Writing prompt: Turning 200

Time: 7 minutes. Click here to go to my list of prompts.

(A quick aside: travel this month has damaged the regularity of my posting, but I am back now, with a Monday post and a Thursday writing prompt.)

“turning 200” (this prompt inspired by my grandmother-in-law’s recent 90th birthday.)

Heather surveyed the room of happy faces, here for her birthday party. She wasn’t the first person to turn 200, but she was the first she knew. She had lived a healthy life, reaching 95 before the longevity treatments became available. Since then it had been smoothing sailing. She didn’t feel a day over 65. Physically.

Several of her great-great-great-great grandchildren played across the room. She mostly didn’t know their names or the names of their parents. That was odd to realize. When she had an expiration date, the young had seemed like the greatest investment she could make, the only real way to some kind of reach beyond the grave. Now that she was still around… well even the 100 year olds had so much to learn. Apparently the country agreed with the average age in the senate at 120.

The guests sang happy birthday, and Heather sat politely through it. She could bear anything with equanimity. She had time. After cake, she checked the news, something to do.

Third bicentennial dies under unknown circumstances, one headline read. She pushed the article up. The authorities couldn’t tell what had killed the man. A scientist sourced noted how little was known about the physiology of the extremely aged, due to small sample size. The three cases would be researched extensively, no doubt.

Heather had faced death before. But now she quaked in her chair. If the treatments had limits, she would surely face them before they were solved. She wasn’t prepared. She had been before, resolved to her fate for decades. She walked out of the celebration. There were things to do.

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