Death was a shadowy figure, standing in front of three identical doors. “Choose,” they said.
“Am I dead?” I asked. Thick fog obscured the world beyond.
Death inclined their head ever so slightly, extended an arm towards the doors and said once more, “Choose.”
I paced in front of the doors. “Ok, so these doors lead to like different afterlifes, afterlives?, or rewards or punishments, right?” I stopped and held a hand up towards Death. “No, don’t answer that.” I resumed pacing. “They could also all lead to the same place as some sort of metaphor about humans not having free will.” I stopped again with both hands held up. “Don’t tell me.”
I turned to study the doors. All three were plain wooden doors with a regular door knob on the right. No locks of bolts. I looked closer at the patterns in the wood grain. Was that a face on the second door? Whose face, my fathers? No, he wasn’t dead, yet. But maybe this was happening outside linear time?
“Hey, do I have to chose now or can I think about it for a while?”
“Chose,” Death said again in their monotone reverberating voice.
“Can I glance through the doors first?”
Death leaned back as if considering my question. After a minute, they nodded. I heard three sets of clicking and clacking as the three doorknobs turned. The doors cracked open.
Behind the first door, I saw a living room. Pleasant music drifted out. Seated on the sofa was my grandmother knitting the sweater she hadn’t finished for me. On the coffee table, a spread of cookies, homemade, sat.
Behind the second door, I saw a street. People walked back and forth between street vendors and food trucks that lined the street. Others sat in the shade talking, laughing, or just resting contently. Distantly I could hear a band playing on a stage.
Behind the third door, I saw a black void. As a stared into it I began to see shapes without borders and hear sounds that bled into each other. It was empty of meaning but full of potential.
The doors closed. I turned to Death. “Thank you, for letting me see what was on the other side. I’m ready to choose now.” They said nothing.
I walked up to my choice, opened it, and stepped through.
Inspired by this writing prompt: https://deepwaterwritingprompts.tumblr.com/post/185891958305