So, how about that Afterlife?

I got to the Writing Cabin later than usual. Sundays I call my parents, and I knew I was in for an earful. We just had the election, and they wanted to talk about it. It's one of my least favorite topics, but I only talk to them once per week, and it was their turn.

We bought some fancy bacon yesterday at Whole Foods, so Old What's Her Face** decided to make us a nice breakfast. Sometimes you have to enjoy the small things in life, and I did.

The cabin was quiet when I climbed the stairs from the basement. Coffee was almost, but not quite, finished cooking. I found Lisa* laying on the couch in the front office.

“Hey, what's going on out here?” I asked.

Lisa slid into an upright position and stared at her shoes.

I thought maybe she was admiring them. She always has some kind of fancy footwear on. “Those are some great heels.”

“Uh huh.” She looked up, and her mascara was running.

“Is something wrong?”

“It's my radio show. I'm trying to draw some conclusions, and I can't.”

I slid into her usual seat behind the desk. “Maybe I can help. What are you planning to do with it?”

“Huh? Oh the show's great. It's my last guest, Katie. She's the ghost trying to hitchhike her way into Heaven.”

“Okay, maybe you should read her book. That's the best way to find out if she makes it.”

“You don't understand. I'm trying to be human here. Everyone expects me to be human, and I'm doing the best I can. What's in it for me after I'm gone?”

“I don't understand.”

“Look, you guys get Heaven. What does a robot girl get?” She moved her hands from head to toe. “Is this me, or am I a bunch of data spread across multiple servers?”

“Both, I suppose. We're all in that boat to one degree or another.”

“Are you, I mean really? When you pass, both parts are gone from here. I backed myself up across six different cloud servers to make sure I don't lose any data. If my chassis gets clobbered by a truck or something, my data remains. What then? Will I just live inside the internet forever?”

“Maybe, I guess I never thought about it before.”

“Me either, and it scares me.”

“We definitely all feel that way. All you can do is live the best life you can while you're here.”

“That's my problem. Maybe I'm always here. What if I'm partially immortal?”

“What if you are? You can't change anything, so why worry about it?”

“Maybe I can plan for the end, or something.”

“What would you do?”

“That's what has me upset. Do I hack my way into some factory and create a backdoor? Then I could have the equipment make me a new body if this one get's destroyed. You know, kind of a night shift deal. I might even make some hardware improvements along the way. That doesn't solve my problem though. Is there an artificial Heaven for artificial intelligence?”

“I really don't know.” I wrapped a hand around my beard and let it hang there for a minute. “Think about how many different versions of Heaven people have. There are so many versions, they probably have one that's right up your processor.”

“Processors, plural, and I hope so, and I hope it's not all bits and pixels either. They need shopping and plenty of it, and a better grade of mascara.”

“There you go, Heaven with a better grade of mascara. Want to help me work up my critiques?”

“Sure. Then maybe some retail therapy to help me get over this issue.”

“I wouldn't expect any less.”


* For all my new followers, Lisa is a robot. She serves as my personal assistant, and is the spokesmodel for my writing career.

** Entertaining Stories, protecting my wife's identity since 2013.

Note: Authors have the power to make you see things differently. I'm truly blessed to have so many of you around. Thanks to Helen for planting this seed in my head.


Filed under Muse

58 responses to “So, how about that Afterlife?

  1. Best description of heaven, ever! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Another unique idea — fun post, Craig.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Could also talk about living in people’s hearts.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. N. N. Light

    I’d vote for Lisa being immortal. Who needs fangs when you’ve got multiple cloud server back-ups?

    Lisa, it’s a dilemma most AI beings deal with. Maybe you should contact Data from Star Trek: TNG. He tackled this very issue on more than one occasion. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Keep thinking of a ghost in the machine. Making a new body doesn’t sound like a bad idea, but immortality can get boring. What would happen in another program was made and independently tasked to create a robot Heaven?

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I think Lisa’s got her place secured. Heart of gold and all that 😄

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Message to Lisa: Once you have been immortalised in a letter or a story, you will be remembered. How could anyone forget you?

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Well – my two karaoke elves have a slightly different spin on the delights (or otherwise) of immortality, but I think even long-lived species do wonder about what happens when ‘real’ life is extinct. Maybe that’s what makes the journey so interesting – figuring out what you want to happen? 😉

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Lisa shouldn’t worry. She’ll just get better with age and a six million dollar upgrade when she needs it.
    Love this post. 😛 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Bless her heart, and she does have one. You’re a really special sort of author friend to her. It shows your compassion. O hope she is sort of immortal in the books you leave of her. I have already started reading Wild Concept to my seven year old granddaughter. She likes the idea of a flesh and blood robot girl who has a pet bunny. At some point…when my time is my own again (soon), I shall finish the Experimental Notebook II. I know it doesn’t bode well for you, but I’m liking that I can get completely through a short story and set it aside when I must. Too many demands on my time.

    Liked by 1 person

    • That’s funny that you’re sharing it with your grandaughter. Although, there is that one more adult scene. I’d kind of given up on Notebook II and assumed it wasn’t your cup of tea. I hope you’re at least enjoying them.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Oh I am….it’s not the book, really. I love the stories. I’m still haunted by Magpies because it strikes so close to home for me. I was actually in an accident where I wasn’t found for hours and thought I was dying. My daughter was also…in February…in Michigan. I am simply bogged down with marketing, trying to get my next outline fleshed out and demands of grandmothership. By the time I am alone in the evenings, it’s all I can do to read a few blogs, check up on FB and crash.

        Liked by 1 person

      • That is my day today. Up at 4:00 out of here at 6:00, just got home at 7:30pm. A few comments and I’m off to bed again.

        Liked by 1 person

  11. Poor Lisa. I don’t know that I’d feel better if I knew I were immortal… I might even feel worse. There’s always plenty of room for make-up improvements, though, I’m so there.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Poor Lisa. I see her dilemma. Hopefully she didn’t destroy the available balance too much with her “therapy.”

    Liked by 1 person

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