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I Know The Date I Die

by Sam H Arnold 7 months ago in Sci Fi
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I should never have looked on that computer.

I Know The Date I Die
Photo by Tianyi Ma on Unsplash

I know the date I am going to die. I didn't dream it or any other hippy shit. I know without a doubt the exact day, month and year I am going to die. How do I know this? I found it on my dad's computer. I was searching for a copy of his latest manuscript, he has been working on it for months, and no one has seen it. I wanted a hint about what it was; that is when I found the exact date I would die.

I pondered this information whilst I hid around the back of the house, smoking a sneaky fag. Everyone tells you not to smoke; it makes you die young. Die young, I already know I am dying young, the fags wouldn't alter that. Just under one year left to live.

As I exhaled the rich, warm smoke, it helped my mind clear. I smoke maybe ten a day; each fag takes 3 minutes to smoke, that's 30 minutes a day. Thirty minutes a day over two years would mean I would waste 365 hours which I realise is over two weeks. Waste two weeks smoking when I only have one year left. I have just quit. Time to take action. I only had a year left.

By Adel on Unsplash

I rushed into the house; I had decided the time for action was now. I would make the most of the year I had left. I skirted around my mother so she didn't smell the smoke on me. Then, I raced upstairs, determined to start to plan the rest of my life. You might be reading this and wonder why I was so sure about my impending doom and why I was so calm. As I think about it now, it seems strange. I think it was the fact that I knew that it wasn't just me that was dying in a year, but everyone on the planet.

Month 2

Please don't ask me, I am supposed to be living my life to the full, but something feels right about documenting my last months on earth. Don't expect war and peace, a short post once a month to let you know what is going on.

I went poking about again to see what else I could find on dad's computer. This is what I found today:

Dear Mr Smith

Thank you for sending the initial draft for the Binary Index. I can see you are progressing well. Please find enclosed the next 200 samples to input into the file.

Yours faithfully

I opened the attachment. Well, who wouldn't have? It was a sequence of 1 and 0, which meant nothing to me. I couldn't crack the code, so I closed it again. I was actually on the computer to email my teacher a letter letting her know I wasn't coming back to school. It has taken me a couple of weeks, but I suddenly see how useless it is going to school. I am not spending the last year of my life learning.

Month 3

Had a perfect day today. I spent time visiting my favourite zoo, saying goodbye to the animals. Poor bastards don't realise their time is limited. Fancy being locked in a cage for the rest of your life. But then most of the adults are spending their last months in a metaphorical cell working in complete ignorance.

By Alexander Ross on Unsplash

I watched all the mums with their young families at the zoo, toddlers just learning to walk and feed themselves just before their light is snuffed out. Maybe I should tell the world about the end of the earth. Maybe others should have the chance to live their last year to its fullest.

Can you imagine the anarchy that would cause, if we all decided to take one massive holiday? At least I now know why the project is so secretive. You would have thought my dad would have at least told his family about the plan, though.

Found another email from the strange organisation again; nothing exciting, but they called my dad the Guide of Development. What the hell that means, I will never know.

Mum is none the wiser that I am not attending school. Well, not yet anyway. Dad is still locked in his study working on the Binary Index, whatever that is. He is too busy even to notice I exist, let alone not doing what I should be.

Month 4

I have thought about nothing else for the last four weeks. Shit, I have just wasted a month worrying about this crap. Still, now I am spending additional time worrying about the time I have already lost. Hell, this sort of thinking could drive you mad.

Anyway, I have decided I can't keep this knowledge to myself. I don't care how much trouble dad gets in; I must tell others they have less than eight months left.

Today I am going to the beach although it is too cold for a swim, I still love it. When I get there, I'm going to tell at least five people. I decided to tell five people a day, enough to not feel guilty, not too many that dad finds out or gets into trouble.

By Sean Oulashin on Unsplash

So the beach trip was interesting; actually, I should say it was awful. I went to the beach, bought chips, and walked along the sea wall, enjoying the sound of the water lapping near the stairs. I am trying to get all these sounds logged in my brain; maybe I will leave a conscious spirit without a body.

I decided then was a perfect time to start telling my five people the knowledge I possess. After ten minutes, I realised I was wasting more of my time. I saw two young mothers with three children between them. I decided they were ideal to be given the insight, especially with young children. If I were a mum, I would want to know, not that I will be a mother now.

So I walked up to the women, and in my best interview voice, I said, excuse me. They stopped and looked at me, how people often get with teenagers. I carried on regardless. I told them that I knew the planet had only eight months left, and they should start preparing, especially for the sake of the little ones. With that, they both looked at each other and gave a nervous laugh, grabbed their children's hands and pushed past me. I shouted after them to tell them I wasn't joking. The fatter one turned back and told me to smoke some more drugs.

I didn't try and tell anyone else I couldn't bring myself to receive more abuse. I feel really down and angry with myself. I have wasted time sulking. All I think about is the time it is taking my life over.

Month 5

It has been a strange month I find myself withdrawing from people I liked to spend time with. Some of my closest friends have started to comment that they no longer see me. When I look at them, I can't spend time with them knowing all this will be gone in as little as six months. How can I not tell them? It isn't as if I haven't tried telling people, but everyone thinks I am mad when I do.

By Anthony Tran on Unsplash

After the beach incident, I tried again at the park. This bloke went nuts when I told him and called the police. They would only let me go without ringing mum and dad if I admitted I was lying. It is one thing having a stranger look at you as if you are crazy, but I can't stand my friends doing it as well.

Tara emailed me this morning; she was my best friend, well is my best friend. She said she missed me and wanted me to tell her what was going on and why I was skipping school and skipping my friends as well. I don't know what to say to her. She asked if I was suffering from depression if I was seeing someone. Maybe I am, perhaps I am mad, and this is all in my head.

Then I break into dad's computer. Sitting on the desktop is another email from his boss asking how the Big Information Book of Lasting Evolution is coming on and stressing the importance of confidentiality. The book is from what I can gather more a hard drive of sequence information, but what the data is, I don't know. I know that it is related to the end of the world; maybe it is a way of this planet surviving.

Month 6

There came the point last month where I became so ill with the knowledge of the secret I am carrying around with me that I nearly ended it all before the fateful day. I really couldn't find a reason that another five months would make a difference. Even my family would only have to mourn for a couple of months until they were dust as well.

Then I read about a person fighting for one more month to be with their family; he had terminal cancer; I realised that all time is precious, especially if we stop counting it. If I hadn't found the original email six months ago, I would not have known and could have carried on ignorant. Like the person who wakes up one morning and tells their family, they will see them in the evening and then gets run over by a bus. Ignorance is bliss.

By NeONBRAND on Unsplash

Maybe this is why the people I tried to tell ignored me. They didn't want to hear, not that they didn't. I wish I could go back to that moment of not knowing. No wonder my poor dad has to keep this a secret; the whole planet would go mad if they knew.

How is he not going mad?

I must be nicer to him when I see him.

I ended the month doing something so normal with my family I almost forgot where we were heading. I had Sunday dinner with my grandparents and aunty. We don't see much of each other, but it is fun when we get together. I quietly said goodbye to them all as I left the house.

Month 7

So this month, school have finally caught up with me about the fact I am not going anymore. It took them long enough; the thing was, I was clever about the whole thing. I went in, got my mark, and then walked straight out the other door to my freedom. I also emailed them from dad's computer telling them we were travelling for a couple of months.

They rang mum, and she is less than happy that I have now missed almost half a year. She has grounded me and made me promise to go back to school; after all, I have all this work to make up for, so I can sit my exams next year. Clearly, I am not the only one dad is keeping a secret from. I did wonder why mum was still going to work every day.

Month 8

Despite promising mum, I would return to school, I didn't. It upsets me that she is upset, especially as I know that if she knew the real reason, then she wouldn't care. I have to make things better with her though, the thought of our last words to each other being cross is more than I can take. Then she said she would have to tell dad. Well, go on, then let's see what he has to say. It isn't as if he isn't keeping a massive secret himself.

By Eye for Ebony on Unsplash

Month 9

It has taken almost a month to get my thoughts together to be able to write this.

I know it all now, how I will die and what dad has been working on. He has decided to try and sneak this file into his work. That way, if someone my age finds it, they can see what we went through, how the last teenagers died on the planet.

In three months, a huge meteorite will smash into the earth, killing all the animals on it. It is the same size as the one that killed the dinosaurs. No one will live on the planet for hundreds of years, so life as we know it will stop existing. Scientists, my dad being one of them, discovered this thing heading for earth over two years ago. He has kept this knowledge to himself all this time; no wonder he is going grey.

Once they found the meteorite, a plan was made to allow humanity to continue after the planet stabilises itself again. The world will keep a mechanical facility below ground; when the time is right, it will start to replicate the DNA that has been coded into the Big Information Book of Lasting Evolution, nicknamed Bible for short.

By Cathy Mü on Unsplash

In it, my dad has programmed the DNA sequence of every animal and written an extensive history of life on this planet. He said he has played around with some of the stories to make it seem like we were magical creatures who could perform miracles. But, dad, doesn't want his name put on this book; instead, he has told them to use his title - guide of development. After all, he is the creator of all; his plans will guide the new development of man.

Within the next month, all this information will be placed safely underground in The Ark until the planet has settled and it is time to reintroduce life, starting with the bees and flowers.

I asked him if dying would hurt, and he said he had been told it would be instant, and no pain would happen, just a bright flash and then nothing until we are born again. So my DNA and that of my mums is in the Bible. It was part of the payment for all the work dad did.

I know now, and so does mum; we won't tell anyone else but will spend the next three months making memories to last an eternity until we are back together.

The Night Before

We didn't travel the world or go and see strange far-flung places. Instead, we spent the time just the three of us loving each other. We read and played board games. We walked in nature and thanked the trees and all the plants for everything they had given us. We existed in peace, knowing what we knew. Tomorrow at just after midday, all this will come to an end for the next one hundred millennium. I will come to an end. I am not scared; there seems little point.

I have no idea how to end this, but I know I have to, so dad can upload the final copy. So all that is left to say is, if you are reading this, you know we succeeded.

Thank you for reading. If you enjoyed this article, please follow me, share it and give it a like. As a writer tips mean a great deal to me, so a massive thank you if, you send one.

Sci Fi

About the author

Sam H Arnold

I know where the bodies are buried and I’m not afraid to tell you - author of True Crime, History and Fiction.

Find my crime magazine here - https://www.murdermayhem.uk

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