Perishable

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Flash Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
Two persons. One young. One old. Standing at a precipice. Standing at the edge of the world. Preparing to jump.

Submitted: February 04, 2009

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Submitted: February 04, 2009

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Two persons. One young. One old. Standing at a precipice. Standing at the edge of the world. Preparing to jump. And yet. Simply sitting at a table. Staring at a loaded revolver. Glancing up. Glimpsing eachother. Eyes back on the gun.

 

The old person. Reaching for the weapon. Choosing words carefully.

"I never thought it'd be so hard. My entire life I've always said I wouldn't be afraid. ...Wouldn't be that coward who drags things out until the last second. You see, I've always believed that we've all got an expiration date. And its important to know when you've reached it."

Placing thumb on the hammer. Wrapping finger around trigger. Burying the tip of the barrel in grey hair. 

"I've outlived all my friends and family, and I'm all alone now. My body is failing me, and I know things will only get more painful and difficult if I keep living. There's no reason for me to cling to this life any longer, and yet... I just can't bring myself to end it." Lowering the gun. Replacing it on the table. A shallow sigh.

 

The young person. Reaching for the weapon.

"I view dying as more of a beginning than an end. I've always felt that there is so much more to existence than we perceive. This body sitting here isn't me, its only the shell in which I temporarily reside. I know there are other worlds beyond the confines of this physical form, and I'm ready to experience those worlds. You see... I no longer feel interested in this illusion of reality. I've transcended..."

Casually cocking the revolver. Gripping the gun backwards. Thumbs on the trigger. Peering down the barrel. Squinting one eye.

"Only... I haven't succeeded in separated myself completely from this world. I thought I had, but now I find myself sitting here with you. In fact, one might say the only thing keeping me alive is the curiosity that compels me to witness the conclusion of your particular conundrum. So...?"

Holding the hammer in place with one hand. Squeezing the trigger. Lowering the hammer. Slowly. Replacing the uncocked gun on the table. Staring inquisitively at the old person. Waiting.

 

The old person. Taking the gun with both hands. Examining the instrument of death.

"I always thought age would prepare me for this moment. But it doesn't matter how long you live, death never gets any less frightening. And... I'm just not ready to experience dying, you know? It's natural to have a fear of death." Rationalizing. Hesitating. "I think the biggest problem is that I'm just so uncomfortable with the thought of murdering a person, even if that person is me. I feel so completely attached to this human body, this physical form. But you..." Replacing the gun. Staring pleadingly across the table.

 

The young person. Accepting the weapon. Aiming at the old person.

"Murder? Well, I... don't think I want to kill anyone. I just want to die. I'm ready for what comes next and I'm tired of wasting time..." The hammer making a click as it locks into position. The cold tip of the barrel. Pressing against the temple of the young person's skull.

Negotiations. Begin.

"But you're still so young. What about your future? All the possibilities..."

"The greatest possibilities lie beyond this world."

"But there is so much to live for. If for no other reason, then do it for me."

"For you?"

"That's right, you and me; youth and age. We will be each-other's connection to this life. A reason for living! Once you've seen me to my natural end, you will be rid of your final tie to to the world, and free to embrace death whenever you want."

"So that's it then?"

"That's what's best for the both of us. To be human means to keep living until death finds you. And it will find you. So what's the rush? Enjoy life while it lasts! And for heaven's sake, put down that gun already."

The young person. Uncocking the gun. Replacing it on the table. Gazing absently ahead.

The old person. Sighing heavily.

"Well, I'm glad that all this suicide nonsense is finally over"

The young person. Smiling subtly.

"Yeah, me too."

The old person standing up from the table, turning, and stepping toward the door. The hammer clicking. A gunshot. The lifeless corpse of the young person collapsing on the floor.

 

I replaced the gun-shaped lighter beside the smokes on my computer desk, and realized that a part of my youth had perished.


© Copyright 2019 PoisonHeart. All rights reserved.

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