The Old Life

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Science Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
A story of good memories, memories that hurt, and love left behind.

Submitted: November 21, 2018

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Submitted: November 21, 2018

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The Old Life
 

Much of the population had emigrated to inner-space, leaving Isaac to fend for himself in the small southern sector of New Granwal; which was in the southern part of what used to be Illinois.  And long before that, the Indiana Territory. 

Isaac looked over the body of his soon-to-be-deceased wife.  He saw the parasite that had lodged itself underneath her skin, wrapping from her middle-back down to her right inner-thigh.  The sight of it no longer bothered him because he had been trying to help her fight it for months now.  But he knew after having it this long she would not last much longer. 

Others whom were also afflicted with this parasite had tried cutting into the dermal layer of their skin and pulling it out, but died from the barbs ravaging their circulatory system upon exiting.  The very thought made Isaac cringe.

 Isaac’s eyes welled up as he watched his wife lay in bed while he awaited his time to be transported.  Parasitic warfare was the cause of all the pain Isaac had endured.  The infection that had enveloped Earth was unstoppable.  “At least we’re a space-faring race now”, Isaac thought to himself sarcastically.  Isaac continued to examine the slow-breathing body of his wife, hoping that if he looked again the parasite might have left her. 

Isaac glanced at his pocket watch to ensure he would be in the back yard once his time had come.  He didn’t want to leave her in the condition she was in; or at all for that matter.  He didn’t want to say goodbye just because he couldn’t bring her aboard the orbital tram due to her permanent quarantine. 

Isaac felt lucky to be given entry onto the tram considering his fraternization with someone that had been infected within his own household.  The thought made him livid.  He thumped his fist on the bed receiving a groaning response from his sleeping withered love. 

Isaac had a bag packed with his essentials, yet his belongings still would be thoroughly inspected upon arrival.  The government had considered destroying Earth’s livability upon departure by means of detonating all remaining stock piles of nuclear weapons.  He thought what a waste of a planet that would be.  After all, humans were wasteful by nature.

Isaac had heard on the last news cast that in twenty years there would be a militarized scouting party that would head back to Earth from the lunar station to assess the living conditions, but even he knew that the problem would likely become permanent.  The Earth had new inhabitants now.

Isaac looked down at his pocket watch as the hands clicked past ten until 2 ‘o’ clock p.m.  His hand quivered rattling the cover and chain as he closed it and shoved it back into his breast pocket for the final time.  Pocket watches were terribly old-fashioned, but it was a gift from his best friend whom also died from a parasitic affliction months prior. 

He looked past the glass pane of the sliding patio door and into the back yard where he then saw a rigid metal platform extend from the sky like the metallic hand of a robotic titan.  He began to sob while he stared at his wife still sleeping motionless even through the racquet of the clattering metal lift. 

He closed the sliding glass door behind him and forced himself not to look back because he told himself she’d be dead in minutes. 

Isaac stepped onto the lift that awaited him hovering just above his backyard near the spot where his dog Bud was buried.  His suitcase felt heavy.  He thought of the hatred and frustration he felt of what had become of the beautiful blue planet, and, his life. 

Once Isaac stepped aboard the lift he was sent skyward into the opening of a massive orbital passenger ship.  The bus-shaped passenger ship slowly ascended toward the sky.  One very small porthole several inches thick was all he had to view his last stealing gaze as he sat in his seat.  He could see the county he had lived in for forty years.  His childhood home came into view just across town.  The place where he’d worked on his first car with his dad. 

His gaze switched to his bedroom window at the top left of the two-story home.  This room was where he’d cried over a lover’s rejection.  Where he mourned deaths in the family.  Where he’d laughed at his dad passing gas in the kitchen claiming it wasn’t him; “haha”, Isaac let out a laugh without smiling.  That room was where he wanted to be alone and other times desperately hoped for someone to come through the door. 

Isaac’s eyes darted to the nearby forest preserve just a couple miles from where he’d been looking.  This was where his first kiss had taken place.  A few high school parties.  A few somber bike rides at night after being bullied at school. 

Isaac’s heart sank even further when his eyes fell upon various restaurants and landmarks that reminded him of going on dates with his wife earlier in their relationship together.  This reminded him of the love he had left behind, still sleeping; dying in the bed they shared together. 

The tram reached the upper atmosphere and now Isaac was able to make out the orbital station which was for passengers ready to be prepped for lunar travel. 

The tram darted out of Earth’s atmosphere and eventually drifted into the pressurized door of the station with a hard reverse thrust that jerked Isaac’s head forward. 

Isaac was greeted coldly by military personnel that boarded the tram, “Stand still.  Arms out.  Legs spread.” One of the grunts barked.  Isaac was given a thorough pat-down for any weaponry.  He was then de-boarded, and heavily decontaminated. 

The procedure took over an hour, which gave Isaac too much time to think.  New Granwal was now miles below him along with his wife that would die alone. He was starting to feel like he should have just died with her.  She would hardly be aware of her death, however.  That thought gave Isaac a spark of comfort. 

Isaac eventually found his quarters in the civilian section of the orbital station.  Isaac set his only suitcase atop his bunk, which he shared with another man from a different sector of New Granwal.  “Small world.” Isaac thought to himself. 

Isaac pinned a photograph of his wife to a small cork-board he brought along and stared at it for a few minutes as he untied his shoes.  He made fists with his toes then lied back on the lower bunk. 

“You got anyone waiting for you at the lunar station, bud?”  Isaac’s new bunk-mate inquired.  Isaac tried to speak but began to cry.

“Aw, bud.  I’m sorry.”  The man said somberly as he stopped plucking his guitar.

………………………..

Rena woke to piercing, bright light as she laid in white sheets and a puddle of dark blood beneath her.  She screamed as she laid eyes on a long worm-like parasite that had died hours before. 

Rena fell out of bed and realized her strength had left her almost completely.  She reached for the old Louisville Slugger perched in the corner.  But, to her relief the grotesque creature was not moving. 

She attempted to call out but her words were quelled by a feeling of nausea that crept into her throat.  Once the nausea passed she simply called out in a whining, panicked voice.

“Isaac?...”


© Copyright 2019 Ryan K. Mallegni. All rights reserved.

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