Time of Death

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Romance  |  House: Booksie Classic
In a universe were everyone has a watch imbedded into their skin, that counts down to the moment they meet their soul mate. Everything is normal until Murph gets a package in the mail.

Submitted: May 30, 2015

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Submitted: May 30, 2015

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Murph listened to the TV as the video of his speech played. “Everyone is born with a timer on their inner wrist. It isn’t a piece of machinery, but more like a constantly changing tattoo. The clock is embedded into your skin at birth and counts down to a very specific moment in time-- the moment you meet your soulmate. Obviously, your soulmate’s timer will be synchronized with yours and when you meet, you soon realize why they’re your soulmate. Nobody really knows where the clocks come from. Immediately after a person is born, a doctor takes a blood sample and puts it into a machine. Thirty minutes later, doctors come back with a decently thick syringe, and inject it into your wrist. Shortly after injection, a timer appears in your skin and is already counting down. Some say it’s God’s creation, some say it's Fate’s stopwatch, and others say it was created by the government to help reduce suicide rates in the United States. Whatever the case may be, it is still a clock that actually works and has been since 2016. The person you meet right when that timer hits zero is your soulmate, chosen through Fate or Destiny or whatever you want to call it. However, your soulmate is never a person you already know, it’s always someone you’ve never met before. Because it’s Fate’s stopwatch, you can’t necessarily avoid it; nobody can change their fate. When the end comes, your fate is still your unchangeable destiny. But, how you get to the end can still change.”

Murph was sitting at the desk in his apartment, typing an essay he probably should’ve started writing a week ago like his professor had told everyone to do. But Murph was never really a fan of deadlines anyway. A few weeks back, Murph’s class got assigned to present a speech. He didn’t have any good ideas, so he decided to do Fate’s stopwatch. Now, Professor Eko wanted the class to write an essay, critiquing themselves on how well they presented during the speech. This was Murph’s tenth time listening to his speech. So, he was really just revising his paper at this point. He looked at the clock, it was two in the morning. Murph printed off his paper, stapled it, set it on the desk, then headed to bed. As he lay in bed, he stared blankly at the ceiling. He held up his wrist. It was hard to see, but Murph knew it said nine days and about six hours if it was still two in the morning. He thought to himself what his soulmate would be like. Obviously, everything he would want in a soulmate, but sometimes it isn’t what you expect. As he sank deep in thought he also sank into a deep sleep.

He woke up that morning and it was Saturday. He checked his phone and had three texts from David. Murph had completely forgotten today was the day David was going to meet his soulmate. He read the texts; David was extremely nervous, and Murph had promised to be there, it was the least he could do for his best friend.

With a little effort, he got out of bed, brushed his teeth, took a quick shower, changed clothes, and headed downstairs to his car. David had told him to meet up at the coffee shop that was only a few blocks away from his apartment. He got in his car and headed down the road. Once he arrived at Loco Coco, the coffee shop, David was sitting alone, his hands and feet tapping like he’d had a thousand espressos. He was constantly checking his wrist and looking around. Murph walked up to him. “Hey, man.”

“Oh my God!” David yelled. “It’s about time you showed up. Do you realize that in approximately,” he looked at his wrist, “Ten minutes and fifty, forty-nine, forty-eight, forty-seven--”

“Calm down!” Murph interrupted as he sat down in the chair across from David. “How much sleep did you even get last night?”

“Like,” David tapped his foot as he paused. “Two sleeps.”

“Yeah, okay. Listen, man. I’m here, I got your back in case you accidentally crap your pants or something. What could possibly go wrong? This person is going to be your soulmate, no matter what happens you guys are going to be a perfect match.”

“What could go wrong? Oh, where do I begin!? What if she’s ugly? What if she thinks I’m ugly? What if the first time I see her she is going to be splattered on the floor in front of me? Watch the rooftops! We gotta jumper and its my soulmate! Clean up on aisle, My Life, in approximately eight minutes!”

“That’s ridiculous. Do looks really matter?”

“Pffff, do looks matter?” he repeated sarcastically. “People always say looks don’t matter but they’re all liars! It’s a whole lot easier to like a person who is good on the eyes, unlike me.”

“What makes you think you aren’t good on the eyes?”

“Have you seen this face?” David hollered as he grabbed his cheeks. “And who likes pudge!?”

“What pudge?”

“This pudge!” David yelled as he lifted up his shirt; he wasn’t super buff and he wasn’t fat-- just average. David grabbed what little extra fat he had from his sides and wiggled them around. “Oh, look at me, I’m David’s pudge. I make him look like an ugly slob,” He lifted his shirt up all the way and grabbed both of his moobs, caressing his nipples. He wasn’t even fat enough for them to be moobs. “My milkshake brings all the boys to the yard!” he hollered, jiggling his nonexistent moobs. He began to spin in a circle, singing, and shaking his man-jugs. Suddenly, a panicky woman came out of the coffee shop running straight into David, knocking them both over. David and the girl were dead silent, as they sat up on the sidewalk looking at each other. They both frantically looked at their wrists. Their clocks had hit zero.

David started frantically stumbling over his words. “Uh, hi, I’m David.”

The girl’s face was redder than a cherry. She was trying not to smile, whenever she made eye contact with him. “I’m Amy,” she laughed.

Murph had to occupy his mouth with David’s drink to stop himself from laughing. In Murph’s eyes, David got a pretty good-looking soulmate. Much like David, she wasn’t skinny or fat, just average. They both had the same brown hair, and as they got up off the ground, David was taller by a few inches. She had a nice face and she also had dimples. David was a sucker for dimples. After everything calmed, down he pulled up a chair for his new woman to sit. David’s face was lit up red like a thing that's red and lights up.

“I’ll leave and let you guys get to know each other,” Murph said, smiling as he got out of his chair.

“But,” David chirped looking scared.

“You’ll be fine, David. If anything bad happens, I’m sure Amy has got you covered.”

“Okay, I suppose. Thanks for coming out, man.”

“No problem.”

Murph walked back to his car as David and Amy instantly started striking up a conversation.

The rest of the weekend was relatively normal. Murph turned in his paper on Monday and found out he got a B on it by Wednesday. They also got assigned a new paper to write on that same day. By Thursday, Murph had already busted out his new paper, because he was actually interested in the topic. The class was assigned to write about a life lesson and Murph wrote his on how things don’t always go the way you want them to. It was easy to write about because he’d had experience with it in his own life. He cranked that paper out in one night, printed it, and set it on his desk for when the due date came along.

Friday was the day everything changed. Murph was on his way home from his university, cruising in his Sedan held together by duct tape and lost pride. Before he headed up to his apartment, he decided to check the mail. The panel to his mailbox opened easily and inside there was the usual crap that came in the mail, but there was also a package. It was a small, black, rectangular box sealed with packing tape. Murph didn’t remember ordering anything but he took the box and brought it up to his apartment. He threw away the other mail, they were just useless ads anyways. Setting the box on the kitchen counter, he grabbed a knife, and cut the tape. He opened the box and on the inside was what looked like the screen of a digital watch. Numbers glowed in fluorescent red but instead of showing the time like a normal clock, it was counting down. Murph examined the clock reading outloud what it displayed, “Two days, fifteen hours, one minute, and thirty seconds. What the hell does that mean?”

Lifting the clock out of the box, he realized it was a watch. As Murph examined the inside and outside of the watch, he noticed a series of ones and zeros imprinted on the underside. He recognized it as binary and went over to his laptop that was sitting at his desk, taking the watch with him. Murph spoke to himself as he typed. “01010111 01101000 01111001 00100000 01100100 01101001 01100100 00100000 01111001 01101111 01110101 00100000 01101100 01101111 01101111 01101011 00100000 01110100 01101000 01101001 01110011 00100000 01110101 01110000 00111111.”

After typing in all the numbers, the computer quickly translated them. The result appeared on his screen: time of death. The color in Murph’s face was completely drained. Almost instantly, he called David and forced him over the phone to come over. As he waited for David to show up, Murph paced his kitchen, glancing over at the clock that was counting down every second. Suddenly, he glanced at his wrist, very quickly realizing something horrible. The timer on his wrist and the timer on the watch were only minutes apart. Murph almost fainted. After double and triple checking, he concluded that the watch was only a few minutes slower than his own timer. Murph’s chest felt like an elephant was standing on it and his palms got sweaty. Every little noise became loud and he became extremely twitchy. Suddenly, there was a knock on the door, causing Murph to glare in the direction of the noise.

“David?” he yelled.

“Yeah, man. Let me in,” David hollered back through the door.

Murph took a few deep breaths, unlocked the door, and opened it.

“Hey, so what's this death clock thing you were rambling about?” David asked as he walked inside.

“I’ll show you,” Murph spoke, closing the door. He led David over to the desk and there it was, the horrifying watch. “There it is,” he said as he pointed a finger at the watch.

David went over to it and picked it up. “This? This was the big deal?”

“You don’t understand. Look at it; it’s not a normal watch. It’s counting down, like Fate’s stopwatch. Plus, on the underside there was binary.”

“Okay, what did it say?”

“Time of Death.”

David wiggled has arms while making the noise of a ghost. “How scary! So, what. Big deal. It’s probably some dumb prank.”

“Oh, I’m sorry! Did I forget to mention it’s only a few minutes behind my watch!” Murph spat, showing him his wrist.

David looked between the two with scrunched eyebrows. “It must be somebody who knows what your stopwatch says or somebody who used to. It’s just a prank, dude. Don’t worry about it.”

“What if it isn’t a prank?”

“Look, if it really worries you, I’ll take it. You won’t even have to look at it.”

“Okay, yeah. Do that.”

“I will. Don’t worry about it.”

“Thanks.”

“No problem.”

David left, leaving Murph alone with his thoughts. That night he didn’t sleep well at all. He was too stressed, thinking about that stupid watch. If meeting your soulmate wasn’t stressful enough, now he had to worry about dying. After a few hours, Murph closed his eyes and finally fell asleep.

He woke up that morning on Saturday. In the afternoon, David called. He just wanted to check in, make sure Murph wasn’t still freaking out, and he wasn't. David was right, it was just a stupid prank. Over the weekend, Murph relaxed and didn’t worry about anything. Sunday evening Murph was halfway through a movie marathon. Looking at his wrist, the watch read: twelve hours. Murph was extremely happy, he was going to meet his soulmate tomorrow. Hopefully she loved movies just as much as he did. Murph stayed up till two in the morning watching movies. He finally fell asleep at around three in the morning.

Murph woke up to the sound of his phone ringing. David was calling him again. He picked up the phone. “Hello?”

“Dude get down here, class is about to start!”

Murph looked at the clock. He had ten minutes until class started. He launched out of bed and ran straight to the shower. Murph had never taken a shower so fast. He had eight minutes to get down to the school. He changed clothes in a solid three minutes, but he couldn’t remember where he set his paper. It was due today. After searching around, he found it shuffled behind his computer on his desk. He grabbed it and flew down the apartment stairs. He opened up his Sedan door, and looked at the time: three minutes left. If he didn’t make it he would get locked out of the classroom. Murph hated this rule but he had to follow it. He gunned it out of the parking lot and down the street, trying to gain time back on the road. He sped through the streets for a couple of minutes. He was just about at his university. He looked at the time; this was his second fatal mistake. Murph, while not paying attention, ran through a red light. A truck coming the other way hit his car on the driver’s side. Murph, in this instant, realized his first fatal mistake. While in such a rush this morning, he had forgotten to put on his seatbelt. All the windows in his car shattered and the car began to flip, tossing Murph out of the car. Everything went black for him. Screaming and sirens was all he could hear. He felt somebody shaking him. Opening his eyes, he saw a beautiful girl. She had long brown hair and caring eyes. He could barely hear her through the ringing in his ears but he could tell she was saying sorry over and over again. He looked at his wrist. The clock had hit zero. Although filled with pained, Murph hugged this girl and smiled. Through a raspy voice he spoke, “Hey, I’m Murph.”

“I’m Mallory,” she sniffled while trying to hold back tears.

Murph felt happy.

Meanwhile, Professor Eko locked the doors to his class. David checked Murph’s Death Clock that he had been holding for him. The timer was counting down the last few seconds until it finally hit zero. David wondered why Murph was late for class. Surely, the watch was just a prank.


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