This week, our Sunday Scribblings prompt is Immortal. If you decide to write a post based on this week’s prompt, be sure to go back here and share your link so everyone can see how you interpreted things! Here’s what I did with it…
“I never want to age. I never want to get sick. I never want to get injured. And I never want to die.”
I remember saying those words as if it were yesterday. And it seemed like a good idea at the time. With those few phrases, I was granted immortality. It’s not as fun as you might think.
I mean, sure, it was fun in the beginning. It was 2020 and we were in the middle of a pandemic. Tragically, people were getting sick… people were dying. And just when the world thought the numbers had leveled off and we were on our way out of the whole thing, a second wave hit. Who wouldn’t wish for agelessness and perfect health in that sort of environment?
Of course, I never got sick. I never caught the virus that was quickly making its way around the world and back again. Unfortunately, even with all the precautions that many of us were taking, I knew a lot of people who did catch it. They weren’t as lucky.
Looking back, maybe I should have wished for the virus to be instantly neutralized. I mean, if I’m messing with the laws of reality, why not do something that can benefit all of humanity and not just myself? Well, hindsight is 20/20.
Oh, that’s something I didn’t think about… perfect vision. The nearsightedness that plagued me at the age of 32 now plagues me at the age of… huh… I have no idea how old I am. Honestly, I stopped trying to keep track of the years when there was no one around to keep printing calendars.
I think the last time I checked, we were somewhere in the 28th century. I think… But I couldn’t tell you how much time has passed since then.
Looking back, something else I may have done differently would have been to wish that there would be someone else like me out there. Because being the last human being on earth has gotten kind of lonely. Although it feels a little strange referring to myself as a human being.
Really, when I stopped aging… when I reached the point where my life would never end… I stopped being human. Because isn’t mortality a part of what makes us human? Knowing that our time is finite… but I haven’t had that sensation in centuries. Millennia?
Like I said, at first, it was great. Without being able to get sick or injured kept me from all kinds of harm. I could eat anything I wanted and my weight never fluctuated. In fact, I could go weeks without eating anything and have no adverse affects.
In the fall of 2043 I was involved in a car accident. It was the first time I had been significantly hurt since gaining my immortality. I didn’t feel any pain when a shard of glass impaled my arm. It didn’t hurt when I pulled it out. Sure, I bled… but I also watched the wound close up before my eyes. So it wasn’t really that I couldn’t be injured. It was that I wouldn’t feel it, then instantly heal.
I kept this gift a secret for as long as I could. Eventually, however, my friends and family began to notice that, as they got older, I never seemed to age a day. They were right, of course.
At first, it was difficult to lose the people closest to me as they lost their lives to sickness or old age. I learned how to fake my own death and start a new life in a new place. As time marched on, this became increasingly difficult with each new lifetime.
In the early 21st century, it was no surprise to know there were cameras at every traffic light, on every ATM, even on suburban doorbells. That technology only improved over the years and, eventually, it became impossible to logically explain why my face had been worn by a handful of other individuals over the last few hundred years.
The secret was out… I was the immortal man.
Everyone wanted a piece of me. How had I done it? Could I heal a sick child? Could I grant the same gift to someone else?
It nearly broke my heart to have to say no to so many people looking for hope. As for how I’d done it… I hadn’t. I did a good deed for a man who claimed he could grant me anything I asked for. I didn’t know his name, if he even had one… if he was even a man.
I don’t know if it was the old man who wasn’t paying attention that day or the driver of the car that was heading straight for him. He began to cross the street right in front of me and I just happened to be in the right place at the right time. I managed to grab him by the collar just in time to pull him back before the car came flying by.
Even after sharing my story with the world… even after making it clear that it was non-transferable… they all still wanted a piece of me.
So I left. By the mid-25th century, that was no easy feat to accomplish. But I had managed to accumulate a modest fortune over the course of my long life and managed to set myself up with a cozy little cabin in the still somewhat untouched wilderness of Canada, surprisingly only a few hours north of Toronto.
I kept up with how the world was turning, still having access to power and internet. Compared to where we had been in the early 21st century, the technology 400 years later was incredible. And where I lived was entirely self-sustaining. My home was fitted with personalized renewable energy cells, water filtration, and food generators, kind of like what we used to see on Star Trek when I was a kid. I never thought I’d live to see the day when things like these were available for every day use.
Then… I never thought I’d live forever.
Eventually, humanity left. They had used up the earth and took to the stars, searching for other worlds to exploit. I missed the boat.
I’ve been wandering around ever since. As I said before, that was sometime during the 28th century. Net broadcasts stopped going out even before the final ark ship was ready to launch. I knew I wouldn’t be able to hitch a ride, seeing as how I technically didn’t exist in the eyes of any of the world’s governments anymore. But I thought it would be interesting to see what the world would look like with the last of mankind gone.
It’s been a fascinating journey, in spite of the loneliness. Nature has retaken much of what humanity had once claimed as their own. Visiting the island of Manhattan, one would think it had been transformed into a wild game preserve. In Washington, D.C., without anyone to keep up with the upkeep, many of the old monuments have begun to crumble and erode.
It took me a few months, but I eventually made my way to Florida. I remember the news saying that the final ark ship would be lifting off from Cape Canaveral, in a call back to all those old NASA missions of yesteryear. Sure enough, when I arrived I was greeted by a holographic recording. The captain of the ship spoke with an air of some importance, claiming that this was the spot where the last of humanity abandoned its homeworld for a future among the stars.
The hologram continued its speech inviting anyone who had been feeling nostalgic and decided to visit the earth to take advantage of the hospitality concourse and museum, which was designed to remain functional for at least 10,000 years.
Guess I know where I’ll spend the next 10 millennia once I’m done exploring the Americas. You know, just in case someone decides to come a calling. Either that, or I’ll head back up to my Canadian cabin and wait for the sun to expand into a red giant.
I was tempted not to post this after I finished it… I love sharing the fiction I write on my blog, but I’ve started thinking about the potential of getting something published and I’m not sure I’d be able to publish anything that’s been posted here. Guess I should start keeping some of my fiction to myself if that’s the case, huh? Anyway, thanks to everyone who participated this week and shared your links! Please visit their blogs, give them a follow, and take a look at how they interpreted the prompt.
Be sure to come back on Wednesday for the next Sunday Scribblings prompt! Encourage other bloggers to challenge themselves with the prompt!