by Alan Smithee
A man is coming up on his 250th birthday. Reviews are appreciated.
|There was a short man with white hair who was 249 years old, and about to reach the big two-five-o. He had managed this great feat of longevity by spending his vast fortune to assure it. It had been so long since he had obtained his fortune that he had forgotten how he actually got it, but a fortune he had, and a fortune he did spend, and it all went to that same cause: his life. He bought the best doctors, the healthiest foods, the most nutritious drinks, and a vast accumulation of vitamins, each cementing longevity with every capsule digested in his clean and spotless intestines. He had retinal for his eyes and bones, thiamin to keep him thinking straight, and calciferol to make sure his insides were working so he could digest all of his vitamins.
A good amount of his fortune was spent on his actual living facilities. He lived in a large plastic fortress that surrounded him like a glossy transparent barrier from the germ infested dangers outside. The vents in the room supplied twice as much oxygen to prevent asphyxiation. This also led to a much deeper and more relaxing sleep, which was important to ones health.
He did not remember much of his youth. The first memory he had, or at least remembered in his advanced age, was an important one, for it was where his fixation on life came from. He was standing in front of a taxidermy shop in the coldest winter he could remember (which in itself did not mean much due to his deteriorating memory) for reasons long forgotten. On the side of the shop was a long spiraling set of stairs where a teenage girl was sitting with something in her arms that was wrapped with a thin cloth. Upon looking closer at the bundle in her arms he found that it was a baby whose face was almost completely white with the exception of bright blue veins entangled around the inside of its skin. The girl was just staring at the cement. He asked “Is it alive” to which she replied “no” without even looking up. “Did you kill it?” and she said “No, it just died of its own accord.” He then realized that if a newborn baby would die naturally at the age, then he himself couldn’t have much longer to live. In fact, at the age of thirty-five he was probably pushing the envelope.
Now he spent most of his time alone in his fortress, playing chess against a computer, listening to music (classical music since it was more relaxing, and easier on his ears.) Only two people ever showed up in any great frequency: His lawyer, and his associate Henry.
He had to hire the best lawyer he could get for the suit against him from Death for breaching his 120 year life span contract. Death was out to get him, and soon, but his lawyer, Johnny Elk, was the best and most ferocious lawyer in the country. He was the only person who had Death checking underneath his bed for him. Anyone can kill you; Johnny brought financial castration wherever he went. Heaven didn’t want him, and hell couldn’t handle him, and Earth was stupid enough to take him. He came over to inform the old man that Death had made him an offer that if he agrees to die in the next year they’ll drop the charges. Needless to say the old man said no.
The other person who showed up frequently was Henry the associate. The old man could not remember why he was called his associate, but he still called him that. He also had a deadly fear of the man. Henry was a collector of diseases. Some collect stamps, others collect fine wines, but he preferred a good tumor and cyst any old day. He had collected almost every kind of cancer, most venereal diseases, several drug addictions, and had quite a collect of rashes with varying causes. This collection of life shortening ailments put enmity between him and Henry, and yet he still let him come over; provided he walk around in the bubble suit. The suit in question was like a hamster ball with an oxygen tank fixed around an air tight hole. His visits had become less frequent due to his recent exposure to a new collecting passion which occupied a majority of his time: mental disorders. He had collected schizophrenia, obsessive compulsive disorder, bipolar disorder, and working on Wendigo psychosis. His absence was just fine with the old man.
The big day had come. He turned 250, and celebrated by eating an all vitamin cake, minus candles for fear of the dangers of an exposed fire and the release of smoke. And what was best was that he was alone when he did it. No one to bother him. He went to his bed, specially made to fit the specific contours of his body, and slept deep. That night he died, or at least his brain did, but the rest of him woke up the next morning without even noticing he was dead. His body went through the motion of taking vitamins, working out, bathing, everything, he was just dead when he did it. He would probably go on forever like that: Dead, but still moving. Lifeless, but healthy. Not a bad accomplishment in this lifetime.