Friday, August 16, 2013

Fiction Friday: Methuselah: Surprise!

For other posts in the series, visit the Methuselah page on this blog. 

This is a new thing for me. I've decided to give fiction-writing a try. I'm inspired for two reasons.

  1. On our way down to Kingston this weekend, Steve and I started talking about what the next wave of world-changing breakthroughs might be, something grand, along the lines of the Renaissance, the Industrial Revolution, or the Information Age. I won't tell you what it was -- you'll have to read to find out!
  2. A friend shared a "Friday Fiction" post from her blog. What a great way of getting started! It's not a big commitment, like writing a novel, but it's a start.
So here it is. The first instalment in Methuselah.

Placing her mug of coffee on the table, Agnes tapped the glass screen on the desk in front of her and swiped her finger along the scanner on the monitor so she could log into her gene account. Pulling a blonde tress behind her ear, she winked at the "Submit a Reproduction Request" icon and completed her submission, a flutter of fear and excitement surprising her as she did so. The odds were so much against her, and she had forgone this option in the previous Sesqui - and even the one before that! - but it felt like now was the time. This relationship was the right one. 

She winked to close that window, then winked again at the calendar icon in the upper right corner. A week-at-a-glance calendar displayed on the glass, and she winked at the month option so that it changed to a full-month display. Again, with quick winks, she performed a three-week search for availability and saved it to a file. Tapping the file she dragged it to a folder and sent it to the booking desk at the Renewal Centre dictating a short cover message, asking them to match her availability with theirs and make her appointment. She was overdue, and it was becoming evident that she needed to get herself in.

Already, she'd been feeling the effects of aging. Nothing terribly troubling, just a general feeling of fatigue, a tendency to gain weight (she'd gained half a pound!). Sometimes she wondered if the renewal treatments were worth the misery (oh, the recuperation!), but then she started feeling this way and knew she needed to face reality.

Tapping the glass again, the screen began displaying the series of pictures she'd taken after her last renewal and before training in marketing. Bali. Just so incredibly beautiful, the water a colour that touched something primal within her. She paused to watch a few of the pictures cycle through before she moved to the couch and started surfing career opportunities on the big screen.

She was perusing the undergraduate requirements for journalism when Glen emerged from the bedroom, hair all mussed, unshaven - just the way she liked him.

He sank into the cushions beside her, his hand on her thigh.

"Journalism?" he asked, in his typical monosyllabic morning argot.

"Mmhmm," she answered, and leaned to nuzzle his scruff. "Think I'd be good at that?"

"I thought we were going to try for a baby," he reminded her, a slight petulance creeping into his voice. "I applied yesterday!"

"Yes! God, yes!" she answered, "I submitted my request this morning. But it couldn't hurt to have a plan B, in case we don't win the Reproductive Lottery."

"I had no idea you were such a pessimist," he teased and, waving the big screen into silence, pulled her off the couch and back into the bedroom. "Let's pretend we're making a baby the old-fashioned way."

Her coffee was cold on the desk by the time she retrieved it. She drank it anyway while she swiped her fingerprint and again logged into her gene account.

"Glen!" she almost screamed. "Glen! I won! We won!"

There, in the top corner of the screen was the notification she had dreamed of and dreaded: a white double helix on a red coin. She had been granted permission to reproduce.

"That fast?" Glen asked as he peered over her shoulder.

"I know! Who'd have thought?" She opened the notification file. It was astonishingly brief.

Thank you for submitting your Reproduction Request. We are happy to inform you that your request has been approved. Please confirm your acceptance of this offer through the button below.
She was about to wink at the "I accept" button, but paused and looked at Glen.

"Are you sure?" she looked into his blue eyes.

"I haven't been this sure of anything in a century," he said, and kissed her.

She winked.


  1. Oh fine. You've both impressed me. I will give this "Fictional Friday" dohicky thing a try. Erg. Damn friends who are all talented and such!

    1. Friends usually ARE bad for your free time.


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