Sunday, December 7, 2008

Spiritual Adjustment (Fiction) by Joshua Scribner

Spiritual Adjustment
by Joshua Scribner

“That feels so good,” he said.

Des didn’t know what it was that felt so good, though, so he opened his eyes and sat up in bed.

He was surrounded by blue sky. On the ground were what looked like clouds. There was a winged woman sitting near his bed. Her shape and her skin were perfect.

“Where am I?”

“You’re in limbo,” she responded.

“Am I dead?”

“Absolutely not! You’re merely in a coma. You shall return soon enough. I think you’ll find your stay here very comfortable.”

She motioned with her hand and behind her appeared several busty women with lascivious smiles and big plates of roasted foods. The aroma of the food made him feel a pleasant hunger.

“I can bring you about anything you like.”

“Well, I think you’ve done just fine.”

His body felt springy and ready to go. In fact, he felt like he might even be able to fly, but he wouldn’t just yet.

“I want to understand this, though. I’m very much a humanitarian on Earth, and I’m a very happy person. Is this like a vacation I’ve earned? I mean, if it is, then I think I’ve got a lot to teach people about living.”

The woman smiled. “No. It is not a vacation.”

“So did I get in some kind of accident and damage my brain.”

“No, there was no real accident. There was a hemorrhage, but we did that to give the medical people an explanation. You need not worry. They’ll clean it up well, and there will be no lasting ramifications.”

Des looked behind her, just to be sure the women and food weren’t becoming any less real. They were not.

“So, what happened?”

The winged woman nodded gently, as if to say he’d asked the appropriate question.

“The human mind is controlled by four factors: predisposition, social pressure, whatever the gods decide to do with it and what you might call an X factor.”

“An X factor?”

“Yes. It is what humans call a soul, the part that will remain once the body and society are gone.”

“Oh, like I am right now.”

“No. Like on Earth, only part of you is soul now. You’re in a replacement body, and this is a surrogate society. You’ve been brought here because your soul needs adjustments.”

“Oh really?”

“Yes. It is controlling roughly one half of one percent of your earthly actions.”

Despite being in this paradise, he could still feel shame.

“I guess that’s pretty low.”

“No. As you said, you’re very humanistic and happy. These things are not bad in and of themselves, but they can be signs of a problem. You’re not having the complete human experience. The influence of your soul is way too high.”

Author bio:

Joshua Scribner is the author of the novels The Coma Lights and Nescata. He has published over thirty short stories. Up to date information on his work can be found at