An extremely tall, extremely naked man lay on the smooth marble floor of the Hall. He did not stir, for at that very moment, his consciousness was being transferred from his still-awake mortal body to this new clone, which was lying dormant until it was awakened by the first spark of intelligence sending electrical pulses through its nervous system.
“Wuhhhh….where am I?” Boban Marjanovic groaned as he rolled over onto his side. What he was seeing in his vision made no sense to him. There were walls made out of grey stone, and a floor made out of stately beige marble, and some cathedral-style windows that offered a few onto nothing at all, and none of it made sense. Except…
He was dead. He was sure of it. Somehow, the COVID-19 virus had gotten him and killed him, and now he was in heaven. That would explain the bright sunlight and the shimmering clouds above him. Heaven was supposed to be sunny and it was supposed to have clouds for people to stand on. The rest of the decor, he wasn’t sure about, but it wasn’t unreasonable to think that humanity might have gotten some details about the afterlife incorrect.
There was sadness to be found in the thought that he had perished, but there was also happiness to be found there. Death meant no more worries or stresses. He was in heaven now, a place where those things didn’t exist because the rules of heaven dictated that they COULDN’T exist. He got to his feet and began walking. If this was indeed the afterlife, then eventually he would have to meet somebody in charge, right? Every single one of humanity’s afterlife myths (which might not be so mythical after all, Boban thought) had some kind of god figure that you would meet. Boban wanted to meet god, so he walked.
As he walked, he noticed that the hall he was in seemed to be infinite. He would pick a point in the far distance and walk towards it, but when he got to it, there was never an end in sight. He thought he might be walking in a circle, but dismissed that notion, because the walls to either side of him were perfectly straight. Unless it was a really, really big circle. Or, what was it called…a hypercube? Maybe he was walking around on the edges of a four-dimensional solid. Anything was possible in heaven.
“You’re a lot bigger in person,” said a voice from behind him. Startled by the evidence of another soul being in that place, given that he had been totally alone for an indefinitely long period of time, Boban spent some time formulating a response to the comment.
“You don’t look like god. Are you an angel?” he asked the man who was wearing a white robe.
“Do you see any wings?” the man asked. “No. My name is Carlos Delfino. I’m not an angel and you are not dead.”
“Darn,” Boban said. He had been completely at peace with his own death. “If I’m not dead, am I dreaming? Because this crazy place doesn’t feel real at all.”
“That’s what most people say when they first arrive at the Hall of the Thirty Point Scorers,” Carlos replied, handing Boban a white robe to put on. “But I can assure you that the Hall is very real, even if it is not situated in your dimension.”
Boban smiled. “That’s probably a good thing. My dimension has the coronavirus.” His smiled turned into a frown when he pulled the provided garment over his shoulders and found that it was too small to even close around his chest properly. Ill-fitting clothing was a problem he was used to, but it was still annoying.
Carlos took several cautious steps away from the new visitor. “You’re lucky that this place is infinitely large. There could be fifty other guys wandering around after scoring thirty points in an NBA game, but you’ll never find any of them to infect them.”
“Fine by me,” Boban said. He had been enjoying that sense of solitude that he rarely got to enjoy in his real life.
“Seriously, though, if you’ve got the coronavirus, I’m going to have to kick you out or the Overseers will have my hide.” Carlos looked nervously up at the sky as he said this.
“Oh yeah, I was licking all of Gobert’s microphones and everything. I’m super contagious right now. Want a hug?”
“NO!” Carlos yelled, taking a few more steps back. “You can stay, but if you so much as cough or sneeze, you might find yourself falling through a spontaneously-appearing hole in the floor. How can the Hall of the Thirty Point Scorers be a serene respite for the elite scorers of the NBA when they’re all sick and dying?”
“So if I’m not sick, I can stay forever?”
Carlos had begun walking away. “Sure, fine, whatever,” he said over his shoulder. “Enjoy your stay.”
“I will,” Boban said, finding a nearby bench to recline on. It was, like the robe, a bit too small for his large frame, but it was perfectly comfortable. Here, in this perfect place of peacefulness, he could ride out the tumultuous situations unfolding in his home dimension without a care in the world.