Chapter 1:

The End, Beginning, and the Joke

The Horrible Joke I Played on Myself

My eyes opened to find nothing. Nothing? It must be incredibly dark for me to see nothing at all. I use my hand to quest out and see if there is anything I can feel in front of me. There was, as I should have guessed, nothing. 

Okay, this is fine. There is no need to panic, let's just feel my face to see if something is blocking my eyes. I flinch back when my 'hand' comes into contact with my 'face'. I am hesitant to call them those because they felt nothing like what they should. In place of my warm hand that was normally shaped like a... well, a hand, there was a cold blob. It felt like gel that had been pulled to a point, and it was straining to return to whatever shape it originally held. I shuddered. Let's not think about what my 'face' felt like.  

"Ah, you are awake. Good, good." I turned my head to look at the man's voice, and my 'head' moved, but it did not turn. Twisted, maybe? I began to tremble.

"Hey, now. Shhh. It's okay. I know this must be scary for you, but I am here to help you out, little guy." The man said.

There was a gurgling sound and a sort of squelching. That was the sound that could be heard coming from my body, but inside I was laughing. Laughing hysterically. I was in the body of a freaking slime! What kind of cosmic joke was this?

The squelching continued until one last sound escaped my gelatinous body, it didn't sound like it, but it conveyed the same feeling of a sigh at the end of a laughing fit. The man, I assume he is old by the sound of his voice, kept cooing and trying to make me feel better. Stupid old man must be senile.

Well, whatever. I was a blob. I need to figure out how and why I was this way. What can I remember? I was walking to the store next to a busy street. Oh, no. Not truck-kun. Had I been brought here by the great creator of all Isekai anime? Well, really he is the proprietor of Tensei anime, but let's not split hairs. I don't remember getting hit by any truck, though. What happened after that?

Something bloomed in my mind. It felt like I was uncovering some old memory, one that I had forgotten but then was regurgitated from the deep recesses of my mind when the right trigger was found. It was not muddled or hard to remember, as an old memory would be, but crisp. It almost felt like I was reliving the moment.

"Welcome to your new life. I am happy to inform you that because of your unfortunate accident, you are rewarded with a new life. In this life you can live however you want, but the best part is... you get a skill." The last was said like it should be a big deal, but his slow unenthusiastic voice made it sound like he was some retail worker in the last hour of his shift. The man was disheveled and looked bored. He had dark circles under his eyes and his face held the slightest level of distain.

I looked at him, unimpressed. He looked back. Then he raised one hand and a pop came from the air above it and streamers rained down. 

"Whoooo." Cheered the clearly uninvested man.

"What do you mean, accident? I was ******* and then ******** by a group of *******. How can that possibly be an accident?" I said to the man.

The words came out muddled, like I was hearing them under water, but the man standing across from me seemed to hear and understand them because he sighed.

"I'll level with you. I may have made a small mistake which led to your untimely death." The man said. 

"So it's your fault, and now you are just going to put me into a new world with a new life because of something stupid that you have done?" I said with incredulity.

He smiled and fell back into what was thin air but then resolved into a plush chair. "You got it kid, but I am giving you a skill and a couple of worlds to chose from. Think of it as... let's see." He stroked his chin, which I now noticed had patchy stubble on it. "Have you ever missed a flight? They kind of just say sorry and then give you a free meal voucher. Nothing really happens to them but all your plans are ruined. Kind of like that." He finished.

I sighed. "And the meal voucher is this skill?"

He gave a lazy smile. "I could just give you nothing, but I am generous."

An idea came into my mind. A ridiculous but potentially amazing idea.

"What if, we did something else? Like putting me on another flight, or something." I said.

The man waved his hand dismissively. "Too hard. Pick or I will pick for you. I am fond of acidic vomit because of how dumb someone looks when they use it."  He said as a list popped up in front of my face. I tried to swat it away and step toward him but my hand just when through it, so I ignored it and continued. 

There is not a whole lot I am good at, but being convincing is something I have some practice in. The stakes were high for this one so I put on my most winning voice. "God, I hope you don't mind if I call you that." He squinted but then slowly inclined his head. I continued, "What if we did something that was more fun for both of us. If I may be frank, you don't seem to be having much fun with your... job?" The last was almost a question but I pushed on. "I think I could help you with some entertainment." 

I waited. There was distrust on his face but the slightest twinkle in his eye. Instead of waiting any longer, I took his silence as willingness to listen to the idea. 

"My plan is to come up with an outline, a plot if you will, for my life. You and I could draft it up here in... heaven? And then I would live it out." There was more interest in his face, good. "You see, I am somewhat of a connoisseur of plots because of my countless hours wasted..." I coughed slightly. "...spent on video games, movies, books, and anime. You could say it is an art that I studied, in depth." I puffed out my chest a little. "I have even done some writing myself."

The man... god, whatever, laughed. "I read some of it. It was garbage... but even trash has some good ideas sometimes. You do realize I have quite a few constraints on what I can and cannot do, right?"

A smile crept onto my face, to cover the sting of his words. He leaned back in feigned nonchalance. "Whatever it is, we can find a way around it, I'm sure." I said.

"But games are no fun if we know how it is going to go. Where is the discovery? The novelty?" He said. 

It's like he knew what I was going to say next and wanted to set me up perfectly. "It may be impossible for you to experience it for the first time, but isn't it even better to watch someone live through your beautiful creation? What I propose is after all the planning, you make me forget everything."

The memory broke and reality came crashing back down. No, no, no! This is bad. If I succeeded, which it seemed like I was going to, then I am doomed. I know this because if I have any self awareness at all, old me would have had the opinion that a game too easy is no game at all!

The old man's touch cut into my thoughts. I was positive his was an old man now because he had been prattling on and on the entire time I was having my flash back. 

"Crazy old man, you better back off!" Is what I tried to say but instead only gurgles came from my god forsaken body. 

"It's okay! This will be the last one... but unfortunately, you do have to awake for this one, so it is going to hurt a bit. Stay still now..." The old man sounded much more ominous than harmless, now. 

Something stabbed into me, and to my surprise, I felt no pain. Then fire poured out of the tip of whatever I had been stuck with. It flowed into my body and my existence became searing pain.