Once there was a person who died, and then their adventure began in earnest. After a fair bit of rest, they decided that they were ready to give the world another go, and let management know that it was ttime to see what their options were.
They went to the showroom, where all the options for their next life’s story were laid out, and considered the decision carefully. The god of the sales floor told the person, “You really can’t go wrong with a good one about friendship, you know. Guarantees that you’ll meet some interesting people along the way, and that’s a nice way to spend your time.”
The person nodded thoughtfully. “I did love my friends, but I was thinking of something a bit more…exciting, if you catch my meaning.”
“Oh, of course!” the salesgod responded. “Perhaps a life story about temptation, then? That’s an excellent one for excitement, with the internal struggle between your better angels and base desires, Very popular choice.”
The person said, “Now hang on, I’m not quite ready to make a decision just yet. What are my other options? This isn’t the sort of thing I want to rush into, you know. It’s my life we’re talking about here.”
Raising their hands in a placating fashion, the deity declared, “We have all the time in the world, I assure you, and you’re right – it’s not a decision to be made lightly. Perhaps some luxury in your next life? Some people will tell you that sort of thing is trivial, but take it from me: a little comfort, here and there, really is necessary. Or perhaps adventure! Powerful enemies to struggle against, with the outcome uncertain, but incredible experiences along the way.”
The person listened raptly as the possibilities swirled through their mind.
Warming to the task, the god of the salesroom continued, “Maybe you’re looking to create something of lasting value, your next time out? Nothing wrong with that, you know. A piece of art, or a pillar of knowledge, or a home for those who need it? I’ve many a happy customer in that sort of story, I assure you. Or you could always choose victory. That one’s been sought after for a long time and while we offer it to everyone, if you don’t mind me saying, it’s our repeat customers who really tend to appreciate it. Walking in knowing that there are going to be some of those exquisite moments of triumph? There’s really nothing quite like it.”
“And what about next time?” the person asked. “I suppose I can just work my way through them all, if I like, one after another?”
The god let out the sort of uncomfortable laugh that comes when a customer has actually read the fine print before signing up for a service. “Oh, no no no. This might actually be your last time through, friend. You may have a few more ahead of you, but there’s no way of knowing. All a part of the mystery, eh? Keeps us all on our toes.”
“Now hang on a moment!” the person exclaimed. “If that’s the situation, then I’m not taking just one of these. Adventure OR friendship OR temptation OR whatever else? No, listen, if this might be my last try, then you’re going to give me the whole lot!”
The god’s eyes widened. “What, everything?” they asked, voice quavering just a little bit as cracks began to show in their calm demeanor.
“All of it! And whatever’s in the back room, too!” the person confirmed. “I’m not going to be cheated out of anything here.”
After some “Well I’ll have to check with the manager”s and some “Why don’t you do that, I’m not going anywhere till I’m satisfied”s, the god of the sales floor came back to the person. “Well, I’ve managed to talk them into it,” they said. “Just…well, do me a favor, won’t you?”
“What’s that?: the person asked a little suspiciously.
“You’re clearing out our stock, here. Do right by it, when you’re out there. All right?”
The person nodded, and reached out for the stories that the god had collected for them. As they left, the stories dissolved more quickly than you might think, turning into a mist that the person breathed in, and the mist of stories settled into the person’s body, each particle going where it would be most needed during their upcoming life.
Back in the now empty showroom, the god flopped down at a desk, propping their feet up and taking a long swig of coffee. A monster stuck their head out from the back and, seeing that no customers were there, came out.
“Saw you got a sale,” the monster rumbled. “What’d they settle on?”
“Oh, just the usual,” the god said. “Same as always.”