So I am a giant nerd when it comes to science fiction. I truly believe it offers one of the best examinations of human nature and insights into what it truly means to be human. I also have a passion for writing. Naturally, these two go hand in hand. Here's my first crack at a short story. It is far from finished and will probably need at least two more parts, but I could't contain the need to share my progress so far with y'all. Think of this as a teaser. I truly hope to take you on a journey with this story and make you think. I know this is a departure from what is usually on here, but hopefully y'all with enjoy reading it as much as I have enjoyed writing it. Without further adieu, here is part one of "The Life of the Immortal Man."
The Life of the Immortal Man By Tyler Martin
Pete Hursom was born into the world with a gift. A gift that every man craves deep inside, but can never hope to ascertain. Pete Hursom was born with the gift of eternity.
Pete’s birth and childhood were that of any other person’s. In fact, Pete lived a quite unremarkable life. After he graduated from college, he settled down, got a well-paying job, and married the love of his life, Angela. Together they lived their lives in quiet splendor. They had wonderful children. They went through their own trials and tribulations. They lived happy lives. As the years went by Angela began to age. In fact, everyone Pete knew began to age. The aging brought about a myriad of problems. People Pete had known and loved started coming down with ailments, and eventually, dying. Angela herself had developed a particularly nasty case of arthritis and could hardly walk by her late seventies. Pete, however, inexplicably had the health of a man in his prime despite his aged appearance.
One cold morning, Pete spoke to Angela candidly after helping her out of bed, “Sweetheart, do you find it strange that a man of my age can function as though I was half as old as I am?” “Strange,” Angela thought for a minute, “I find it more than strange, I find it extremely unnatural. But you keep me safe, you help me with things I can’t manage myself, and most importantly, you love me without question. So who am I to question it?” Pete did not think more of it.
One year later, Angela passed away. Pete was heartbroken, and his children the same. Life continued on though. Years kept passing by. Pete continued to grow older externally while remaining youthful physically. By his 100th birthday, people actually began to notice this seemingly decrepit man with the uncanny ability to do things that men half his age couldn’t. Pete was featured first in his local news, and then, eventually, national headlines. He had become a celebrity in what had seemed to be the blink of an eye.
Pete was also asked by many research institutes to be studied. Researchers were completely baffled by what had allowed him to live his life the way he had. Pete reluctantly obliged. After months of testing, there were simply no answers, but more questions. Result after result read, “Further Study Needed.” After some time, Pete became disgruntled with the battery of tests being performed on him, so he just stopped them all together.
The media feasted on Pete’s story for a while. Headlines read, “The Amazingly Ageless Man” and “Mr. Longevity.” But like with all things, people became disinterested and moved on. Soon, his life began to return to normal. He was once again free to do what he pleased without being in the spotlight.
Despite living much longer than anyone else before him, Pete lived a mostly disinteresting life his first 200 years. He had seen almost everyone he had known and loved pass away with time and slowly became numb. Pete withdrew from everything. He had no family that would recognize him, no friends to speak of, and no sense of purpose in his life. At this time, Pete Hursom, the Immortal Man, had all but physically died. He simply did not care anymore. Soon days became hours, years felt like mere weeks. Time flew by faster and faster the older Pete became. And so, Pete Hursom let the next century pass by.
Robert Tatum was a graduate student in the 24th century studying early 21st century and he was looking for a subject for his thesis paper. He was simply fascinated by the changes in society as a whole between then and his time. Oh how far humanity had come! Robert began searching feverishly for significant events in the 21st that had revolutionized the world and allowed so much progress. He looked at the key figures, the leaders, and even the average citizens. He read countless articles on the major developments that launched the world forward and events such as wars that had set the world back. He tried to absorb as much knowledge as he possibly could.
Eventually, he stumbled across an article that described a man that defied time. Robert was enthralled with this man. Was there any chance this man had was still alive? Surely no one could let this much time pass by and escape with their life. Yet he searched and searched but could find no record of Pete Hursom’s death. Suddenly, Robert had found a new lead. A man that could give him a firsthand account of this time! Robert had a new mission, find Pete Hursom.
Pete sat by his window, watching the sky, just as he had for the past years. He had no mortal needs so all he did was think. Why? Why had he been cursed, forsaken to a fate worse than any death? Loneliness was his companion and sorrow was his life. He had been consumed with self-loathing. So he stared at the sky and hoped, even prayed, to die. He didn’t know what the point of this was anymore. He had tried taking his life before to no avail. He had lost all faith. Yet he stared at the sky, waiting for the warm embrace of death. Suddenly, a knock on his door.
After months of searching, Robert’s search had finally come to a head. He had found the Immortal Man and was standing right at his doorstep! He knocked.
Minutes passed and Robert started to wonder if Pete was home. He waited and waited. He knocked again, and when there was no answer, he decided to leave a note.
“Mr. Hursom, My name is Robert Tatum. I would like to spend a little bit of time talking to you. If you get this note, I will be back tomorrow at noon. I am looking forward to meeting you.”
Robert then left.