"Where am I?" I ask timidly, as I tread lightly yet cautiously across a cushion of air. "I was riding my unicycle to my zadar sea organ lesson, now I'm here?"

"You got knocked off your unicycle by a car," comes a deep, booming voice. "You're dead now. You died."

"Ohhh mannnn," I mutter to myself as I consider the news. "That sucks."

"You might think that," the voice says. "But it's nowhere near as bad as you think."

"Really?" I ask. "What happens now? Do I go to heaven?"

"Well," the voice explains. "This is the part where I present you with two unthinkable options. Choose wisely, my child. Once you have chosen you shall never have a chance to change your mind again."

A devastating choice to determine my eternal future. I smile to myself nervously as I await my options.

"Option number one," the voice says. "You may return to the moment of your birth and live your life again. You won't be able to take any of your memories with you. Your life will be just the same as the one you lived before, and you won't have the gift of foresight to allow you to correct your mistakes."

"Hmmm," I say. "I did enjoy touring Mars with my rock band consisting entirely of AI artists. Wouldn't mind doing that again."

"What about the time you went to that fancy restaurant and ate that lobster?" the voice asks.

"Yes, that was a pleasant evening too," I say. "Lots of good memories to repeat. What's the second option?"

"Option number two," the voice says. "You will be reincarnated as another being. You shall retain all your memories, and you will be born having already learned from the mistakes that you made in your previous life."

"Well," I ponder, "As much as I enjoyed skydiving off the back of a pterodactyl on Venus, there's no reason why I couldn't do it again in another life. At the very least I will keep the memory and be motivated to try it again. I would understand the bigger picture when I'm at school and not be overly focused on trivial things like last time. I would go through puberty with a better understanding of what to expect. I would be able to apply what I've learned to new situations throughout my adult life and be more fulfilled. And I would have no reason to fear death, as I would know that I would simply be faced with this decision again."

"So you choose option number two?" the voice asks.

"But what if I reincarnate into poverty, or into a society where I am discriminated against my whole life?" I wonder. "I have had a good life. Would it not be better to relive it over and over again rather than face the hardships that I would have to deal with?"

"Do you need time to decide?" the voice asks.

"No," I say. "Because you already know what I am going to choose. If I were to choose option one, we would have had this conversation infinity times already. If I choose option two, then this would be the first time."

"Very well," the voice says. A flash of white pours into my eyes, as a portal opens up in front of me. "Take a step forward. Enter into your new life."

I put one nervous foot in front of the other, continuing to do so until the light of the portal has wholly wrapped around me.

"You're going to make an incredible lobster," the voice says.

"What?" I ask abruptly, as the portal closes behind me.


My old life now feels like a distant dream. After years in the ocean unable to fully grasp what these odd memories of this unusual life are, I finally have some answers.

I have spent a few weeks in this tank now, watching the daily events of the restaurant pan out. It's civilised, yet not as empty as the ocean. There isn't much sunlight, yet it's not dark. It's chaotic, yet nobody here needs to watch out for predators. Well, those fortunate enough to be on the other side of the tank don't anyway.

I miss it.

Every time a human arrives in front of the tank, one of my lobster friends vanishes, never to be seen again. The other lobsters are lucky. They don't know what happened to their friends. They aren't burdened with the knowledge of what's going to happen to them.

Today, it is my turn. I am dragged, kicking and screaming, out of the water, before slowly accepting my fate. I want to scream as the water boils around me, yet I can't. But it doesn't matter. I am too angry. All I want to do is go back to that smug voice from the beyond already and-

"That wasn't fair!" I protest, storming across the cloud. "I didn't know what I was getting into!"

"I didn't tell you what kind of creature you were going to be," the voice laughs. "You made the decision yourself. You could have been back doing acrobatics on the moon right now if you had chosen differently."

"I want to repeat my original life!" I snarl.

"Too late," the voice says. "Now, you must choose whether you wish to repeat your life as a lobster, or take on a new life."

I huff heavily. "I'll have another new life," I say.

"Very well," the voice replies, opening up a new portal. I cringe as I wonder what I'll end up as this time.


If I don't find a mate soon, I will die.

I gravitate towards the enormous bulb upon the head of the female anglerfish, helplessly entranced until I am stuck permanently against her sticky skin. It is from here that I will slowly wither away until there is nothing left. I sit around painfully, desperately waiting until it is all over.

"Can I have a better life this time?" I ask, now that my painful parabiotic reproduction is over.

"You will get what you are given," the voice replies. "Unless you want to live this one again?"

"Ew! No!" I scream.

"Well, then," the voice says, opening up the portal once more. "Step this way."


Hey! I'm just an ant. Why did that kid have to set me on fire with that magnifying glass? What did he actually hope to achieve? Asshole.


Can I get out of this battery henhouse already? Oh… that'll do it. Ow, this really hurts.


Not a bad life being a gazelle. I can run, I can jump, I can… LIONNNN! Oh, bother.


"Alright then, random voice guy!" I scream. "I have lived thousands and thousands of lives, and all of them except the first have been total trainwrecks. When are you going to give me something actually worth living?"

"Would you like to repeat your life as a maggot who got squashed, or try a different life?" the voice asks, yet another time.

"Different life," I mumble quietly. "And it had better be good this time!"

"What are you going to do if it isn't?" the voice asks, as the light of the portal shines around me once more.

I have no answer. I stomp angrily into the light, not stopping until I hear the screams of a human woman. I can't believe it. I open my eyes delightedly to explore the inside of what looks like a maternity ward.

"It's a boy!" the midwife cries delightedly. "Aww look. He's already punching the air and smiling. I haven't seen such a happy baby at birth."

My mother holds me in her arms, looking caringly and lovingly into my big, beautiful eyes. I wrap my fingers around her thumb as I smile back at her, joyful over my fate.


I have lived a glorious life. I became the owner of fourteen different technology giants across five star systems and three alternate timelines. I am fluent in 73 different languages. I have aid and medical research projects scattered all over the world. My past experiences have helped me greatly, but never more than the time when I used my knowledge of my very first life to narrowly avoid an incredibly nasty unicycle accident at the age of eighteen, before I had achieved all of this.

I lie upon my deathbed surrounded by my wife, my children, my grandchildren and my great-grandchildren, while the whole thing is livestreamed on Vimeo. I smile happily as I close my eyes one last time, ready to do the whole thing again.

"That's better," I say to the voice, as I skip merrily across the clouds. "I'll live this life again please."

"Very well," the voice says, as the blinding light coming from a portal hits my back this time. I turn around, skipping a little as I dance back into my past.

"It's a boy!" the midwife cries delightedly. I scream my eyes out as I encounter this strange new world for the first time, and I am placed into the arms of my mother. She looks caringly and lovingly at my crying face, but all I want to do is scream even louder.


I didn't see the car coming. I was just out on my unicycle, minding my own business and performing a few tricks, when it hit me - I was too close to the traffic. Unfortunately, I was too late in realising in order to get away from the road before the vehicle flew straight into my head, and I hit the road with a crack.

"Where am I?" I ask timidly, as I tread lightly yet cautiously across a cushion of air. "I was out riding my unicycle, and now I'm here?"

"You got knocked off your unicycle by a car," comes a deep, booming voice. "You're dead now. You died."

"Ohhh mannnn," I mutter to myself as I consider the news. "That sucks."

"You might think that," the voice says. "But it's nowhere near as bad as you think."

"Really?" I ask. "What happens now? Do I go to heaven?"

"Well," the voice explains. "This is the part where I present you with two unthinkable options. Choose wisely, my child. Once you have chosen you shall never have a chance to change your mind again."

A devastating choice to determine my eternal future. I smile to myself nervously as I await my options.

"Option number one," the voice says. "You may return to the moment of your birth and live your life again. You won't be able to take any of your memories with you. Your life will be just the same as the one you lived before, and you won't have the gift of foresight to allow you to correct your mistakes."

"I did die very young," I ponder. "I'm not sure I want to go back if I can't stop that from happening again. What's the other option?"

"Option number two," the voice says. "You will be reincarnated as another being. You shall retain all your memories, and you will be born having already learned from the mistakes that you made in your previous life."

"That sounds perfect," I say. "I'll know better than to get knocked off my unicycle by a car."

"So you choose option number two?" the voice asks.

"Option two it is," I say, confidently.

"Very well," the voice says. A flash of white pours into my eyes, as a portal opens up in front of me. "Take a step forward. Enter into your new life."

I put one nervous foot in front of the other, continuing to do so until the light of the portal has wholly wrapped around me.

"You're going to make an incredible mollusk," the voice says.

"What?" I ask abruptly, as the portal closes behind me.