Tansy Undercrypt
Author, Illustrator, Purveyor of Doom & Whimsy

Age

January 6th 2018 in Microfiction

“She’s HOW OLD?” Henning asked, certain he’d misheard. “128,” Rasmussen responded smiling. “Okay, wait,” Henning said next (in disbelief), “Joe is 109; Mary Beth is 98; Elijah is 99 tomorrow; Callie Suzanne is 114 … you don’t have anybody in this wing who’s younger than 97 and they’re all fine!” “That’s right,” Rasmussen confirmed. “What the hell?!? How have we never heard about this before?” Henning marveled. “How are legions of researchers not breaking the door down to study this place?” “We won’t allow them in,” Rasmussen said quietly (closing the wing access and waving to Earl, 107). “They have formed a community; loving relationships and external connections that keep them engaged in living from day to day; they go about their business, engage in the work of supporting each other, and don’t expect to do anything else for the foreseeable future. In short, they’ve forgotten about time. They never think about dying … so they don’t.” “I think about dying all of the time,” Henning whispered, stunned. “And how do you feel?” Rasmussen probed. “Stressed, on edge, panicked,” Henning responded, “frantic, anxious … my blood pressure is sky high. I always feel like I’m running out of time.” Rasmussen nodded, and guided Henning by the elbow back out into the main corridor. “Maybe, next time you come, we’ll have you meet Anjali,” he said comfortingly. “She’s such a happy and gentle soul … and so wise.” “Age?” Henning asked, unable to help himself. “171,” Rasmussen signed by holding up fingers as Henning’s jaw fell open.




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