Afterwards, the Absolute

by Megan Kiekel Anderson


I awaken from the darkness to an oversaturated cartoon world, everything blocky and poorly shaded, like N64 graphics.

There’s no temperature or movement in the air, not even the faintest aroma. The only stimulus is the simplistic terrain and soothing ocean noises on a loop, like a sound machine.

“Welcome, Matthew Cooper, to the Absolute.”

I turn towards the voice. It’s a floating torso with a bland expression.

“Wait. I’m dead? No. I was just—”

They give me a sympathetic look but say nothing.

“I did not consent to uploading my consciousness!”

The NPC shrugs. “Someone must have tagged you.”


Megan Kiekel Anderson

Megan Kiekel Anderson’s work can be found in such places as Flame Tree Press, The Arcanist, Monstrous Books, and Dark Recesses Press. She lives in Kansas City with her chaotic family, including too many cats, chickens, and foster kittens. Visit her website at


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