Short Story: Iseki

I am trying to write short stories. They may not be very good because they are fast and rarely edited. I would love feedback regardless – what do you like? What confuses you? Do you like the POV or should it have been different? To anyone who gives me feedback – THANK YOU.

I didn’t open my eyes immediately. It was the first time in days I wasn’t hearing the beeping, low hum, or babble of the hospital. I just wanted to stay still as I basked in the quiet of my home… wait, when did I go home?

Sounds filtered in. A hum of noises like voices, some dogs barking, and then a…. horse? Was that a horse neighing?

It really was curiousity that made me open my eyes. The ceiling above me was wooden. The walls were wooden. I realized the bed was uneven, lumpy even. I slowly sat up and then blinked in confusion. There was a floating… thing in front of me. I’d call a screen, but it wasn’t. It was just opaque enough I could read it.

Welcome. When you are ready, say “Begin.”

I ignored the message and slowly stood up. It followed, staying right in front of my face. I ground my teeth, but went to the window beside the bed and looked outside.

The street below me was dirt. Those were horse-pulled carts and a little two-person carriage-thing. Wait, the horse on that cart was green. And scaly. There was a massive tree with two massive people-shaped tree standing beside it, spears twice as tall as I am in their hands.

I looked at the message again and whispered, “I guess I’d better. Begin.”

Ah! Welcome stranger. What would you like to be called in this world? If you aren’t ready to decide, simply say aloud “Skip.”


Very well. Let’s begin with something equally important. Do you like being human?

“What kind of question is that?”

In this world, there are many available species to exist as. As a stranger, you are allowed to select one of dozens of species if you would like. If you would like to review available species, say “Species.”

Species? I glanced at it again and then said, “What the hell. Species.”

A list five columns across and at least a dozen lines down each column appeared in front of me. I whispered, “What is anasaisan?”

Anasaisan are decendents of the goddess spider Anasai. The legs and thorax of a spider with the torso of a human. They…

The description spread out in front of me, with words which were in bold clearly giving me a chance to reference further information. I settled myself cross-legged on the bed and began my selection process. Some species had obvious perks, like flying. Some had obvious disadvantages, like mermaids requiring water on a terribly regular basis.

I was more than a little tempted to remain a human. Elves were immediately confusing. There were eight different kinds of elves, and apparently they all hated the others on sight. I noticed a few “species” which were conspiculously absent from the list. There were no dragons, no unicorns, no vampires, and no werewolf. Maybe they weren’t considered “species?” Because there were other animal-based creatures like Naga (snakelike things with… hands? maybe?), Sphinx, and Jackalopes.

Yemnai. A forest-based creature similar to a dryad but not bonded to a tree. According to the text, they are a curious people and it gives a bonus to skills which require curiousity and exploration. As a species, they are not eatable to most carnivores and generally ignored by them as prey. On the negatives, I will need to occassionally “plant” myself to rejuvinate.

Excellent selection. Please close your eyes.

I blinked in surprise and when my eyes reopened my hands were no longer human. The knuckles each were covered with a bark-like scale. My fingers had almost a talon-look to them.

Now you need to decide what kind of life you will lead here. So, take a few minutes to go out and meet people, see the world. You have until noon tomorrow in a status of “incomplete” wherein none can touch you and you cannot touch anyone else. Communication is key. When you feel you are ready, concentrate and say, “Stats.”


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