When I woke up, there was nothing.
A pure white empty space that seemed to stretch for all eternity was all that I saw; an expansive blank canvas filled my vision, nothing else in sight—
“What the—“ I spun around to see the source of the voice. A man appeared in front of me, a sudden figure amidst the eternal whiteness. “Um, who are you?” I asked.
The man seemed to ponder over my question. As he did, I took that moment to note his features; at first, he looked handsome. His golden-blonde hair fell to his shoulders, and his pale skin gave off an inhumane glow. His piercing blue eyes flickered as his gaze turned heavenward.
But as I continued scrutinizing him, his appearance gradually became more indistinct. His skin blended into the white background, and his eyes seemed like it held no life in it. He still looked handsome to me; almost unnaturally so.
He’s like a mannequin with a wig!
The man finally seemed to finish thinking over my question, as if I had asked him something so profound. He lowered his head to face me, and opened his mouth to speak.
“So, due to the circumstances surrounding your death, you have the opportunity to start your life anew in another world. Of course, you can reject this offer and just pass onto the afterlife. But if you decide that you want to be reincarnated into another world, you can make a single demand for your new life.”
The man just ignored me!
He completely ignored my question and started rambling about… my death? I don’t remember dying…
Actually I remember something— something about a truck? It was all a blur, and the more I tried to think about it, the more my head hurt.
Wait, if I’m dead, does that mean—
“Are you God?” I asked.
The man once again seemed to put effort to think over my question.
“I am similar to your understanding of God, yes.”
Oh good, he actually answered my question this time, even if it was in a roundabout way. Similar to God, huh? I guess I really was dead, though I still have a lot of questions. If he was what he said he was, let’s hope he can answer some of them.
“Um,” I began, trying to figure out what to ask first. “Do you maybe know how I died?”
“Yes I do.” This time he replied directly without any deliberation. Why couldn’t he have just done that for my other questions? Oh well, as long as he answers my questions properly now.
“So… how did I die?”
“I killed you.”
“Ah, you killed me… wait, WHAT?”
Did this god-like being just admit to murdering me? And he did it without even missing a beat. It’s like he’s treating my death like it was nothing. No, actually, he IS treating my death like it was nothing!
“Why the FUCK did you kill me?!” I snapped.
“As I said, your death was a result of the circumstances of the situation. You see, an out of control truck was headed in the direction of a child who would later on in life find the cure to cancer. So, I redirected the truck to avoid crashing into the child, and it just so happened that you were on the sidewalk directly next to the child.”
Oh, that made… sense? Of course if you had to choose between saving a kid who would cure cancer and save millions of lives, and little old me, you would save the kid every single time; it was a typical moral dilemma.
I was sure that if I had to choose between myself and the child, I too— with some apprehension— would save the kid… wait. I remembered something else.
“Y-you do realize that…”— I grimaced as the memories flashed through my head— “that I was about to save that kid, right?!”
A boy fell while crossing the street, and I watched as a truck came at him full speed without stopping. I ran over to grab the kid, when suddenly, the truck sped up and swerved— I flinched as I recalled the impact.
Upon hearing my words, the man just shrugged. “How was I supposed to know that?”
“How were you supposed to—?! The same way you knew that boy would cure cancer!”
“That child is fated for greatness. You on the other hand…” he said as he raised his hand and waved at me dismissively. “You don’t expect me to pay attention to every random person, do you?”
WOW. I couldn’t believe this. Sure I may not have planned to cure cancer, solve world hunger, or bring world peace. But I had plans!
I had just got accepted to the top University in my State, and was planning to go to law school after I was finished. I wanted to be a pro bono lawyer; one who protected the innocent and helped those in need. Obviously, I wanted to make money as well. But still!
I had my whole future ahead of me, and now I was…
I am dead.
It fully dawned on me. The suddenness of knowing that I lost my future, my family, and my friends, all coalesced into a feeling of anguish that hit me like… like an out of control truck!
Heh. I smirked at my own joke. At least I still had my sense of humor even when dead. But even that brief reprieve ended when the man spoke.
“As I mentioned previously, you can choose to live a second life in another world. Of course, starting anew would be difficult, so I will grant you one request to aid you in this new life.”
Oh yeah, he did mention that earlier. I was too focused on the absurdity of everything else to actually care about it. But reincarnation huh? Sounds like something out of an anime my friends would watch. Something something reincarnated as a—
My train of thought was interrupted once again by the man, who took my silence as a cue to resume his spiel.
“If you are worried about any possible drastic differences between your world and your new one, you should put yourself at ease. Though there are many different intelligent species in this world, not only are they mostly humanoid, but Humans do exist in this world. And even if it might be similar to historical Europe, technology is replaced by the workings of mana.”
Mana? So there’s magic, like in those MMORPG’s? That line of reasoning made perfect sense to me.
So it would have magic, and there were many different sapient species’. There would obviously be a lot of possible conflicts between species, since Earth had a lot of racial tensions even within the same species. I did not want to die again; especially not to something dumb like being born to the wrong species.
Since I could make a single request, I obviously would want to ask to remain safe. Hm, it feels like I am missing something obvious. As I was thinking, the man continued.
“The extent of the request you can make is obviously limited. It will be limited to the circumstances of your birth, you can not ask me to make you into a god, nor can you ask for more requests. You can however, ask for things like money and power.”
I couldn’t ask for more requests, or to make me like him. What are you, a genie?
Money was obviously a no go. If it was limited to my birth, I would probably be born to some stuck up noble family. I did not want to deal with politics, especially not that of a world similar to medieval Europe.
Power on the other hand, was quite appealing. I wanted to stay safe, and since magic was a thing…
“How about power in magical talent?” I spoke for the first time in a while, “Like let’s say, I want to be the most powerful mage in the entire world. Can you… uh, grant this request?”
The man seemed to once again ponder on my question, this time however, he placed his hand on his chin as he slowly spoke.
“I can do… something like that, yes. You can be reborn with the potential to be the most powerful… spellcaster… or magic wielder, if you wish.”
Ugh he’s doing that ‘deep thought’ thing again. I really disliked this man; the way he spoke— his careful deliberation over each of his responses— was irritating. And more than that, he killed me. So I had no reason to like him.
It was annoying. I was annoyed. I had lost everything and I was dead. I just wanted to get away from this man. So I agreed.
“Make me the most powerful spellcaster, or whatever. You know what I mean, just do it.”
“If that is what you wish to be reincarnated as…”
“Yes. That is what I wish to be reincarnated as. Hurry it up.”
“As you wish,” the man said.
As soon as the words left his mouth and his lips curled into a smile, the white world around me began dissolving into absolute nothingness.
The blank canvas was replaced by a void of emptiness, where all sensations, all thoughts, and all emotions left my body. Time seemed to stretch for an eternity, yet the moment passed in an instant.
And when I woke up, I was crying.
The cabin stood alone amidst the darkness. It was not far from the village, but it was still separated by the forest and the wildlife living in it. The moon hung directly overhead— its silvery light illuminated the cabin’s features.
It looked newly built. A year old at most. Its size was nothing remarkable; the dull brown of the wood its most prominent feature.
A high pitched wail cut through the night. An incessant cry from a baby stirred the animals and little critters awake. They bounded for cover, fleeing their homes as the screaming continued.
A woman sat up on a bed. Her long black hair ran down her back, covered only partially by the pointed hat that she wore. Her silver eyes gently gazed upon her arms.
No. Not at her arms, but at the child cradled in them. She soothed the child and caressed it, careful not to agitate it any further.
Slowly, the crying died down, and the woman smiled. Her smile only enhanced her beauty, for her looks alone would charm any man. But she was not trying to charm anyone, she was simply happy.
Her lips parted, and a soft voice came out, matching her young appearance. She looked no more than twenty. Not mature enough to look after herself, let alone a child. Yet she had a child, and it was her child that she spoke to.
“My beautiful daughter,” she said, stroking the child’s head, “there’s no need to cry.”
Slowly, so as to not disturb her daughter, the woman leaned over and kissed her on the forehead.
The child shifted slightly upon contact, and her eyes gradually opened up, revealing the same set of piercing silver-colored eyes of her mother. And as their gaze met, the woman felt her emotions well up inside of her. Fear, sorrow, and anger, all gathered together deep in her heart. But one emotion triumphed above it all. One that filled her with determination, strength, and hope.
Her love for her daughter washed away all the negative feelings she felt at that moment. The woman knew that all that mattered now was the child in her arms. That her daughter was safe. So when the woman spoke again, her voice was resolute.
“Do not cry my daughter, I am here for you. Even if they come for you, you will always be safe. You are my life now and forever. I will always love and protect you, Melas.”
Upon hearing the woman’s words, the child gently closed her eyes again. For a moment, she looked calm and at peace, almost as if she understood the woman’s words and trusted it with all her heart. Almost as if she believed that she would always be protected by her mother, no matter what happened.
Of course, that was not the case.
Did she say MELAS?! As in Salem? Oh my God, my mother is a Witch. I am SO going to be burned at the stake.
And then the baby cried.