#50 of the 100 Story Challenge
It felt familiar, but I didn’t recognize anything in particular. Not the ruby red shag carpet (which should have been memorable) nor the beige walls. The warm air had a mild, clean scent that reminded me of hotel soap. Except I had no memories of staying in a hotel.
As I struggled up from the leather recliner, the only furniture in the room, the door opened.
“How do you feel?” asked a young woman with a massive coif of dark curls.
I thought for a moment before I replied. “Empty.”
“Perfect! Let’s get you over to Restock.”
She took my arm and led me down a gray hallway devoid of decorations. She pushed open a door and we entered a room with books on tall shelves surrounding another recliner.
She motioned for me to sit. Then she pulled a cable from behind the chair and connected it to me. I felt the click as it locked into place on the side of my head. It flopped against my shoulder when I turned to look at her.
“Hmm, where shall we start?” She was gazing down at a tablet in her hands. “Aha — Ancient Persia. We’re short professors of Archaic Humanity.”
A warm tingle tickled my neck and scalp. Words came to my mind, “Do not be sorry and dejected or have fear and anxiety for that which has not come to you.” (*)
I took a deep breath and let it all soak into the desert of my mind.
*The quote comes from Pand Nāmeh-ī-Ādarbād Mārespand, 4 in the Avesta, a collection of Zoroastrian texts.