Time and Time Again

My brother likes to write a lot of fiction, so I was challenged to write some too.

Story time:

It’s cold down here, how far down I may never know.  Yet depth is inconsequential after all, it’s not like my body is sturdy enough to break through steel.  All that matters is that I get out of this metal tomb before time itself is over.  If I had known that this would be my fate, I would have never been so reckless.  Now I must wait until the Sun swallows this planet, or someone digs me out by folly.  If I am really lucky this putrid swamp, my subterranean home,  will be the future home of a suburban mega-mall.  That way at least excavators will surface me in the process of making space for a sub-level.  Of course with my luck, they’ll pave right over me to make the parking lot while all the real construction happens a hundred yards away.

Who would have thought there’d be such an intractable downside to immortality?  After what I’ve been through my body could survive a sub-orbital fall or even a nuclear blast, but something simple like getting buried leaves me impotent.  I guess  it’s such a simple solution to the problem of ‘How do you hurt a man who can’t die?’, you make him wish he could.

So I might have ruined my research partner’s life, but this is by far an overreaction.  We had been working together for a decade on real ground breaking genetics research, but couldn’t get government approval on human testing.  All of our animal subjects had recently been responding to the treatment brilliantly.  Their bodies became literally invulnerable to anything we could throw at them, their need for food and water became purely recreational.  We were onto a new form of life altogether!  However, our funding dried up overnight, an ethics panel at the University demanded the entire project be scrapped, and I really had no other options.  I had to demonstrate my life’s work no matter the cost, I had to live my research!

When the Provost interceded I was in no mood to negotiate, I stole everything; samples, access cards, lab documents, specimen–I cleaned the place out.  We were under strict orders to comply with University directives or both us were going down, and neither of us could be considered to be on the administration’s good side.  Naturally when they realized what I had done, both of us were blackballed.  It didn’t matter that I worked alone, they were happy to have a reason to ruin his career, they had been looking for an excuse.  I should have cared more, but all that mattered is knowing…knowing what it felt like to be a super human.

After giving myself the treatment I became a daredevil, running through the street picking fights with anyone knowing they couldn’t harm me.  At one point I ran into traffic on the freeway just to cause a thirteen car pile-up.  Once the firefighters pried the dead metal off my body I bolted off crazed, refusing to answer for my insanity, pleased by my invulnerability.  Of course it didn’t take much time for me to become a wanted man, a thief, a menace to society, and an enemy to my academic community and the only man I would call my equal.

Unfortunately, the man I pissed off knew me better than I thought.  I suppose I had mused on my possible hideouts around town, not realizing he would remember any.  Who would have imagined I would actually try to find shelter in one?  While I rested in an abandoned brewery, my temporary home until I figured out an alias and fourth on my list, my partner intercepted me.  Knowing full and well what I had become and losing his own grip on reality he hand-cuffed me in my sleep and secured me in a metal drum.  With enough struggle I would be able to free myself from the clumsy cuffs, but he managed to weld the drum shut.  No amount of struggle or contortion would get me out of this one.  It didn’t take long for him to roll the enclosure onto his truck and dump it in a swamp outside town.

I know the swamp will eventually dry up, but I will still be down here covered by layers of solid sediment.  In the pitch black of this drum I can do nothing more than wait.  I have found unlimited time, and need of nothing, but have lost all mobility.  I am helpless to do all but wait.  With hope my genes will revert to their natural state, and I will die an unremarkable death.