul is brought here first. You're basically getting a set amount of perks based off how much good or bad you did as Elizabeth Lang to carry onto your next life aaaand you get to keep your memories. As sort of a 'sorry you bit the bullet too soon.' "
She swivelled suddenly in her chair and snatched one of the papers out of the printer, tossing it to me carelessly. I scrambled to grab it just as she tossed a pen. That hit the floor and I had to pick it up.
I wasn't being given time to process it all. I looked down at what I'd been given.
A list of various worlds. Some of them with names in different languages. The list covered the page from top to bottom.
My dad, my boyfriend, my dog.
Its gone… I'll never see them again.
I flipped it over. On the other side of the sheet- sat in red lettering, 'KARMA' and next to it...a number 7. I opened and closed my mouth. I couldn't even form words.
"That's a pretty high score. I should have read through your file all the way" I jumped about a foot in the air, feeling the woman behind me. I hadn't even seen her move. The wind never shifted and her feet never hit the floor. She just appeared over my shoulder.
Creepy. I shivered.
"What did ya do? Save a bunch of orphans or something?"
My nose crinkled in distaste.
"I inherited a lot of money from a family member who wasn't a great person so I just donated it all. I also gave a friend a liver" I shrugged "other than that...I've been a mediocre person."
The price of a funeral, the price of cremation, who's going to pay for my mom's medical care?
The woman didn't reply and I could still feel her breath on my neck- it was giving a whole new meaning to rushed. I was being absolutely shoved through the motions. I wouldn't be able to process losing my entire life until I filled out a fucking paper. It all felt very insane.
The 'perks' I could choose from varied. There were physical ones like increased speed or literally thick skin, there were mental ones like intuition, and then there were things like luck and social status.
"I can't help you pick but please hurry up" she sounded strained.
"Yeah I know you've got a hundred more blips as soon as I'm done" I grumbled and began checking off boxes.
Increased speed, increased stamina, luck, social status, vitality just in case I got fucking killed again somehow. I stopped at 5 and bit my lip. Ah, screw it. Linguism and Advanced Immune System.
"All great choices! Now pick a world and get out of my office."
A flash, and then she was back in her seat, back to looking at her stack of work without a care in the world. I grimaced. I would hate to be stuck at a desk for eternity.
Flipping the sheet to the front- I couldn't help but feel overwhelmed. Gazing at the never ending worlds...a number of them jumped out at me. There were worlds for every fictional series ever. Even what I could only assume were fictional worlds from other worlds. I was sure that if I asked- there would be more that just weren't able to fit on the single page.
Twilight, Pokemon, Harry Potter, Hunger Games, Inuyasha, Tokyo Ghoul, The Avengers. Anime names I recognized but never watched. Movies, television series. People always did say that media is inspired by subconscious things we've seen from other realms in our sleep and shit.
I found myself checking off a box belonging to, surprisingly, one of the more convoluted and disastrous worlds.
As soon as the ink finished drying- the paper began glowing and dissolved between my fingertips. Before I could even ask what was going on, my fingers followed suit. I watched as my molecules fizzled into nothingness at lightning speed.
The last thing I saw and heard before the rest of my body went-
"OH! And there'll be some downsides to the perks, just to even it all out. Good luck!"
A pair of red acrylics waving and a bashful expression.
What fucking downsides? What kind of a gift needs to be evened out? I found myself wishing I knew her name so I could scream it at her.
I settled for just screaming in general.
Funnily enough, that's exactly how I entered the next world.
Authors Note: I decided to end it here so that you guys, the readers, could let me know what I should do for the social status aspect. I figure by her choosing that- that means she would be reborn an Uzumaki, related to the Hokage, a main branch Hyuuga, something like that. Let me know what you think I should have her be-
The sooner I get suggestions, the sooner I can write the update! Love all you readers, till next time.