All tagged parallel afterlives

"The skull is the primary organ responsible for producing dreams," she explained. "As any neurologist can tell you, it contains far more complex marrow than any other bone in the human body.”

"Really? Given how thin the bone is, I wouldn't think that there would be any- oh." Is that seriously what she meant?

The waters of the River Lethe are said to wash clean the memories of the recently deceased. This process returns them to a tabula rasa state of mind, after which point their souls can migrate to new bodies. What is not clear from myth alone, however, is the mechanism by which the Lethe's waters perform this function. The living often assume that these memories simply dissolve into the imbibed fluid, as though they were merely salt.

“Excuse me, sir?” I’m usually more resilient when it comes to strangers with clipboards, but I couldn’t bring myself to look away from her perfect, silver eyes. “Do you have a moment to spare for the immaterial?”

The human mind takes up fifteen terabytes of space on average, and accommodating the soul requires for an additional twelve to be available. When compressed into a single unit, however, the complete, disembodied self can be expressed as a mere eighteen terabytes: smaller than the sum of its parts, yet no longer separable into individual segments. This conversion of being, popularly known as the Styx Process, can be performed in under twenty-four hours, as long as the deceased’s tombstone features a sufficiently efficient central processor.

Due to the prohibitive cost of phoenix feathers, only the city’s wealthiest and most esteemed are allowed to return from the dead. Some hide their plumes among the down of their pillows to prevent death from taking them in their sleep, while others wrap them in smoky bouquets, then stockpile them in refrigerated vaults. Even with such wonders available, however, the population at large still sees immortality as impossible, as each quill costs more money than most will ever make in a lifetime.

He awoke to find himself as a passenger on the train of the dead.

Those around him watched with interest as strange things passed outside their windows, from mansions in the clouds that were large enough to contain their own clouds, to orchards in which smaller orchards grew within transparent fruit on their trees. These were the afterlives of the greatest and most virtuous, containing splendors within splendors to allow an eternity of delight. All such things would soon be far behind.

That which imitates humanity also imitates having a ghost. When a crash-test dummy suffers damage that would have killed a passenger in its place, this false spirit is said to exit its body. Though it is not a conscious being, it still believes that it feels pain, and remembers every injury that it suffered while pretending to be alive. Because of this, it can haunt and make mischief like any other poltergeist.

Unbeknownst to the deer, its antlers are the reincarnation of an ancient forest. Though their previous form now exists as coal somewhere far beneath the creature’s hooves, they still remember their former magnificence. Each of their prongs grasps outward with the reach of a prehistoric cypress.