Flash Fiction / Writing

The Day Death Died by L.A. Murphy

The day death died was a Friday. It started slowly. A car crash here, a suicide attempt there. Hospital staff couldn’t explain why surgical patients were asking for cheese burgers mid surgery. No pain, no death. It was as if time simply stood still. Now I know what you’re thinking; zombies. Alas no. Nothing quite as exciting. People just stopped dying. No one could explain it. No one really tried to. Once everyone realised what was happening they either planned for chaos or took advantage of their new power.

I read about the people who tried swimming across whole oceans, extremists trying to push the boundaries of human capability. Some of them actually made it. Some weren’t quite up to the task and either sank or were eaten by some apex predator of the ocean. I sometimes wonder what happened to the failures…they’re either in the belly of some beast screaming for release or they’re lying on the bottom of the Atlantic, dead but not dying.

I read about men and women volunteering for insane medical experiments, having huge doses of chemicals injected into their systems or had their bodies pulled apart and stitched back together. No death meant surgeons could practice as much as they wanted without fear of a bad outcome. Some of them even started to cut themselves open, they saw it a challenge and a privilege to see inside their own bodies. It didn’t matter what they found, with no death, no tumour was too risky, no illness too strong.

I read about men and women starting huge war games, thousands of people fighting to the…well, to the finish. Until no one was standing. I mean this quite literally, the aim of one particular game was to cut off the legs and arms of your enemies until the last person could stand up straight. Other games weren’t so easy, with the middle east introducing the bomber game. It’s hard to imagine what happened to the bodies that got blown to actual pieces. Scientists said the cells remained alive but with no full brain, there was no real consciousness to speak of. I wondered what happened then, gone but not dead. I seemed to be the only one wondering.

I read that people thought government would collapse. But no death meant no party leaders could be assassinated, no insurgents could be killed off and no wars could really be won. What could have lead to societal collapse actually had the opposite effect. With no war and no way to eliminate the competition, politicians had to actually conform to democracy. The people had to be listened to because the only option left was to make sure the people were content.

I read that society hadn’t been as efficient in centuries. With no death, there was no war, with no option to war, there could be no conflict and with no conflict, there could only be peace. Extremists could only destroy buildings but once the residents rose from the proverbial ashes and rebuilt their own walls, the message just wasn’t as poignant. Mad men couldn’t shoot up schools or hospitals any more so they got help and got better. They really had no choice.

The day death died was a Friday. I’ve been in my bunker ever since. Society really is as efficient as it’s even been, for now.


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