Dead Man’s Harem. Since I can’t kill myself, I’ll find other ways to be happy.
Beaten up with a metal pipe, spit at, and left to die in the streets. That was how Devon died today, at 2:14 am in front of a shady seven-eleven downtown. The cause of death was a concussive blow to the head, causing a fatal brain hemorrhage. He didn’t even know why those gangbangers attacked him. Maybe they mistook him for someone else. Maybe he was just in the wrong place, at the wrong time.
But it didn’t matter, now. It was finally over, he thought to himself. He didn’t need to worry about bills, or rent, or his gpa at his university, or living in a shitty neighborhood with shootings and beatings every other weekend anymore. Maybe there was peace in the nothingness of the abyss. He laid his thoughts to rest, and slowly slipped away into the darkness.
The first thing he noticed was a tickle in his body, near his left foot. But that made no sense– he was dead, right?
Devon groaned and squinted his eyes, opening them only to see a woman in a business suit sitting in a chair with her legs crossed in front of him, in the middle of what he could only describe as pitch black that extended into the depths of the universe itself. He felt himself floating in the air, enveloped in what he could only describe as viscous black ether, which allowed him to move as if he was swimming through heavy oxygen.
“Am I dead?” he said softly.
“Yes, get with the program already,” the businesswoman replied tersely. “Because of the exceptional misfortune and suffering you experienced during your former life, you’ve qualified for the second chance program.”
“It’s quite simple, just sign here and I’ll walk you through the details. First, you qualify for–”
“No,” Devon waved his hand, shaking his head in a tired fashion. “I don’t want it, ma’am.”
The businesswoman pushed her glasses up the bridge of her nose in surprise. “Excuse me?”
Sighing, Devon stared at the ground with a sunken expression on his face. “I’m just tired, ma’am. Death doesn’t seem like such a bad idea to me now.”
The woman cleared her throat and shifted in her seat uncomfortably, as if she never had to deal with this kind of situation before. “Devon, if I may insist, we do see in your records all the misfortunes that occurred in your life. Father passed away at age four from a construction accident, mother developed breast cancer at age ten and was treated successfully the first time and unsuccessfully the second time, in and out of foster care for several years, close male friend with fraternal bond died of drug overdose at age fifteen, falsely accused of a cheating incident started by another student and nearly expelled from university–”
“Enough!” Devon shouted, his face twitching with anger as tears rolled down his face. He looked a bit regretful after his outburst. “Sorry, ma’am, but I really can’t sit here and listen to this all anymore.”
The woman’s face was a bit softer now, and she took off her glasses and hung them on her suit, leaning in. “Listen, Devon. You don’t have a choice about this. My higher ups created the second chance program as a way to balance out the karma in the universe, and you don’t want to know what happens when it gets out of balance. Just take the offer; it’ll be very good for you. And if you don’t, you’ll be forced to anyway. You don’t have a choice.”
Sighing, Devon swallowed the hard lump in his throat and shook his head. He didn’t answer, staring down at his hands with pain in his eyes.
Snapping a clipboard, the businesswoman produced a contract and handed it to him. “Sign here.” Seeing that he didn’t respond, she prodded him again with the clipboard and spoke. “Listen, I’m being nice here, but if this doesn’t work my manager will have to get through to you. You really don’t want to meet my manager, Devon. He goes by Hades. Ring any bells? Just sign it.”
Devon grabbed the clipboard and signed the contract messily, handing it back to her without even reading it.
The businesswoman nodded, and took the clipboard back.
“Now since you’ve experienced a particularly large amount of bad karma throughout your life, you’ve accumulated a lot of points which you can spend on skills and abilities for the next life. I’ll now show you the–”
Devon stood up and stared at her. “I said, I don’t care. Just give me something random, or nothing at all. It doesn’t matter to me.”
A glint appeared in the businesswoman’s eye for a brief moment. “Very well, as you wish.”
“You will be respawning in approximately thirty seconds,” she said, looking down at her watch. “We hope you enjoy your second chance.”
Devon just shook his head, as a teleportation circle appeared below his body, and he felt himself get transported to a foreign world.
[You have received a new class.]
[Dead Man Walking]
Unique class ability: You cannot kill yourself.