The Immortal

In a future were people worship time, a dying man questions his faith in his final moments.

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1. The Immortal

 It is human nature to seek comfort in a time of tragedy. It is basic instinct to cry out against fate, instead of bowing one's’ head, and succumbing. So many have searched for meaning in life, something to live for, and failed. There is no meaning; only we can know what ours is. But the best meaning that we can live for is the future. The future may seem far too fearful to base your life on; but do not fear the future. It merely shapes itself on the actions of the present. To fear it further is pointless; to hate it, heretical. The most that we can do is place responsibility in those who force the flow of Time, and further control your fate by serving the Oracle. The Prophet protects.                                                           (-The book of Hours)

 

    In the highest tower on the flying city stands a catacomb. It contains the rotting body of the Prophet. It is the slowest point of the world. Time moves slower the higher up you go, so naturally the Prophet got a floating city built for him-a city that gets eroded by Time at a slightly slower pace than the rest of the world. For not even the city on the highest mountain (for that’s where all the cities are now) could be slow enough for the almighty Oracle. So a city was built for him, with temples made of marble and engines that can reach ever larger heights. One night, every night, the rotting corpse of the Prophet looks over the ancient city; he looked at the marble temples, with the Time-pieces on top, ticking away a second of everyone’s lives. It looked down on the streets to see bishops, priests and pilgrims, all swarming back to their houses before the curfew.  A few Hours passed. A few more. There was no-one on the streets now. Ice had started to creep across the city, due to its immeasurable height. The clocks lit up in the darkness. The light from the clocks sparkle across the icy buildings. Morning came. The lights turned off. The ice melted. The pilgrims and priest and bishops came back out. Another day passed. Another morning came. And so the Prophet sits, in the confines of Time, watching days, weeks, months, years, lifetimes pass in an instant, knowing what the future holds, and knowing he can’t change it.

 

    At the top of a temple, a priest sits. He is dying from cancer, and knows his Time has run out. He looks towards the centre of the city, to the catacomb, and feels a deep sympathy for the Prophet. He was just a normal man, with ideas and ambitions, and now He is locked away in a massive shrine, as if He was any different from any of us. Instead of lying with His ancestors and the ones he loved, He’ll spend the rest of eternity being gawped at by complete strangers. The priest shook these heretical thoughts out of his mind, and thought instead of his family. He thought of his wife. He thought of his children. He thought of his death. He checked the clock. Nine fifty-four. Exactly five minutes twenty-seven seconds until the curfew. He sat and thought about his family. The curfew passed. He sat and thought about his death. The ice started to come in, and slowly it drew nearer. His senses slowly diminished. His thoughts slowly grew farther apart. The clock lights came on, illuminating the ice. Slowly, the ice crept over his body. His organs started to fail. By the morning, the priest was no longer pontificating. Or breathing.

 

    At the top of a city, a catacomb holds the Prophet. At the top of a temple, a chair holds a priest, a husband, a father, a son. In so many ways, the priests’ normality in life had exceeded the Prophets fame.

  

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