Friday, March 18, 2016

Gift of Eternity - Short Story

Hello everybody!
I was scrolling down Pinterest scavenging for a prompt to write a short story, luckily I had written one down in my notebook.  I don't remember where I found it (probably Pinterest), but I thought it was a pretty cool concept.  It said to write a story about an immortal and a time traveler.  I didn't know how I would create this story, but I did.  It was challenging for me to workout the relationship between the characters, so I hope you find them believable. I definitely think this idea needs more than a 3,000-word story to tell all that I have swirling around in my brain right now.  But this is a good place to start. 

Here for all of you to read is my short story-  Gift of Eternity

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Landon Flint walked down the sidewalk of one of the largest cities on Luthien.  Luthien, was a planet practically made up of skyscrapers and roads.  Of course, oxygen is needed for any human to survive, so the governments worked together to make a strip of forest bordering every country.  Each forest is cared for by the country that it borders.  Luthien is made up of 327 small countries across the expanse of land.  With millions of towers and buildings built side by side, bullet trains are generally used by everyone.  But there is a percentage of people who use the roads and sidewalks lining the buildings.
Back to our main character, Landon Flint is an immortal.  With the body of a 25 year old man and more than 300 years of knowledge and experiences, Landon has met death in the face over 5 different times.  His first encounter with death was when he first found out he was immortal, Landon was unfortunately involved in a train accident.  He ended up dying in a local hospital with his friends and family at his side.  But three days later, Landon woke up in a morgue with no injury on his body.  Of course, like anyone who would be confused, he tested to see if he was still alive or if he was dead.  Landon jumped off of the roof of his university and died, three days later, he woke up in a garbage dump.
For the past 300 years, Landon has been a nomadic immortal, never living in one place for more than a decade.  He switched jobs every 5 years and made sure he never ran into the same people more than once.  That should be easy in a world made up of 10 billion people, right?  But that became a problem for Landon soon after he ran into his younger sister, 8 years after the first time he died.  He immediately left that country and moved into an apartment in the next country for the decade.
After he had gotten used to the idea of becoming immortal, Landon found himself bumping into one particular person every few years.  Her name is Ashelyn Rice.  She always looked the same age, she never seemed to change.  Just like Landon.  Was she immortal too?  Landon didn't want to ask, you know, that is a weird thing to ask a stranger you've never talked to personally.
Ashelyn is a time traveler or a time agent.  There's an organization in her time that takes in jobless adults and orphans and trains them to become time travelers that help others.  Of course, sometimes there are a few bad apples that use the time travelling technology the way it shouldn't be used and  someone else has to go in and fix the timeline.  That's Ashelyn's job.  She didn't have this job at first, but now that she had been working with the organization for awhile they gave her a promotion, just like any other job.
Landon ran into the young girl on the way to his new job, an engineering position at a big company in the middle of a city called Nastine.  Ashelyn wore full black made out of leather and other heavy fabric.  Different sized belts strapped the outfit together.  But her hair, it looked as if she could do anything she wanted with it.  Running around all the time, she had to put it up into a high ponytail.  Ashelyn, in Landon’s eyes, looked to be around the age of 18 or 20.  She looked young and athletic, though, Landon still wanted to know how he could find out if she was immortal too.  One day, he found out.
Exactly 63 years after he became immortal, Ashelyn walked up to Landon on the sidewalk.  This particular day he was walking to work.  The sun was out and shining down on the towered city.  Landon had only ever seen this girl, never had he talked to her.  But today was different, Ashelyn grabbed his arm and pulled him towards the shade of a shop canopy.
“Hello Landon, I don’t think you know me.  By now I think you have just seen me every once in awhile, correct?”  She stated boldly, making sure she had Landon’s attention.
Landon nodded quickly and proceeded to ask, “Who are you?”  
“My name is Ashelyn Rice, I’m a time traveler and you are an immortal.”  She sighed, “I’m from the future and you are from the past.  Kind of like opposites.”  Ashelyn let go of his arm and released her gaze.  A buzzing alarm surprised her and made the girl jump.  “Oh jeez,” She pulled out a cellphone-like device and tapped the screen to stop the buzzing.  “I’m sorry, but I will be back in five minutes.  Well, I won’t be, but a me from the past will.  I know this is confusing, but just trust me and follow her- uh, my instructions.”
Landon nodded slowly this time, trying to take in all of the information.  He tried to speak up, but Ashelyn had ran off before he even opened his mouth.  Landon put his hand to his head and combed his fingers through his brown hair.  “What just happened?”  Shaking his head back and forth, he pinched his arm.  He wasn’t sleeping, neither was he dead.  And if anyone knew what death felt like, it’d be Landon.  
With no other Ashelyn in sight, Landon started making his way to work again.  He would be late, all because of a joke.  But was it a joke?  She knew he was an immortal, plus, that was the girl he had seen for multiple years.  Landon ran, if he didn’t he might lose another job.

* * *

Ashelyn wandered the streets, looking and searching for her target.  A man who is supposedly tagged by her future self.  She was told that he’d be wearing a business man’s outfit.  Ashelyn wondered if this information came from herself, it wouldn’t be impossible, especially for a time traveling organization.  The mark on her target would turn up in her eye lenses, a pair of devices built to look and act like contacts with a hundred more abilities.  This was only her second job after getting promoted, and she was nervous.
A red “x” appeared in her sights, it was just as she was told.  Her target was a man dressed in a suit and ready for a busy work day.  Ashelyn felt bad for the guy, he was an ordinary man on his way to work.  But now he was tied up in a mess with no way to get out.  
She ran up to him, but she was interrupted before she even got to her name.  
“Excuse me, my name is-”  
“Ashelyn Rice, I know.  You were just here a few minutes ago, but then you had to run off.”  He turned around and looked her in the eyes.  “Oh, I can see how much younger you look than you did earlier.”  The man, who looked a lot younger than what she was lead on to believe, turned around and kept walking.
“Wait, where are you going?”  Ashelyn sped up to keep his pace.
“I’m waiting for you to tell me why I was pulled over by you, the you from the future said that you’d have me do something.  And by the looks of it, you know nothing about me, unlike your future self.”  The man stopped and looked up at the sky, it was getting cloudy.  “Does your mission have anything to do with the weather?”
“Possibly, and no, I don’t know a single fact about you.”  She looked up  at the swirling clouds overhead.  “The downpour is about to begin,”  Ashelyn turned and pushed the man towards the closest tower entrance.  
“You know, rain was not forecasted in the news this morning.  They said it’d be sun all day long and a warm temperature.”
“That’s why I’m here for you.  I was told by my superiors that you have an ability I can use to stop a war from starting.”  She wanted to know if they were right, she had to ask.
“I wouldn’t say it could stop a war, but it could definitely prevent it.  I’ve had plenty of years to study computers and how they work.”
“Just who are you?”  Ashelyn asked, curious to find out the answer she leaned in closer to hear the man.
“The name is Landon Flint, I am an immortal and you are a time traveler.”

* * *

Landon led Ashelyn down the sidewalk, rain was just starting to fall.  The climate shields activated and before anyone knew it, a sun was back into the sky.  “Looks like the shields I invented are working well.”
“They won’t be for long, unless you can fix it before the generator explodes from overexerting power.”
"Oh is that what is going to happen?  Then I guess we should start running."  Landon grabbed her arm and ran like his life depended on it, of course, he would be fine.  But not the rest of the people in the city.  They would probably all die from a sudden downpour of gallons of water.  The shield's job is to keep a good cycle of weather days.  The controller can make any given day precipitation or a bunch of sunlight.  But when it actually does rain, the shield collects the rainwater for when it is needed for an artificial rain day.  The thing is, if the generator explodes, it will release the reservoir of water and millions of gallons will be dropped onto the city without warning.  It could wipe out building, trains, and especially people.
The generator's main control room was Landon's own office.  He was the controller.  It was his job to line up the weather just the way the scientists wanted it to.  Landon sat at his computer all day long, inventing new gadgets the government would need and making sure the current ones were still working.  Little did he know, the time traveling tool Ashelyn uses is something he’d invent one day too.   Actually, a lot of things that are used in Ashelyn’s present day were created by Landon.
The two of them neared the government building that Landon worked at.  They ran in and Landon ran to tell someone about the problem, making sure he didn’t mention a time traveler was with him.  They led Landon and the girl to the generator, it was on the brink of overheating.
"We need to get this thing cooled down before it explodes and kills people."  The other man looked at her oddly and shrugged, "We could start spraying it down with the water.  But will that short circuit it?"
"No, I created this machine to work under water and even get wet.  I mean, it does make weather appear in the sky."  Landon laughed to himself, he thought his joke was funny.  But Ashelyn wasn't paying attention to his joke, she was focused on cooling the generator down.  
"There's a hose outside in the hallway."  The other man pointed out the door, "I think it should be cold and a low-pressure output."
"Thank you, Ashelyn, can you do it?  I have to make sure the shield hasn't gone down yet."  Landon ran out of the room to go grab his laptop so that he could work in the same room as the generator.  If it were to explode, he wanted to be there.  Not like he would die anyways.
The generator started shaking and sparks started flying in every direction.  When Landon returned, the other office employee was using a different hose to get rid of any flames starting to eat up the room.  "Make sure nothing sets a fire if it gets out of hand, everyone in this city is doomed."  Landon  looked around the room for a good place to sit, luckily there was an open corner for him to sit down and keep an eye on the shield holding the rainwater.
An hour went by and the three person group had grown to fifteen people trying to keep the generator from exploding.  Landon and Ashelyn thought it was a sweet sight to see how the citizens were working together to save their city and everyone living in it.  Five hoses were now being used all around the room, and Landon had to move out to the hallway so that his laptop wouldn't get wet.  If it did, all their work would be pointless, Landon would lose the only way to control the shield and its weather.
Another half hour goes by before the generator calmed down and let Landon configure it a bit so that it wouldn't overheat again anytime soon.
"This should make it so that it doesn't explode or start to explode like this for a long time." Landon showed an employee how to change everything so that the next time something like this happened and Landon wasn't there, they could fix it on their own.
Ashelyn took Landon to the roof to talk, "So, I have one thing to ask you."
"Sure, go ahead and ask."
"If you're immortal, can you die?  Or do you have super healing abilities?"  Ashelyn thought she might've read far too many sci-fi books in her time at her orphanage.
"I can die, but as far as I can tell, I come back to life after three days.  I have found myself on the side of the road and in a morgue so far.  I hope there won't be a 'next time,' but there will probably be plenty more times I find myself waking up from the dead."  Landon sighed, his life was rough.  Having to leave friends after 10 years just because they'd be able to catch on for any time longer than that.  And not being able to see any of them or his family, Ashelyn thought it would be tough to keep on living that way, but Landon didn't have any choice.
Ashelyn looked at her cellphone-like device, just like the one the future Ashelyn had.  “Ah, I should get back to my time and give my report to the organization.  Well, not like it matters when I leave, but it helps my sanity to stay on track.”
Landon smiled, “I got it, oh, one question I want to ask before you disappear again.”
“What is it?”
“How old are you?”
“Currently, I am 18.  But I have no clue how old the Ashelyn you met was.  I’ll try to remember to tell you, but that may be pointless.”  She shrugged, “If I didn’t tell you earlier than I probably will forget.”
“Don’t worry about it, get back to your time.  I’ll find out someday!”  Landon stretched his arms and cracked his knuckles.  “Good luck on your next mission.”
“Thank you!”  In a press of a button on her device, she was vaporized and sent off somewhere.

* * *

Later that evening, Landon sat in his chair looking out his window at the wide expanse of city.  He just saved every man, woman, and child.  But they would never know what happened.  Not even Landon’s fellow co-workers knew the whole story.  The ticking of the clock on his wall made Landon yawn, running to and from work, plus trying to stop a large generator from overheating was a little too much work for his body.
DING DONG!  His doorbell rang, Landon stood up and walked over to his front door.  When he opened it, he saw the very same face as in the morning.
“I forgot to tell you this morning since I was in a rush, but I’m 23 now.  I told you I wouldn’t forget!”  Ashelyn smiled proudly.  To her, she kept that promise for 5 years.  But for Landon, it was a little less than a day.
“I never doubted you.”  Landon smiled in return.  “Do you want to come in for some tea?”
“Oh, tea?  How old school.”  Ashelyn laughed.
“Excuse me for being a grandpa, would you like some?”  Landon furrowed his brow, though his hospitality was still strong.
“Yes, I would love to have some tea with you ‘grandpa.’”  Ashelyn walked into his apartment and glanced around the room.  “That’s a lot of picture frames you have.”  All around his living room were framed pictures of Landon and random people he had met throughout the years of becoming immortal.
“I hope to have a whole room full of them one day.  Hey, would you like my phone number?  You can call me if you ever need a computer nerd.  I will be able to help you out as much as I can.  I mean, as long as you call in a time after I am giving you this, then it’d just be weird.”  Landon smiled, “Please, pay attention to the date in which you call me.”
“I will, so, how about after tea we go stop a robbery at the largest bank in a couple of years.”  She laughs, “It’ll be awesome!”
“I have a feeling that giving you this number will lead to a lot of trouble.”  Landon handed Ashelyn her tea.
“Don’t worry about it, we’ll have so much fun.  And then you can add me to your collection of framed loved ones.”  Ashelyn looked at one next to her; in the picture, it showed two parents, an older girl and a younger girl, and one young boy standing in the middle of the family.  “I would suppose this one is of your family, and this is you?”  She pointed at the boy.
“Yeah, that’s the only picture I have of them.”
Ashelyn sighed softly, “Family.”
Landon frowned, she didn’t have one, did she?  With this type of job you would have to be either desperate or have nothing already.  And Ashelyn is young, she was probably an orphan who was never adopted.  “Don’t worry.”

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This story is only a section of what I have going through my mind, maybe I will continue Landon and Ashelyn's story in a whole novel someday.  Who knows?  I like their personalities, mostly because they are nothing like what I was planning, they are a lot more mature than what I thought I'd go with.
I hope you all enjoyed it, and see you next month o/
                             - Anna Jolene <3


With that, please leave me some feedback in the comments below.  If I were to continue this story, what would you like to see me add or take out?  I'd love to see what you think.

2 comments:

  1. I saw this one! Talk about the relationship between an immortal and a time traveler! I love this, it's so awesome! I liked all of it!

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  2. Thank you so much! I know right? I tried to figure out a very believable relationship between the two of them, but I think this worked out quite well. I'm glad you liked it!

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