My name is Garret Narlin, and I should be dead.
In Mirrudge everyone is born with a birthmark on their forearm bearing the date they will die. Within the week of their death date, people are moved into the Expiry Thoroughfare as their final resting place; a final earthly Utopia. On their last night, the Eve of the Pass is held in the grand ballroom. During the celebration of passing from one life to the next, caregivers dress the beds. As the passing draws near, people retire to their beds with a final goodbye.
My death home is quiet, and I’m alone. The minutes are ticking by, and I can’t help but feel scared. I get to my room and look at my bed, the white floral draped gently around the edges and the satin sheets glimmering in the moonlight. Looking at it now, I feel stronger. I feel ready. With one last look out of the skylight, I let my eyes shut for the last time. Or so I thought…
I feel a hand grip onto my arm and jump. My eyes open and the morning light stings my eyes.
“Lornen! Lornen! He’s alive!”
My breathing hastens, and my heart feels constricted. I climb out of my bed and stare at it. It stands vacant, but in the wrong way.
“You must come with me now Garret.”
I fearfully shuffle one foot in front of the other across the floor after them. In all the history of Mirrudge, this has never happened. No one has ever survived their death day before. I stumble from my supposed resting place and through the city to the labs where the doctor rushes to me, slamming his hand on my chest and breaks into tensely triumphant laughter.
“Shena, come here.”
A young girl joins us in the room, and I know her immediately. My sister. I can see her quivering arm, and her date. Three weeks ago. Doctor Hesher places his hand gingerly upon her chest and feels both our hearts beating at once.
“In sync. It’s happening. A new age in Mirrudge. The pair of you will heal our world together.”
Hesher looks to us both, hopeful and proud. Shena reaches her hand out for mine, which I grasp, before locking her into a taut clinch. The hug releases a powerful burst of golden light around both of us. Flashes of a future appear to us both as we share a gaze, no death marks, no Eve of the Pass. Just life. We know what we must do, and we begin with Hersher. Together we place our hands over his heart, one atop the other, and watch as his death mark fades away. His laughter turns to pure delight and relief. Kissing us both on the cheek, he rushes us out of the lab and towards the city. With my sister’s hand in mine, our marks fade, and we march toward our destiny.