Friday, June 24, 2011

Flash Fiction Friday: Four Seconds to Live

     With four seconds left to live, Krenya’s mind was absurdly tranquil. She’d known the day ever since she was born. Like all Voxinne children, she was born with the Knowing. A curse. A blessing. When you know your deathdate, some choices become more important, others less so. It was only the how that remained unknown. Many Voxinne tried to trump fate and take control of their own lives, but none were ever successful. Suicide was almost always impossible.
     The Neyun-born, on the other hand, knew the how but not the when. Krenya’s lifelong friend, Horna, knew she would live to become a woman, but she also knew that she would die from suffocation. It made each breath more bittersweet than anything imaginable.
     Three seconds left and Krenya thought of things done and things left undone. In her fifteen years there was much still to do, but she had no regrets. In her brief life, she’d found love, something so many never achieve. Rossn tried to promise that he’d never love another after she left, but she admonished him until he changed his mind.
     “Don’t let my death stop your happiness,” she’d said. “You’ll still have forty-four years and twelve days left when I’m gone.”
     She pictured her parent’s faces, smiling sweetly above her when she’d had the flu. She saw her brother and Tessa’s beautiful wedding and the crowd of happy people. Face upon face fluttered through her mind, lingering only a moment.
     At two seconds she thought of the past, of Man long ago, before the Gift. Back then, all were born without the Knowing. No one knew when or how they would die. She used to feel sorry for them and their blindness. She envisioned them a scared people, constantly worried that each second could be their last. Now, though, she envied them. Perhaps they truly lived, she mused.
     One second until death claimed her and Krenya finally turned her mind towards the future. What lay beyond was still a mystery. Many spoke of a place called Heaven, an eternal kingdom of happiness and peace. Others said there was nothing, only void. Still, others believed in rebirth. Krenya hadn’t made up her mind about what she believed. She’d tried, but grew weary of the multitude of options and the hypocrisy of the Ecclesia and the Holy Houses. She would find out soon enough.
     At 1521.28.33 in the year 2887, Krenya ba Soon’s heart stopped and her brain shut down, taking with her nothing but a fondness for a life well lived.

Word Count: 425

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