Author's Note: This won't be updated until it's complete, and after that updates will come every other week. The rest of my multi-chaptered stories are resigning to the same fate.
Consider this a teaser.
I did not see that fuckin' car coming. At fucking all, man. It just came and BAM! I'm dead. Driver didn't honk, slow down, or any of that shit. Just kept on driving, the asshole.
Definitely not how I wanted to start my week.
So now, I'm in some place where everything is mindfuckingly white and there's no damn way out, and worst of all, there's no catering service. The fuck. Not one person, thing, or even disembodied voice has told me what the hell is going right now, so I'm more than a little pissed.
No, I don't have anger problems. Shut the fuck up; I'm too awesome for that.
Being ignored is kinda adding insult to injury. It's like, "Hey, we know you're dead and all, so we'll just let you sit on your ass and wait for us to take our sweet fucking time because hey, you're not going anywhere! El-oh-el-oh-el." And I don't like that. At all.
Gilbert Frederick Beilschmidt takes no shit from anyone, in life or in death.
Rocking back on my heels, I readjust the weird toga-thing I woke up wearing and whistle a tune to myself. "Uh, empty white space?" I call out loudly, feeling horrifyingly stupid for talking to nothingness. "It's not really taking that long to figure out where I'm headed, right? I mean, yeah, I made some dumb mistakes in my lifetime, but I'm not a bad guy."
And cue the seemingly eternal silence. Fucking hell.
Sighing in exasperation, I look around and spot someone walking toward me; after a moment or so, I realize that it's Elizabeta. "Liz, what the fuck are you doing here?" I ask incredulously, hoping she's not dead, too.
Instead of answering me, she stops, looks me over, and holds out a hand. "Good morning, Mr. Beilschmidt," she says, all formalities and business and I'm starting to worry about what happened to my dear, sweet, hotheaded Lizzie-bear.
She shakes her head. "No. You can rest assured that Miss Héderváry is alive and well." That's a relief. "As for my name… I am known by many names, but the most common one is 'God.'"
Okay, I know I look like a gaping fish. I just can't do anything about it. "Buh… I don't get it! Why do you look like my old friend, then?"
With a shrug, God says, "It's all to make you feel more comfortable. Now, please, have a seat," and causes two chairs and a table to materialize out of the nothingness. Meanwhile, my brain is beyond fucking blown and all I do is nod and flop down into my chair. "As I'm sure you know, you're dead, but I know that you have great potential and could quite possibly make a difference to the world."
She's crazy. Absolutely fucking crazy. I have potential? I didn't even finish college! "But I'm dead, so it's not like it matters anymore, right?" I retort, drumming my fingers on the tabletop. "And as for the whole 'potential' thing, are you sure you don't have me confused with my brother? You know, the one with a Master's degree, financial security, and sleeping quarters that aren't his brother's basement?"
"I'm God. I'm perfect, and I don't make mistakes, especially about something as important as this. To answer your first question, your death has nothing to do with it—I planned that to bring you here and relay something you might be interested in."
I roll my eyes. "It better be good, then."
A smile. "A chance to live again."
Holdthefuckingphone. Blinking, I raise my eyebrows almost to my hairline and splutter, "Wh-What? I can… I can be alive again? Fuck yes!"
In the midst of my victory celebration, she suddenly turns dreadfully serious and stares straight at me, saying, "It's not as easy as you think. There is a bit of a, how you say, catch attached to this offer: if you can commit one thousand selfless acts within a year, you will be allowed to live until your previously established date of death. Should you fail to complete all good deeds, you will die and your soul will be sent to hell."
"Whoa, whoa, whoa!" I exclaim, holding out my hands in the general 'what the fuck' pose. "What's with the selfless acts thing? I'm perfectly selfless; shit, I don't think I've ever been selfish in my entire life!"
Raising an eyebrow, she waves her hand and a clip reel appears, which I realize contains my memories and other embarrassing shit. Indifferently, she plays the first clip as I watch in mild disbelief.
"Bruder, where are we going?" a little blond boy asked, looking up at the ten-year-old albino holding his hand expectantly. "I want to go play with Feliciano and Kiku."
Gilbert scoffed, ignoring little Ludwig's demands and continuing to head toward his own friends. "That's just too bad, then, because I wanna play with Francis and Antonio and Mutti said I have to watch you all day today. So you're stuck with me. Get over it."
Pouting, Ludwig huffed and said, "You're so selfish, Gilbert! You never think about anyone but yourself, even though you're not the most important person in the world!" He yanked his hand out of his older brother's grip and continued with, "I want to go play with my friends, so you can go have fun with your stupid friends and I'll go have fun with Feli and Kiku."
He stormed off, leaving Gilbert standing there looking dumbstruck before he rolled his eyes and muttered, "Dumb brat should be lucky I care enough to take him anywhere in the first place…"
Then, the clip changes.
"Ah, this box is heavy!" Elizabeta whined, huffing and puffing down the hallway with a box of marbles in her arms. The twelve-year-old Hungarian transfer student grunted as she shuffled toward the door to her beginning physical science class, spotting Gilbert, now thirteen and a half and proud of it, standing by his locker and fiddling with the combination. "Gil, can you help me?"
With a bored expression, he glanced over at Liz and shrugged. "I dunno," he drawled, shrugging one shoulder nonchalantly. "What do I get out of it?"
"…the warm, fuzzy feeling you get when you help someone out?" she answered, growing more and more impatient. All he had to do was open the damn door!
He pondered this for a moment, then said, "Nah. Not worth it. Sorry."
Angry, Elizabeta 'accidently' dropped the box, causing marbles to roll around everywhere. "Mr. Bernard!" she announced, opening the door to her classroom and popping her head in. "Gilbert made me spill all the marbles and now they're everywhere!"
Mr. Bernard paused in his lesson and walked over to the door, frowning disappointedly at the gaping German boy. "Gilbert, I want every last marble cleaned up and put back in the box by the end of today. Also, you have detention."
Okay, in my defense, even Liz was a bit of a dick back then. The clip changes again, and within the first few seconds I already feel sick.
"I want you so bad, Gilbert," Elizabeta moaned, cheeks flushed with drunkenness and breath smelling like tequila, whiskey, and bad ideas. "Just… just so bad. Want you bad… want you right… right now…"
"Stop it, stop it!" I scream just as the past me decides that what's right doesn't matter and pulls her up for a kiss. Burying my head in my hands, I repeat, "Stop, just stop," and sob pathetically while God stops the memories and dematerializes them again. It's degrading to be reduced to a sniveling ball of lame, but I just don't want to relive some of those memories.
I buried them for a reason.
"One thousand selfless acts in a year or you die," God pipes up, voice stern and eerily reminiscent of the tone Liz used last week when she told me to fuck off and die. I guess she got her wish, if only temporarily. "Are we clear?"
Sniffling, I lift my head and nod. "Crystal."
"From the time you regain consciousness back on earth, you have five hundred twenty-five thousand, six hundred minutes to help one thousand people with no prospect or expectance of personal gain," she says, words sounding distant as my vision blurs. "Make every one count."