In the Afterlife baggage reclaim area, the spirits gathered before taking up a new posting. They loitered, clutching boarding passes, waiting for the carousels to bring the familiar personal effects from previous lives – the pains inflicted and received, the joys and terrors, the losses and forsaken loves.
These were hardened souls, toughened by experience, skilled in the game of life. They longed for wretchedness and ruin – bringing trials, tests, achievements — and the chance to level up.
As the baggage appeared they scurried forward, grasping at the items, eagerly loading themselves down as if anxious to take as much as possible with them to their new lives.
The took up their crosses, their flaws and afflictions, burdens to carry and imperfections to be overcome.
After they were gone the carousels kept going, bringing around the same forsaken item that no one had claimed. Inside the plain, brown paper bag sat a charmed life, one of riches, powers, perfect health. Leave that for the newbies, the spirits had said, break them in easy. Give them a soft start – they’ll need it, bless their souls.