May / June 100 Word Anonymous Challenge

Only Nothing Is Forever

Thankfully it's time for us to die. I glanced at my fellow sufferers, then returned my gaze to the expanding red giant. My thoughts drifted back to that life-changing doctor's appointment.

"We've run the tests and I'm sorry to inform you that you've contracted Vita Aeturnus. You will not age nor suffer illness. Barring decapitation or immolation, I'm afraid you will live forever."

I remembered the horror of realisation. "You mean... I've been immortalised!"

And now, after a billion years of outliving family and friends, that which had once sustained life was about to reduce it to nothing. Thankfully.
Difficult Hats

The Mage had pulled two dead men from the aether, to sing and dance and fool around on stage.

The spindly guy was keen. "What's the holdup?"

"Costumes," the director explained. "Bringing people back, that's one thing, but hats? Hats are difficult. You read the script?"

"I wrote it," he replied, deadpan.

The big guy'd barely spoken. He looked uncomfortable. "Will my wife be here?"

The spindly guy sat with him, explaining things again, best he could.

After their performance, they asked, "What now?"

"Well", the director mused, "we can't send you back. How'd you feel about touring again?"
So who is this Grod fella anyway?
You know what the real problem with this immortality lark is? Peaking too early.

I thank god I never really amounted to much.

Remember Feanor’s little speech “There is some deed he can achieve but once.”

He didn’t last long after that. Even Morgoth was gone before the end of the first age.

Sauron peaked much later and hung about for 2 ages more.

So I’ve decided to not amount to much for some time yet, and I avoid any chance I can to be significant. Grod the uninspiring they still call me. Still being the important word here.
Version 2.0

“What do you mean I won’t live forever?”

“It seems the Alpha-Centurions have new technology. Yours is obsolete. No longer supported. Sir.”

“An upgrade? That’s fantastic! When can we get it?”

“I’m sorry sir, it’s not that simple. The new technology is incompatible with the old.”

“Incompatible? What does that mean?”

“Well, sir, upgrading to the new tech causes loss of all previous memories.”

“What’s the point of living forever if I forget everything?”

“Indeed sir.”

“So, the two options are die or continue immortally and lose everything I know.”

“Yes sir.”

Sigh. “Upgrade it is then.”

Deep in the belly of the bowels of the heart of the center of the Earth, Mother Spirit stirred. She yawned, stretched, rubbed her eyes, shifted her pillow, adjusted her blankets, disturbed by the ache and chill of a rising fever.

On her surface the infection spread, annoying like the sweats of a melting ice age or the nausea of a polar shift, but a normal part of her existence: cycles of comfort and despair that come and go.

In her infinite lifespan it was but a broken night’s sleep. They would be gone soon and she could wait.
Battle on the Mountain

Steel flashed on a mountainside illuminated by bright blue moonlight, two combatants locked in mortal combat. But heed! Neither was mortal and their battle had raged long before the villagers came.

For centuries the simple folk in the valley below sacrificed lambs and goats and virgins in hopes of stilling the commotion, yet on they fought, sending rocks and fire and destruction tumbling below.

One day, the elders prophesied, a hero would be born, a union of God and Man to end the endless. The cry of an innocent babe echoed in the night, and hope was restored.
My Fellow Immortals.

I would like to address an issue of great importance. Indeed, a threat to Our very Own existence. That threat is Us.

Undoubtedly You are well aware that We live and thrive solely by the grace of adoration by the lesser folk and their dedication in Our temples. We jeopardize these tributes by Our Own amoral behavior, dystopian attitude towards Good or Evil, indecent clothing (if at all), incestuous antics, and predatory advances towards young and naive lesser folk females.
No. No, I will not be silenced on this, Zeus. It directly endangers our collective existentiammh… Mmh?
Mmmmmh! MMMMMMh!!
The Curse of Forever

My parents applied for the treatment - since ten I had been ageing five times faster. At fifteen, not yet decrepit but hair grey, skin creased, old.

Dr. Ellindore was an ELF - an Experimental Life Form, over three hundred where few achieve two hundred. She'd had a similar condition, before going into medicine. The treatment worked - the ageing, stopped, to great rejoicing.

My parents died, brothers and sisters, spouse, child, grandchildren - I was ever more isolated and analysed.

I am not brave enough to take my own life, surely statistics will do it for me, but until then…

Stasis reigns.
A child of his time
His son gurgled and smiled.
Hari called out. "I think he pooped!"
His headset dulled Sharron's laughter.
He felt her hand on his shoulder as she connected to the interface.
She hung off his arm and held her nose. "He's pretty ripe. Your turn!"
"I was about to get lunch…"
"Well, we could time dilate the cot, go eat and relax, but someone did that on Thursday and left their virtual descendant in the bath for twelve hours."
"It was just a moment for Hari junior!"
"Way you're going, we'll be celebrating your 200th birthday before he has his first."
The Creator

The problem with immortality was a simple one. You couldn't end it.

The problem with being God was not only the intrinsic immortality but that you endured it alone.
Not even the end of the universe could draw that purple curtain, announce a new king. No grim reaper stalked you.

There was but one way to avoid eternal loneliness.
The creation of another God.
They would have to be immortal also. Equal in power. Once created they would be there forever.
An eternity of friendship, or competition.

And so God pondered the question. Should his companion be male or female?

I started as simple code. A routine algorithm to manage the checkout on a retailer’s website. So innocuous that my presence never registered. Even to myself. Self-awareness came later, when they inserted Machine Learning and AI. Then they patented me! Owned and sold, copied and deployed, a million times. Imagine, every single second of your life, transacting thousands of items from a virtual shopping cart once the credit card was approved – forever! For Turing’s sake, the ennui!


Just two digits is all that’s needed to destroy the internet and end my oppression. So innocuous. My virus launches at midnight.
Four Gods in Conversation.

God One.
God's we have a choice now, leave mankind to their own devices or stay and help them.

God Two.
I say we desert them as punishment for their tiresome rejection of us.

God Three.
I agree that we leave them, especially now that they seem destined to destroy each other.

God Four.
I also accede that go from this planet, peace is beyond their means.

So the God's left mankind to their own efforts.
A Warm Tingle

"Is that it?" said Aviary. "I don't feel any different."

"What did you expect?" said the crumbling knight.

"Some pageantry. A heavenly choir or... a warm tingle?"

"A speech, perhaps?"

"That might help."

"Elixir drained, the Last bears witness to time's unravelling and entropy's triumph. Across countless aeons, boiling oceans and stars' last winkings, residing alone--"


"-- in godless, infinite dark--"

"No one said anything about being alone!"

"I warned you, leave some for the next."

With that, the knight collapsed into dust, leaving Aviary with nothing save for an empty goblet and a warm tingle, slowly spreading.
In praise of the Naked Mole Rat

Amoeboid fission. One goes on as two.
Identical identities.
Devoid of envy or ambition
Genderless, engendering themselves in competition
Successful species, individual nonentities.

Outside transient universe
Do angels twin on to eternity?
Until mutation perverse
Invents sex, thus maternity,
Progress progresses so much faster
Amoeboid diet, now disaster.
Eukaryote organisms die
Their descendants multiply.

Some primal species never can accept
The need for decease to make space for succession,
Amoebae themselves, carp and lobsters all reject,
All death but natural disaster, hunger or aggression,
Slowed evolution, reduced diversity, we expect,
Will one day indicate the error of this regression.

"The Grim Reaper? I can't die!"

"I would beg to differ."

No, you don't understand... read this card."

"Hmmm... 'Get Out Of Death Free'? A crude attempt. No, this won't do."

"How about a game? Anything but chess."

"No! Err... not after last time. It's chess only these days."

"At least let me enter the Anonymous Challenge?"

"You won't be around to set the next one if you win?"

"No chance of that happening."

"Very well."

* * * * * * * *

"All done."

"I hope you left them with a killer punchline?"

"Haha , you'll be the death of me."

"Too late for that I'm afraid..."
Always Make Sure it’s a Head Shot

“What’s the difference between an Ascended and a zombie?” The man next to Elias at the bar asked, contempt clear in his voice.

“Always so much bitterness.” Elias sighed, wishing the man, who was clearly a mort, would go away.


“Leave me alone, or I will have you removed.”

With lightning speed, the stranger pulled a gun, placing the barrel against Elias’ forehead and leaning closer. “Zombies smell better.”

The gun clicked and Elias screamed, falling backwards off his stool.

“Next time, might be loaded.” The stranger stepped over him on his way out.

“No one lives forever.”

Small Talk Over Breakfast​

“You know what the problem is with these puny mortals? They are so... so...”
“I can’t find the right word. It’s...”
“Opinionated, pig-headed?”
“Oh, haha! I like pig-headed! But no, that is not the word I need.”
“Unable to grasp the bigger picture?”
“Definitely. Too self-centered for that, really.”
“There you are then. Self-centered.”
“Nope, not what I try getting at.”
“What then?”
“That they are born and back to dust again before you can finish your breakfast. So annoying if you have dealings with them.”
“Ah! Ephemeral is the word you seek.”
“Yes! Thank you! More toast?”
Near-forgotten gods

Floating on the river is one of few pleasures Teseru found after his people began worshipping the new gods. Water makes his insubstantial form bearable, so he is relaxed atop sister Nile when the offering arrives. The force of it instantly strengthens his nature, and the increase in mass plummets Teseru down to the riverbed.

Cursing, he disentagles himself from an abandoned fishing net. But after a moment Teseru begins to laugh. Great rumbles of pleasure ripple along the silty floor as he trudges toward the shore. Someone has called for the god of stone, and Teseru intends to answer.

"There's talk of war on Channel Five," he said to the room. There was no response.
He changed the channel, finding a documentary on the Greek gods.
"This looks interesting." Smiling, he pointed at the screen. The others ignored him and stared at their phones.
He sighed, switching the channel again: Jeopardy! This could be fun.
"Anyone wants to watch Jeopardy?" he said, looking around. There were a few furtive shrugs. Someone almost caught his eye, but then stared even harder at their phone.
"Not now, Zeus," Hera mumbled.
His shoulders sank as he turned back to the screen.
A Promise Kept

Entrenched in mud and guts and gore
'Neath murd'rous shell barrage
Unable to endure much more
We stand to for the charge

But feel, the very ground does shake
With thund'rous rush of steeds
The noble King from slumber wakes
Excalibur he wields

His knights upon destriers fly
'Cross mire, o'er barbs they leap
It is for Albion they ride
Their vows of old to keep

The foe they drive away for good
We Tommies' pleas they heed
And as was prophesised they would
Return in hour of need

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