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Mortal - Epilogue

by Liv 5 months ago in Series
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What is life without death?

Mortal  - Epilogue
Photo by Stormseeker on Unsplash

Premise: In this young-adult dystopian novel, people can no longer die. But they still feel pain, and suffer--and it's maddening. Because of the chaos that ensued, the US Government created a program to figure out how to kill people. When Garrett, a teenager, falls into a coma for weeks as a result of an experiment, the Program sets its malicious sights on him.

This is the epilogue of the novel, Mortal. Click here for the beginning of the story. Or, click here to view all chapters.

I sit in my parents’ house on the sofa, swaddled in blankets. It’s hard to understand that I have house now, that I have my parents back.

It’s the middle of the afternoon, a fresh autumn breeze seeping through the screen of the window. My dad’s at work while my mom’s gone out to run a couple of errands, one of her tasks includes getting me more medication. There’s a knife on the table, from an hour ago, when she started cutting up fresh fruit.

My finger trails the flaky scar on my scalp, from when I was shot by my girlfriend in an attempted murder-suicide. She didn’t make it though.

I’m still not sure I have either.

It’s been three weeks since I was released from the hospital after waking from my coma. And even three weeks later, none of it seems real. It’s like I’m walking around and when I’m about to grasp something, something from this world, it slips away.

I think about my past life everyday, every moment.

After I regained some awareness and a thin understanding of my orientation— that Lucy, Therese, Edward, Abel, Paracot aren’t here, aren’t anywhere near here— I was given a therapist, someone to discuss what happened. I could tell in her eye that what she thought would come up, was how my girlfriend was insane, that she tried to murder me and nearly succeeded, that I saw a girl I love take her own life. But what I talked about was this world, this world, after knowing what I know now, was some sort of afterlife, quite literally a living hell.

At least it was for me.

My therapist, at first, didn’t seem to know what to say. I don’t blame her, it’s a world she couldn’t possibly understand, that not even the people within that world could understand. After the third session, we started tackling my knowledge of this world with logic. Because that world is what seems real to me, this is just a nightmare I’m stuck in.

Maybe the reason no one could die, is that they were already dead.” I know what she says is true. And I think she hoped that would be the end of it, that I could move on, but it only spurred my obsession.

Because that means every person there was alive before. They had a life here, before it was taken from them. So I learned about them, all that I could.

Lucy Wright, at the age of 18, died after a long, painful battle with cancer. She was studying to be an art curator in New York.

Edward Gild died from a heroine overdose. He was no one, didn’t even have a penny to his name.

Bern was a doctor here, just like he was there. He jumped off a bridge after he made a fatal mistake in a surgery, killing a 13 year old boy.

Arthur Paracot was killed in a hit-and-run accident after dropping off his six year old daughter at school.

And Therese.

Theresa Meyers committed suicide after shooting her boyfriend in the head. To her loved ones, she was known as Tessa.

My loyal friend in Project Eden had nearly killed me in her past life. I brought her to kill herself. And neither of us remembered. Therese…she was the girl with black tears, the one I started hallucinating about after I was shot the first time. I just never noticed they were the same person, after all the burns.

I shift in my seat, reaching for the glass of water on the side table. My arm shakes, my muscles still atrophied.

I’ve tried my best to piece together everything I can, but I can’t be sure, I can never be sure. Because now, I’m here. I’m alive.

No one could die in that world because they were already dead. I was there, but could die eventually because I wasn’t exactly dead, I was still breathing in this world, even if I was only surviving through life support, that I was considered brain dead by medical professionals.

And VitCorp. My parents were VitCorp, Abel is VitCorp, but none of them are dead. Abel is in a nursing home somewhere in Minnesota with ten grandchildren. He’s also my godfather. If you want to hide, run towards. VitCorp, they were trying to save me from dying, because I wasn’t actually dead. If it is your soul, your mind, your inner being, that goes to the afterlife, then maybe VitCorp was a piece of my subconscious, my inherent instinct to survive, trying to pull me through.

Well. They succeeded.

Therese killed me the same way Tessa did. I guess that’s what ultimately did it.

Beside the knife on the table, there’s the bowl of fruit. Filled with bananas and strawberries and blueberries. My favorite, my mother tells me.

That world wasn’t real, not really. But I can’t forget it.

I can’t forget that my parents in that world tried to kill me, wanted me dead. I still flinch whenever they sneak up on me, and I have to stare at their wrists long enough to realize they aren’t the same people.

I can’t forget all the torture I went through. That Paracot, a kind-hearted dad here, would be a psychotic monster there and would make many people suffer. And all for naught. Because not all of them could die like me, because I’m sure unlike me, most of them are actually dead.

I can’t forget Lucy. And I can’t forget that I still love her.

And I can’t forget that it’s not fair. That all these people are suffering because they don’t know they died, and will continue to suffer, long after me. That Lucy and Therese and Edward and Bern and even Arthur Paracot will continue to live in pain, never knowing why they deserved this.

I can’t forget that I’m alive and they’re dead, that the world I left seems more like my life than my death, and that the place I live now means nothing to me now.

I look up, towards the kitchen, my chest burning with a need for hope.

There’s a knife on the table.

Thank you all for your support! It's been a hell of a ride. xoxo, Liv


About the author


Massive Nerd. Pursuing my MFA in Screenwriting!

IG and Twitter: livjoanarc

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