Author : Peter Andrews

The unmoving city. My city.

The boy is frozen now, four, maybe five, feet from the ground, cheeks pulled by inertia’s invisible fingers.

It is up to me–he might never turn into viscera, his limbs and neck at deathly angles. His family might never have to mourn. This day need never end. The sky could remain forever that shade of blue. People moving along the street might never reach their destination.

I walk away down the center of the road, litter lifeless in the air. The blur of tears makes the world a haze that need not exist. In still cars people are mid-conversation. I try to guess what about. Something about children I imagine, something happy. I do this sometimes, freeze the world and piece together my own understanding of it. The only time I have peace. Everything ceases to be, no one calls for me. There is no family wondering why their son/ wife/ baby/ whatever hadn’t been saved, why the Guardian hadn’t stopped that mugger/ rapist/ arsonist/ drunk/ whatever. Just bouncing around in their grief to find something — anything — to focus the loss on.

I am very old in a way. I stopped aging decades ago. I had a destiny: Humanity would die away — plague/ war/ earthquake/ floods/ meteors/ whatever–and I would be left here, alone, in peace.

Now it is different. The blood I cough up is dark, thick. They can’t do anything–their blades can’t cut my skin, their beams bounce off me. I have lived life as an immortal, now they tell me I will die. They wonder: How can a man who cannot be harmed develop cancer? They ask each other, shake heads. One of those things. They don’t think to ask me.

But so long as I do not release time, I have my eternal destiny, my black passenger in stasis.

But no more. I am human enough.

The boy hits the ground. He feels nothing, deep into shock. Another cluster of black cells in me.

I walk the city streets that have given me a life, and a death. Both are gifts.


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