At first, she tried to keep it quiet. It sounded like it was something that she should be thrilled about, but she found she wasn’t. Didn’t everyone want to avoid getting older? To live longer? The Sunday night lament of needing more hours in the day lost its power with all of eternity stretching out before her, time no longer in short supply.
It stayed secret longer than she expected. 10 years in, and she was considered “youthful”. Her 20 year high school reunion, and she “hadn’t changed a bit”, they said, to her face at least. The whispers when they thought she couldn’t hear, however, were less pleasant. The general consensus was plastic surgery, though the number of alleged operations varied depending on who was telling the story. By the time she was 50, it was getting harder to avoid the truth. Slowly, it spread, slower than she’d thought, with no-one quite believing her at first, their lack of confidence making them reluctant to pass on the real reason she was the youngest looking 50-something anyone knew.
Before long, it was accepted as fact, but it didn’t stop the whispers following her wherever she went. Being the subject of everyone’s hushed dinner party conversations was the least of the reasons she couldn’t embrace her fate with open arms. Her heart grew heavier than she ever thought she could bear as she watched her loved ones grow older, as she buried a husband, a daughter, a son. She grew tired of trying to find a new place to fit in, tired of explaining the truth. Her sole joy was watching her grandchildren grow up, grow old, have grandchildren of their own. For others, immortality may seem a gift, but she knew better. Immortality was a curse of loneliness & heartache.
A little 300 word flash fiction today, in response to the following prompt from Writerology:
Write about immortality's dark side. While others see eternal life as a gift, your character knows otherwise. #writingprompt
— Faye Kirwin (@Writerology) August 28, 2015
We are into week three of sick people around here, and Boy2 is taking his turn while I cross everything that I remain the only one to avoid it. Lots of stuff happening behind the scenes here, as well as a heap of WIPs being pulled out and their fate decided as I clean and declutter and reorganise the studio. Fun times. I can even see my floor, fancy that! Have a great week, lovelies.