Thursday, May 13, 2021

Microstory 1624: Would You Rather

Here’s another one that’s both bizarre, and involves multiple realities. You’ve probably heard of would you rather games. These can range from innocuous questions for children, to really raunchy, unsavory, or sadistic. Would you rather be blind, or deaf? Would you rather only be able to breathe from the bottom of your feet, or only ever smell smelly feet? They can be fun, they can be embarrassing, and they can be impossible to answer without looking bad. But one thing they’re not is consequential...unless you live in Hypothetiverse. In that world, every answer you give comes true. It happens to someone. It happens to an alternate version of you, one whose only real purpose in life is to suffer whatever circumstances you’ve forced upon them. Not all hypothetical questions lead to this. You have to ask it in this very specific way, but if you do, it will happen every time, and each time it happens, reality as a whole becomes more complicated. It almost feels like there’s some kind of intelligent design to all this, and not because of the inextricable connection between the main reality, and all of these offshoots. It’s also that the bare minimum number of realities exist to accommodate these realized hypotheticals. Some questions contradict each other—like if you were asked whether you would want to go without the internet, or without TV, for the rest of your life, and another one later that asks whether you would rather only be able to visit porn sites, or advanced scientific databases, for the rest of your life. Those two versions of you will live in their own respective realities, because they would not be able to coexist. But beyond that, all the hypothetical alternates live in the same reality. That is, as long as they don’t contradict each other, they’re together, so it’s not like there is one reality for every single would you rather hypothetical. Here’s where things get interesting, though. Each of these alternate realities has to be inhabited by a full population, and not everyone has answered one of these questions ever in their life. So their alternate is just walking around, trying to lead a normal life, amongst a neighbor who can only walk on their hands, and a co-worker who has to eat everything with a butter knife. They don’t know they’re in a realized hypothetical reality, so they can’t explain this odd behavior, and if they were to ask one of them about it, that person is also unaware of what they are, so they would just think it was normal, and not be able to articulate their reasoning. “Well, I don’t understand the question, I can only drive on Sundays. How would it be possible for me to ever drive on any other day of the week? You’re not making any sense.” I won’t get into specifics, but this universe doesn’t have anything to do with the Darning Wars, because these realities eventually collide after too many would you rather questions are asked, and things get ever crazier from there on out.

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