Doreen opened her eyes in a familiar room. The leather chaise under her felt comfortable and familiar, as if she’d been in the small office several times. Though she did not know where she was. She heard a door open and turned to see a man in a dark suit walk in; he looked familiar too.
“Ezey?” Doreen did not know where the name came from, but she felt sure that was the man’s name. He smiled and nodded as he crossed the room to shake her hand.
“You remembered! That’s great,” Ezey said. He sat down in a high-backed chair next to her. “On to the next level.” The clean shaven man leaned closer to Doreen. “Now that you’re starting to remember, I can give you the short version. You’re dead.” Ezey leaned back and spread his arms to gesture to the whole room. “This is how we process souls for their next life. This was your 14th death,” he shrugged. “We send you back over and over until you start to remember this place. I’m your case worker, Ezekiel Yzaguirre. But, I prefer ‘Ezey.'”
“You said the next level. What’s that and how many are there?” Doreen moved her legs off the edge of the chaise and sat up straighter. She looked at Ezey with interest, but he shook his head.
“Too advanced, and you’ll forget the next time you’re here anyway. For now let’s look at the new options available to you.” Ezey reached into his coat and pulled out a small, transparent, glassy rectangle. He touched and swiped at it until it showed a picture on the display, then he handed it to Doreen. She noted the picture of a dog, then looked up at Ezey, confused.
“On this level, you’re not limited to a human body. There’s more if you swipe to the side.” Ezey nodded at the device in Doreen’s hand. She swiped right. The next picture was a colorful snake, and she kept going through the pictures. A bear, a shark, different birds, finally she stopped at an adorable white and orange housecat. She held the card-sized rectangle up to show Ezey the cat.
“I can be a cat? That’s what I want!” Ezey nodded.
“No problem, but a few things you should know. You won’t be that cat. We have no control over the life you have, so it’s very possible that you’ll end up as an alley cat. But if you’re fine with all that, you’re good to go.” Doreen nodded with a bright smile on her face.
“Okay.” Ezey took back the device from Doreen and put it into his pocket. Then he pulled a small wooden clipboard from in his suit and handed it to Doreen. A single sheet and a pen were attached to the clipboard. “Sign here.” She scribbled her signature on the line.
“Done!” The room disappeared leaving Doreen alone in total darkness. After several seconds she saw a bright light, and felt herself being pushed toward it.