“A person finds the meaning of life and accomplishes it.”
Rod slumped on his couch, watching TV. He wasn’t even sure what he was watching but continued to stare dully at the screen because that’s what he did. The volume was turned up so he could hear over his own labored breathing. Looked like some kind of psychological thriller. He wasn’t really invested in it. Still, he left the remote sitting on his rotund belly. It was something to watch.
He was just reaching for an open can of Mello Yello when the sudden appearance of a stereotypical movie monster on the screen gave him an abrupt shock. It took more of a toll on Rod than he would have expected. All at once he felt light-headed and nauseous, a crushing pain quickly developing in his chest. His vision went blurry, then dark.
The pain was gone. He was floating in a void, nothing but blackness all around. He felt his limbs, but couldn’t see his own body. There was a brief tone that seemed to emanate from all around him, and large, glowing red letters appeared in the space in front of him. He had trouble divining how distant they were, but they were clearly visible. They read Congratulations. You won life!
He was confused. He shouted into the void, “Whaddaya mean, won life? What is this place?”
The letters winked out. Another brief tone played, low and almost comforting. More words flickered into existence before him. You achieved your ultimate potential as a human being, and in doing so have accomplished life’s purpose. Good job!
Rod was taken aback. “Oh. But wait, I was a total loser! I had a shitty job, and was alone, and I looked like friggin Jabba! You’re telling me that that was the best my life could ever get? That was my ultimate potential?”
The words disappeared again. They seemed to wait a while before returning, almost guiltily, with another soft tone. Yeah. Sorry about that.
Rod was stunned into silence for a few long minutes. Then he shrugged, and asked, “Well, what is there to do around here then?”
The words faded away slowly this time, and darkness reigned. Just when Rod was beginning to think he had somehow screwed up, a brilliant rectangle of light shone through the black, blinding him. A loud glissando of synthesized notes dropped in pitch in a long crescendo until they resolved in a deafening roar. As his vision cleared and the sound faded, he saw that it was a screen playing Bedazzled. The newer one, with Brendan Fraser.”Eh, good enough.”
Original Prompt: Reddit – Meaning of Life