Promptly Written: Oooh Boy

Aaand we’re back! All thanks to the find folks at DreamHost support. Or if you’re reading this on Tumblr, EVERYTHING IS FINE AND NOTHING WAS EVER WRONG. Anyway, another Reddit prompt, from this post.

Prompt: A person has come to realize that each time they die they reincarnate further backwards in time.

The pain doesn’t stop until I finally jolt awake. The dull memory of death lingers for a bit. It tends to. This must be… my twentieth time? Twenty-first? It’s getting hard to keep track. Last run lasted longer than ever. Almost made it all the way to my previous awakening. I examine my body first. Dark skin this time. Young. Young is good. Athletic build. I don’t feel very tall. Won’t know until I stand up. All my extremities are present. Hair on my head is short. Apparently, I sleep naked. Primary and secondary sexual characteristics both indicate female. One time, I woke up in a body with sex organs that didn’t match my expectations with regards to the secondary characteristics, and neither seemed to fit the wardrobe. That was an adjustment. It took a while to figure out how others had expected this person to behave before I’d started driving their body. Turns out, there wasn’t really a consensus. Must’ve been rough.

Next up is my surroundings. Bed. Covers. Both different shades of purple. The room is small, decorated sparsely yet tastefully. I’m alone in it. Small bed. Walls are a dark shade of purple. I guess I like purple. There’s a tattered poster of a boy band on a wall opposite a small closet door. New Kids On The Block. The early 1990s. Yes, that follows. I always wake up on the same date, one year earlier than my previous awakening. February 1st. But which year? The nightstand has a clock radio. 7:00 AM. I turn it on. Music station. I listen for a few minutes to find out where I am this time. I just died in Tokyo, but it doesn’t seem to matter much. Anyway, the awakening before that death wasn’t even in Japan, so. Ah. New York City. Or close enough to grab the radio signal, anyhow. Could be New Jersey, or slightly upstate New York.

I stand up. Short. Awkward. Maybe… five feet and three inches? Judging by the décor, I’m young. A black teenaged girl near New York City in the early 1990s. Good to know. I search around the room for a backpack or a purse. I find the purse under the bed and the backpack hanging on a hook from the back of the door. Maybe I have a driver’s license or a school ID card. The purse yields results. A New York driver’s license. My name this time is Melissa. Date of birth, as usual, is February 1st. Year of birth is 1976. I search the purse for a receipt or something that might have the date on it. No such luck. The backpack, then? Must be schoolwork in there. Yes, excellent. A highly-graded quiz. I am a genius in calculus, it seems. The quiz is dated January 18th, 1994. Damn. Almost definitely in high school. Five-in-seven chance that I have school today. Not gonna happen. Maybe I don’t have school. It’s my birthday, after all. That would explain why the alarm didn’t go off.

I begin to search the room for clothes. None on the floor. Good. Neat is easier during my adjustment period. Messy people might know where everything is in the chaos, but I don’t have access to that knowledge, even when I’m living in their bodies. Neat folks have an orderly system. Systems can be learned. So, dresser. I take a guess that underwear and socks are in the smaller top drawers. A correct guess. A sex toy also occupies the underwear drawer. Should I behave as if I’m openly sexual? Maybe it’s a secret shame. Or maybe I’m a lesbian. Not that any of those are mutually exclusive. It was easier living through cell phone and Internet years. Everyone’s information was so easily accessible. Slowly, that ease was taken from me. With each revival, my approach got less technological.

Revival maybe isn’t the right word. I died a long while back. Or forward? Anyway, my consciousness keeps getting launched into different brains. Each time the body I’m inhabiting dies, I wake up one year earlier from the last time I woke up. My birthday. My original birthday. February 1st. I have a theory about all of this. The only one that makes sense. My original birthday, yes? February 1st, 1993. I’m just one death from finding out who I’ll wake up as then. Will I be me? Is killing this girl worth it to find out? Moot point. The pills weren’t any harder to find than they were to swallow.

I’m definitely not going to school today.

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