Posts Tagged Short fiction

Fortnightcap: Heat Death

Heat Death

A Fortnightcap by DL Thurston

Creative Commons License

Implications.  People never think about implications.

Immortality was one of those things people talked about wanting, talked about needing.  Of course, who doesn’t want to live forever?  I’ll tell you exactly who: everyone who is living forever.  Sure, it seemed like a great idea for a few centuries, but then the ennui kicked in.  Eventually there’s only so many time you can do everything you always wanted to do.  And in the end there’s only so many people to do things with.  After everything else is exhausted, all you can do is wander, and hope to find something new.

We left earth.  Let it become what it wanted to be.  Let it heal, gave something else their turn.  I heard of someone who went back.  I guess that was several million years ago now if there still was an earth to go back to.  He said cuttlefish had taken over, filled all the spaces that we’d left behind.  Good for them, I suppose.  In the end, it was like learning that someone had repainted a bedroom in the house sold years ago.  Any sentimentality I had for that old place left longer ago than I could really say.  Anyway, after the first billion years, time feels rather immaterial anymore.

We wandered.  And we waited.  There were others out there, those who had made our mistake, and those who hadn’t.  At least not yet.  I tried to dissuade a few planets, told them what a mistake immortality had been.  They just called me unimaginative.  I guess there are some mistakes people have to make on their own.  Touching a stove hurts.  Falling in love leads to heartbreak.  Immortality leads to meaninglessness.

The universe continued on.  And we waited.

Finally, we congregated again.  We were brought together, those humans who hadn’t found a way out, those aliens who had joined us in folly.  We were brought together around the last star in a cold and unfeeling infinite.  The universe was running out of energy, running out of stuff.  All that remained were scattered molecules and this one star, burning hot and bright as it swelled towards a super nova.  It was something to do, and then there would finally be nothing.

And we waited.  Right up until the end.  I remembered a feeling, a sensation I’d left behind so long ago.  It was anticipation.  It was hopefulness.

The star burst forth with a magnificence that stunned us all, then rapidly contracted into a dead mass.  No energy.  No heat.

We were so hopeful that the universe would take us with it.  That heat death might finally give us release.

Now what?

Fortnightcaps are biweekly experimentation into short form fiction. All Fortnightcaps are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License. So if you like the story, please feel free to link people back here. And if you didn’t, maybe the one in two weeks will be better.  Picture of Kepler’s Supernova courtesy of NASA, released to public domain.

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Fortnightcap: A Warning…

A Warning to CIG Users

A Fortnightcap by DL Thurston

Creative Commons License

Local area police are issuing a warning to users of cochlear implanted GPS devices, commonly called CIGs, after a recent mutilation and subsequent home robbery in the Tysons area.  Leonard Cohen was assaulted by three unknown men on Tuesday night while walking alone through a parking garage back to his car.  The assailants, two armed with baseball bats and the third with a scalpel, knocked Mr. Cohen to the ground and beat him unconscious before conducting amateur surgery on his right ear.  Their target: his CIG, an older model that still used a small external antenna.

“It was such an old model, I couldn’t understand why anyone would want to steal it,” Mr. Cohen said from his hospital bed at Tysons General.  “I’d been meaning to buy an upgrade for a year now, I just never got around to it.”

It turns out that it wasn’t so much the device the thieves were after as the information on the device.  When Mr. Cohen’s wife Jessica received the news that her husband had been assaulted she rushed to the hospital.  Shortly thereafter she got a call from her home alarm service that there had been a break-in and police were being summoned.  “I could go back home, or I could be with Leonard, there wasn’t really an option.  At the time it all just seemed like the worst possible timing.”

The timing was not coincidental, however.  Police arrived in time to interrupt the home invasion, and were able to apprehend one of three subjects.  Under examination, the suspect admitted that they had used the “go home” function of the device to lead them to the Cohen residence, then waited in the bushes across the street. When Mrs. Cohen left for the hospital, they took their chance to strike.  This matches other reports nationwide of individuals being assaulted for their older model CIGs and having their houses burgled on the same day.  Police suspect thieves are targeting the older CIG models as the external antenna makes them more obvious than newer, entirely internal models.  They recommend that users of these models consider an upgrade, or at least change their “home” location to the entrance of their subdivision, a nearby grocery store, or even the closest police station.

Mr. Cohen will require a derma regeneration of his ear, but is expected to make a complete recovery.  The other two suspects are still at large.

Fortnightcaps are biweekly experimentation into short form fiction.  All Fortnightcaps are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.  So if you like the story, please feel free to link people back here.  And if you didn’t, maybe the one in two weeks will be better.

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