Archive for August 8th, 2011

8th August
written by amber


2067. I’m 100 years old. If you’d asked me when I was 20, I would have said my life expectancy was about 60. 60 seemed old to me at the time, and my health was poor. Weak ankles, an addiction to messing around with computers and eating Ranch-flavoured potato chips, plus bad genes made me far more comfortable at home than outside, moving, burning calories.

Oh, it wasn’t common knowledge then, about the bad genes. My mother was huge, my grandmother had been huge, but people saw us as a family of weak-willed over-indulgers. I had my stomach stapled when I was 21, before the operation became as popular as it later became, before gen-mod eliminated the need for surgery or will power.

Yes, they made a mistake. Three operations later, I had virtually no stomach left. And soon I was the wisp of a man you see before you now. I was young enough that my skin was still elastic; didn’t get any of those terrible wattles others had to have removed.

I became a slim man who still loved messing around with computers, otherwise known as hacking, and who suffered from memories of Ranch-flavoured potato chips. No one knew then that extreme thinness was the key to a long healthy life. And I have had a long healthy life.

And I saved the world from destruction. It was in 2026. The year before I hit that significant age, 60, which I’d once expected never to see. And once again, despite my improved health, it seemed I would not see 60. The world trembled on a brink. Bankrupt nations had ceased to spend money on wars with soldiers and conventional weapons, but greed for more resources had unleashed a desperate corporate race for control of the asteroids and their minerals, their water.

An error in engineering sent a dirty comet hurtling toward earth, an iceball too large and contaminated with heavy metals to burn off when it entered the atmosphere. There were rockets on the comet, but they had failed to respond to their commands. It was nearly too late when I hacked into the system and changed the course marginally, sending the snowball into the moon’s gravitational tug.

That’s my mark, but no one knows it’s mine. That black eye in the moon’s face. I made that.

You don’t have to thank me or congratulate me, or even believe me. Just pass another piece of that cake.

The Story 365 project is a year-long marathon of short story writing, with a new story posted every day on this website from May 1, 2011 – April 30, 2012. Stories must be a minimum of 200 words. Please help me by adding first line suggestions in the Comment section.