Months after reading David Eagleman’s Sum, which is a collection of stories about scenarios in the afterlife that is my favourite fiction book, I am still loving the premise as a means to think of new concepts to write short fiction. Today, I have another one.
Today, I share another piece of micro writing that didn’t place in a contest. That’s fine. Like any writer, I expect a whole ton of these before success. These aren’t even manuscripts with many rejections. However, I will say this about this piece inspired by short stories in David Eagleman’s Sum about the afterlife (my favourite fiction book at this time), I might have eliminated myself in having provided a 300 word story in a contest where words in the title might have counted towards that 300 total. It wasn’t clear but I saw a note about that in some after contest promotional material after I had submitted my entry. While I could have saved it to use again, I have decided to move on and write more stories instead. Which is another thing. This isn’t so much a traditional story with arc as the short-listed stories actually were like, so I might not have given this story much of a chance even if it were accepted on word count. But I had a grand old time thinking up of the concept, then trying to describe it sufficiently fully within 300 words so I think the reader would get the same picture I had in mind. Furthermore, I had enough words left to plant a question for the reader to ponder at the end that they could, in theory, apply to the rest of their life to be influenced by my story. Enjoy! 🙂
I think it’s safe to say most people are religious and that they believe in some form of an afterlife. The afterlife could be Heaven or Hell in Christianity, equivalents in other religions or some other form of it according to personal beliefs that are variations of one’s religions.
What else it seems to me regarding people’s belief in the afterlife is that it seems to either be of a forgiving or punishing nature. You either get forgiven for your sins or punished for them, but the point is that it is a next phase of life, possibly a second chance, with the one we are currently living not being the end all. It’s like having a tomorrow relative to today, or having no tomorrow if you didn’t believe in the afterlife so the life you have on Earth now would be it.
Now, I think it’d be safe to say that most of us would live a very different life on any given day if we knew it were our last rather than just another day where there is a tomorrow or many tomorrows. Hence, my question, phrased for the majority who believe in an afterlife:
If there were no afterlife, would you lead life differently?
Now, if you didn’t believe in an after life, like I don’t, do you think those who believed in the afterlife would live differently if they thought or found out there were none?
And from either of these questions, do you think believing in an afterlife give people a bailout on leading a life of more value to society, prevent them from leading a more selfish life or have no real impact? Think of it this way, would martyrs die or kill to be in Heaven or get their virgins like some of the terrorists believe? Would people refrain from committing crimes and other sins because they believe Heaven, karma or whatever will get them for it, as well as do good so they can be rewarded for it? Or does their belief really seep into their daily lives at all to make a difference?
If you’re so inclined, please share your answer the poll/s below and leave any comments or thoughts you have as a comment. Poll results, as shallow as they are by the numbers, are always available for you to see if you click on it, though it might be a while before checking on them to get some sort of volume. Thank you.
Flesch-Kincaid Grade Reading Level: 10.1