The Reincarnation Office - An Original Short Story by K H Simmons
‘Take a seat please,’ I checked the file in front of me. ‘Dean Luft?’ I asked. Not that the file was ever wrong. It appeared in front of me just a moment before the person walked through my door. I asked more out of courtesy, it was an attempt to maintain a sense of normality for them.
He nodded and took a seat opposite me. With dazed eyes he took in the room around him. The wood panelled walls, solid oak desk and burgundy leather armchairs were all meant to feel comforting. In my opinion it was a bit pretentious and could do with a twenty-first century update. Still, who am I to argue with the big man?
‘Do you know why you're here?’ I asked, skimming his file whilst waiting for an answer.
‘Am I in some sort of trouble?’ he replied with a frown.
Oh dear, he'd insisted on a memory ban, these ones were always awkward. Then again, considering some of the things they'd been through, I couldn't blame them. Normally once a person walked through my door, they began to get a feedback of all of their memories, from every life. It helped them weigh their options, if they were given any. Those with a memory ban had to have the situation explained to them every single time.
‘Ok, Dean. You're dead. You're in the Limbo offices right now and I'm your reincarnation officer. I've been given your file here, so we can decide what life you're going to have next.’
Dean stared at me with a blank expression. Sometimes I wondered whether I should transfer back to the dog section, they were always so happy and responsive.
‘Due to your behaviour in this life you have been granted a few options,’ I began.
‘I want to go back,’ Dean interrupted. ‘I didn't want to die, send me back.’
‘That's not really how this works,’ I said.
Dean stood up and slammed his fists on my desk. No doubt he was trying to intimidate me.
‘You can't scare me. You can't hurt me. Believe me, I've had much worse than you try. Now are you going to sit down and behave like a grown up? Or am I going to have to send you down as a dung beetle?’ I asked.
Technically we shouldn't use threats, especially not on a no memory soul. However, it had been a long century and humans were really starting to get on my nerves. I definitely thought I should send an application for a transfer to dogs, or maybe seals, they could be fun. Slowly, Dean sat back down again. He wasn't a violent man, he liked to give the tough guy act, but he was a softy really. Someone down there was going to miss him a lot. The driver that hit him would have a lot to answer for when they came up here.
‘Good, shall we try this again?’ I tapped the file.
He nodded and said, ‘Can I go back as a human? Will I remember things?’
It was always a sad moment, when they realised that they couldn't keep their memories. As a no memory, he didn't even get to enjoy them when he came back up. Every prior life he'd lived was like it never happened to him.
‘Human isn't an option this time, that's not necessarily a bad thing though. You could have either an African swallow, an ibex or a bearded dragon. Wild options only. It seems your soul requires some freedom. Don't worry, variety is good for the soul. Too much of one thing or another sickens the soul.’
Dean stared at me again like this was all some kind of bad joke. I checked the time. Company cutbacks meant that we were only given ten minutes per appointment. I don't know why they didn't just hire more souls to spend eternity up here.
‘Do I have to pick now?’ he asked.
‘Then what?’ he said.
‘Then you go to the waiting room and you'll be called through when your new life is ready for you,’ I explained.
‘What's an ibex?’
To be honest, it was surprising. For a no memory he was actually pretty calm. I was most surprised that that was his next question. ‘It's a mountain goat,’ I said.
He nodded thoughtfully. ‘When my wife gets here, not for many years, I hope, please could you tell her that I'm sorry I went so soon. And tell her that I did listen to her, I always listened, even when she was waffling on about how much she loved goats. So yeah, I'll take the plunge and go for the goat - er - ibex.’
I smiled to myself. It was a nice change, not to get someone full of regret or anger. I was glad to receive a reminder that not everyone was bad. Perhaps I could pull some strings and give him just a few memories back for the next time he arrived. He'd had some hard lives, it seemed unfair that he should forget the one that made him most happy.
I checked the box in his file and sent him on his way. Perhaps one day, stood on an impossibly vertical cliff, he would find another ibex who would waffle on about goats.
I'm Katy, but go by K H Simmons officially. I write a lot of sci-fi, dark fantasy and dystopian fiction. If you're here for sparkly vampires, you're in the wrong place ;)
I frequently post short stories on my Facebook page, as well as work on full length novels. If you want more short stories like the above - check out my anthology Death, Demons & Dystopia available on Amazon/Kindle.
When I'm not writing, I can usually be found cuddling dogs, reading, at the gym or playing video games.