Thursday, June 13, 2013

July 17, 2057. (250=1)

In 250=1, I write stories that are exactly 250 words long, including the title.  A link to all the prior such stories can be found here.

July 17, 2057.

Every person can eventually discover the exact date on which he or she will die, and nothing, not anything, can cause them to die before that day.

Learning the date at first was dangerous.  People exhibited a tendency to stop looking when crossing the street, or to open up airplane doors while cruising at altitude.  While the only people who died from actions like those were fated to die at that time, anyway, many people needed to learn the hard way that exemption from death does not mean exemption from pain.

Teenagers trying cliff-diving after they learned their death date was a fad that quickly ended.

There were legal implications.  In the case of US v. Austin a murderer argued he was fated to kill his best friend in an argument that day, but his sentence was upheld: “While it is true the victim would have died that day no matter what, the circumstances of his death remained open to fate, and he may have simply died peaceably in his sleep, but for the defendant,” wrote the court.

As more people learn the date on which they will die, boutiques have started creating destination deaths for the wealthy, who can expire by diving from a space capsule, for example.  Such deaths are frequently featured on the nightly news and are the subject of much commentary.

The poor, meanwhile, continue to work as long as they can until the date of their deaths, as the poor always have.


Andrew Leon said...

Interesting social commentary. I think this idea could make a pretty cool longer story.

Pat Dilloway said...

I would agree there is certainly room for a much larger story, but as it is, it is a good parable about the 99% vs. the 1%.

I think you should try to create a title that is 250 words long, though I'm not sure blogger would let you post it.

Briane P said...


Hmmm... challenge accepted.


It might, possibly, be a longer story, except that fleshing out the concept would probably lead the story in a different direction altogether. "the After" began as a brief thought on what Heaven would be like if you got everything you wanted, immediately, and morphed into something quite different.

A Beer For The Shower said...

I loved this. Great concept, and great social commentary. I also think this would make a fantastic longer story. What if there was a glitch in the system and a poor man couldn't die for 300 years? He was destined to live in poverty, struggling for years upon years just to survive, getting older and frailer and not being able to die. What would he do?

I'm just gonna stop now before I write the story myself. :)

(and feel free to steal this idea if the mood strikes you. I have way, way too many projects on deck to even think about this)

Briane P said...

I may steal that idea, the way I stole your idea of using drawn pictures in my posts.

(Actually, I'd just finished reading some of yours and was working on my Superball Baseball post and thought "That looks like fun, drawing stuff." It's NOT. It's a LOT OF WORK and I don't like it, which is why there aren't more pictures in it.)

Rusty Webb and Michael Offutt will tell you that I'm not above stealing ideas, then turning them into bizarre versions of what was originally said.

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