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The Price of Borrowing Time

A Loan with a Deadly Interest Rate

By ZahrazeePublished about a month ago 4 min read
The Price of Borrowing Time
Photo by Aron Visuals on Unsplash

In the not-so-distant future, the world had discovered a way to borrow time itself. The Time Exchange, a powerful corporation, controlled the technology that allowed people to trade years of their lives for money, health, or success. The price of borrowing time, however, was steep and came with hidden consequences.

Elliot Granger, a struggling musician, lived in a cramped apartment in the heart of New York City. Despite his undeniable talent, success had eluded him, leaving him frustrated and desperate. One rainy evening, as he wandered through the city streets, he stumbled upon a sleek, neon-lit building with a sign that read “Time Exchange: Borrow Time, Live Now”.

Curiosity piqued, Elliot entered the building. The lobby was a blend of futuristic design and eerie calm. He approached the reception desk, where a sharply dressed woman greeted him with a knowing smile.

"Welcome to the Time Exchange, Mr. Granger. How may we assist you today?" she asked, her voice smooth and practiced.

"How do you know my name?" Elliot stammered, taken aback.

"We know many things about our clients," she replied cryptically. "Would you like to learn more about our services?"

Elliot nodded, a mixture of excitement and apprehension coursing through him. He was led to a sleek, glass-walled office where a man in an immaculate suit awaited. The man introduced himself as Mr. Sterling, a senior advisor.

"At the Time Exchange, you can borrow time from your future," Mr. Sterling explained, his eyes gleaming with a strange intensity. "In return, you can have anything you desire now: money, success, even health. The time you borrow will be deducted from your lifespan, of course."

Elliot hesitated, the weight of the decision pressing on him. He thought of his stagnant career, the bills piling up, and the dreams slipping away. "How much time can I borrow?" he asked.

"Up to five years," Mr. Sterling replied. "The choice is yours. But be warned, the interest compounds. Every year you borrow will cost you an additional month for each year it remains unpaid."

Desperation overcame caution. "I need three years," Elliot declared. "I want to become a famous musician."

Mr. Sterling nodded, producing a contract from a sleek drawer. "Sign here, and your request will be granted immediately."

Elliot signed the contract with a trembling hand. A strange sensation washed over him, as if the air had grown denser. The deal was done.

The change was instantaneous. Within weeks, Elliot's life transformed. His songs topped the charts, his face adorned magazine covers, and he performed sold-out concerts worldwide. The fame and fortune he had dreamed of were now his reality. But with every triumph came a nagging fear, a shadow that grew as the years he had borrowed began to loom over him.

As the months turned into years, Elliot's success continued unabated. Yet, beneath the surface, he felt an unsettling pull, a reminder of the debt he owed. He tried to push it aside, immersing himself in the glitz and glamour of his new life. But the whispers began—first faint, then more insistent.

"Elliot... time is running out..."

He dismissed them as stress, the cost of fame. But the whispers grew louder, invading his dreams, echoing in the quiet moments. Faces of strangers appeared in his mind, their eyes hollow, their expressions mournful. They seemed to be the ones who had borrowed time before him, paying the ultimate price for their desires.

One night, as Elliot stood on stage before a roaring crowd, he saw a figure at the back of the auditorium, cloaked in shadows. The figure's presence sent a chill down his spine. After the show, he was approached by an old man, his eyes weary and knowing.

"You've borrowed time, haven't you?" the old man said, his voice a raspy whisper. "I was once like you, trading years for success. But the debt... it cannot be escaped."

Elliot's heart pounded. "What can I do?" he pleaded. "How do I pay it back?"

"The Time Exchange will collect its due," the old man warned. "You must find a way to repay what you've borrowed, or the interest will consume you."

Haunted by the old man’s words, Elliot sought out Mr. Sterling at the Time Exchange. The building, once a beacon of hope, now felt foreboding. He demanded to see the advisor, desperation etched on his face.

Mr. Sterling greeted him with a cold smile. "Mr. Granger, how may I assist you?"

"I need to repay my time," Elliot said, his voice trembling. "I'll do whatever it takes."

Mr. Sterling's expression hardened. "Repayment is difficult, Mr. Granger. You can offer to forfeit future opportunities, sacrifice your fame, or accept the toll it takes on your life. The interest must be paid, one way or another."

Elliot felt trapped, the walls closing in around him. He had traded years of his life for fleeting success, and now the price was coming due. He chose to sacrifice his fame, hoping it would be enough to settle his debt.

He left the Time Exchange a broken man, his once-brilliant career fading as quickly as it had risen. The whispers ceased, but the shadows of his choices lingered. He returned to his small apartment, now a shadow of his former self, burdened by the knowledge of the price he had paid for borrowing time.

In the end, Elliot learned that time, once borrowed, could never truly be repaid. The years he had traded for success were gone forever, leaving behind a legacy of regret and the haunting reminder of the cost of borrowing time.


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    ZahrazeeWritten by Zahrazee

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