"Where am I?" Alex whispered, his voice sounding distant, like an echo from another time.
"You stand at the threshold of your next beginning," the entity replied, its voice a melody of countless harmonies. "You have departed your previous life, and now you must choose your next incarnation."
Alex's memories flooded back. The pain, the joy, the intricacies of human life. A heaviness weighed on his heart. "I'm tired," he admitted. "I'm tired of the pain, the confusion. I want something simpler, free from the complexities of human existence."
The entity's glow pulsed more intensely. "All paths are open to you. You can choose any form, any life. From the majestic eagle that soars the skies to the silent tree that watches seasons pass. Choose, but choose wisely."
Images of countless lives flashed before Alex. He imagined himself as a swift, wild horse, running free with the wind on vast plains, unburdened by the introspection of humanity. "I choose the horse," Alex whispered.
"So be it," the entity responded. "But remember, with simplicity comes a loss. The introspective consciousness you've known will fade, replaced by instinct and immediate experience."
A cold realization settled in Alex's heart. "How will I remember this moment? Will I be able to choose again?"
The entity began to dim as it replied, "In shedding the weight of human consciousness, you let go of the choice. Your spirit will journey onward, but the self-awareness, the 'you' that is 'you', will not return to this crossroads."
Terror gripped Alex. He thought of all the magnificent creatures of the universe, wondering how many had once stood at this very precipice, choosing a simpler life, only to lose themselves forever. Had any become human, fallen from something grander?
"But there must be a way back," he stammered.
"In countless lifetimes, perhaps, but not by conscious choice. The river of existence is vast and unpredictable."
As the form of the horse began to envelop him, Alex's last thought was a mournful regret. And then, he was free, galloping with the wind, the terror and understanding of his choice fading like a forgotten dream.
Posted on 2023-10-26 by Jach
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