Monday, February 27, 2017

[Short Story] Karma Mall

Prompt: When you die you go to a mall where each store represents an afterlife. The karma you've accrued in life is the currency you may spend at each store. You may pick any afterlife according to your taste and your budget

When you die you go to a mall where each store represents an afterlife. The karma you've accrued in life is the currency you may spend at each store. You may pick any afterlife according to your taste and your budget"Welcome," the doors chimed pleasantly as I walked through them, still trying to grasp the situation that I was in. The memories were still hazy, but I remembered walking down the street, followed by loud honk. I braced myself with my hands and closed my eyes, and when I opened them, I was already standing on a cloud, a huge mall before me.

There were others around me, and they were all headed for this mall. Since it was the only building in the vicinity, I decided to follow them.

A soft and peaceful music drifted from the speakers in the mall, as patrons wandered from one shop to the other. Curious about the entire place, I walked up to the receptionist table facing the entrance, where a lady dressed in shining white robes and majestic wings was busy greeting everyone who passed her.

"Excuse me?" I called out softly to her.

She turned to me, her bright smile filling me with warmth. "Yes, Amy, how can I help you?" She even knew my name.

"Well, I just wanted to ask about this place. Where am I actually? Am I dead?"

She nodded her head. There was a strange soothing effect from her presence, as I could feel all my fears dissolve away in front of her. "Yes Amy, you're in the purgatory, and this is the karma mall. Based on how much karma you have accrued in your life, you can decide on the type of life you want here."

"Ohh.." I said, as my attention turned towards the various stores in the mall. There was one that promised an eternity in most beautiful beach in the world, another where you are served by hundreds of Justin Bieber lookalikes and yet another where you can spend exploring the most exotic places in the universe.

I felt good too, because when I was alive, I have tried my best to accumulate good karma. I volunteered in animal shelters and soup kitchens. I always leave a big tip to my servers. I never cuss or swear when I am angry. And I always give way in traffic. My karma score should be quite high.

I muttered a thanks to the angelic receptionist as I hopped towards the beach store, the idea of lazing in sunshine with the gentle sound of waves has always been my idea of eternity. Another equally angelic looking cashier was standing behind the desk, as different images of different beaches flashed across the walls of the store.

My finger immediately pointed to the one with a mountain behind it, with a lagoon with crystal clear water. "Excuse me, I would like to have that beach, please," I crooned, already imagining my days sipping from a coconut, sleeping on the soft white sand.

The white lady appeared to be typing something into a console, before turning to me with a worried face. "I'm sorry Amy, but it appears that you don't have enough karma score to buy this afterlife. In fact, I'm afraid you have none."

"What?" I called out in anger, the first time I was losing my temper in decades. "I have done so much good deeds in my entire life! Countless! Donated to the poor, left the toilet seat down, how could I not have even any karma?" I demanded.

The angel scrunched her face at my response. "I'm really sorry Amy, but didn't anyone tell you? We've upgraded to use Reddit karma in this mall."

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