If I Only Didn’t Have a Day Job

To go along with all my other damn posts about missing out on inspiration because of life,  I found this in my drafts – a beginning to a short story I wanted to write.  It was going to be about how life is sort of a game played by spirits in the afterlife.  Your spirit controls your body and tries to make it live as long as possible.  Real-life Sims, I guess.  Steve meets one of the “monitors”, who supervise “gameplay”…

“And then the ambulance just rolled away with no lights or anything.  Much different than when the person is still alive, huh?”

Although he tried to make it sound humorous, there was little in his voice that indicated it.  There was only a dull monotone that sounded like the shock hasn’t passed yet.

“But Steve, it really wasn’t your fault.  From what you’ve told me, it isn’t.”

And that part was legally true.  No charges from the police.  No insurance hassles.  The woman had pulled out in front of him and he…

“Yup.  I couldn’t do anything.  Couldn’t do anything but kill her.”  Steve wasn’t making himself feel any better by relating his story.  Wasn’t that what was supposed to happen?  “Get it out” and all?

His sounding board, Paul, had no comforting retort for Steve this time.  He could only sit and silently provide support.  Paul had known Steve for many years.  Although they weren’t what you would call best friends, they would get together often enough to keep a friendship strong.

Paul was exactly what Steve needed right now.  Someone who wasn’t too close that would be shaken by his recent accident and the effect it had on him, but also someone close enough that would actually care about him getting over this.

“It’s shit like this that makes me question everything in life, Paul.  Why her, why now, why not me?  You talk to the religious types and they say ‘God has a plan for everyone.’  And you talk to the non-religious and they say ‘That’s life, dude.’  I have to say, there’s gotta be something in the middle.”

Paul looked down at the mug of coffee in front of him.  “Let him talk it out,” he thought.

“I started reading a lot lately.  Looking for some reasoning.  I came across this thing called Theosophy, which is supposed to explain the whole life and death process, without religiousness.  Or at least that’s what I got out of it.  I read other books about after-death communications.  So I have all these ideas about karma and purposes and reincarnation, but even considering all that, it still doesn’t make any sense as to why.”

Paul looked back up at Steve.  “Why what?”

“Just, why.  Why did it happen.  When you think about ‘God’s plan’ or predestiny or even some weird cosmic theory that someone dies so that someone else can learn a lesson.  There’s the big debate about free will in there, too.  It just seems… random.”

A figure in the booth behind Steve spoke up.  “It’s calculated.”

“Excuse me?”  Steve half turned around, not sure whether to be annoyed at the eavesdropping or intrigued at the stranger’s certainty in his declaration.

“It is calculated, or I should say, pre-calculated.  The outcome isn’t really known, but the scenario is a generated one based on known factors,” the stranger explained in a matter-of-fact way.  “The outcome will change a lot of future events, events that were pre-planned, but get adjusted with current data.”


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