Expiration Date (a Short Story – Part 3)

Here’s Part 3 of a soft science fiction short story about a society where everyone knows exactly when they’re going to die, and the man who threw chaos into the system. In the previous installment, the narrator is run through a battery of tests by the government, which still can’t find the cause of the anomaly. This very short third part is only about 240 words. Let me know what you think!

Kadar stayed with us night and day. We had a guest room, so we set it up for him. My parents left after I returned from the government facility that night, looking worried, though I kept in close contact with them. The government agents were constantly at the house, standing guard and coming in and out, keeping a close eye on things.

The situation had a weird effect on Claire, my wife. She fell into a deep depression; she barely spoke to me anymore. It’s hard to understand just how shocking the fact I survived really is. No one, and I mean no one, ever lives past their expiration date. She married me knowing she’d only have less than a decade of life with me, and we planned everything accordingly. All her mental and psychological energy was prepared for my eventual demise.

The effect it had on me was slightly different. Yes, I was depressed, confused, and somewhat traumatized. But the most significant impact was the near-constant anxiety I felt. I had cheated death once, and now I thought that I could die at literally any moment. My entire life, I’d spent knowing exactly when I’d pass away, and there was a great relief in that assurance. Everyone knew their expiration date. But now, living in a way where it could happen at any time was an emotional experience that I was not handling well.

To Be Continued


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