Death Day – Flash Fiction Back

Death Day – Flash Fiction

The Prompt

Everyone is born knowing the day they are going to die. When their death day passes, they are not dead.

The Story

As you are probably aware, since the day you are born, you are cast in stone to die. One day it will happen. It’s inevitable. We’re even given the exact date and time that it will occur.

No sooner are you pulled from the womb, the doctors are checking your vitals, and the nurses are reading out the day of your death. Your Death Day.

I was born on the fourteenth of June, 1990, and since that day, my parents have known the day I’d make my last breath. It must have been horrible knowing, too, that I was going to be celebrating my Death Day long before any of theirs.

The exact time I was stated to die was 14:42, on a Wednesday in November—the eighth, to be specific. But this is the thing with Death Days: they were set in stone—simple fact. You can’t escape your day; when your time has come, you have to accept it. You had no other choice.

My family was around me when the day was here: my Mom, Dad, and friend Adam. That was all I had, but I was grateful for it. I had learned to accept the date and time with certainty. There was a calming peace when I finally started to feel that way about it all.

I had been given the ultimate choice of what I wanted to do and how I wanted to spend my final day—or half day—on Earth. It was a choice had I thought of many times over the years, but I didn’t know when the time came it would have been so damned hard. I settled for the morning out on the nature trails, walking our usual route just one last time. It was the walk we had started going on ever since we had Benji as a pup. He was a good boy.

After twelve, we spent the rest of the day at the family home. Mom and Dad’s. Mom made her Tika curry, which she always made for Dad and me on Wednesdays. It was my favourite, and she knew it. I didn’t even ask for this.

After dinner, we were too full to move. We sat in the living room and watched my favourite show on Netflix, The IT Crowd. I’d worked it out that if each episode were roughly twenty-four minutes long, I’d be able to watch just over five episodes before I should have passed peacefully.

We all must have gotten into the show again, as we had only noticed the time when Netflix prompted us to see if we were still watching. We’d gone over ten episodes, and I was still alive.

My mom had been in tears of joy, wrapping her arms around me and refusing to let me go. Sobbing about how this was “all a miracle.” We needed to “start going to church more often.” Dad has been in so much shock that he has started smoking again, lighting up his first Chesterfield Red in over fifteen years.

It was a shock to us all. We had all been so happy. We felt like we had won something—we had won the lottery and managed to gain more years of life. How many more years was beside the point and unknown, but we didn’t care at that moment. We just celebrated, laughed, and drank to it all.

I suspect if they are all still alive, they aren’t all laughing, cheering or smiling now. If anything, I believe my mom would be crying in sorrow and not joy as before.

What had happened felt like a gift, a God send. Something worth smiling about—I learned my lesson. We all did. We should have never said anything, and I should have hidden it from the neighbours. It should have remained a secret.

When officers from the government showed up at the door and dragged me out of my bed with nothing but my T-shirt and pants on, I’d never see any of my family again, nor my friends.

I wish I could advise you not to do what I did, but you can’t. I had no choice, and neither will you if your Death Day passes and you stay breathing. They don’t like that.

…and eventually, neither will you.

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