Week 6 - RWP - Time Stop Part I - July 8-14
In response to the Reddit Writing Prompt here: WP If your death is imminent, time stops for everyone but you. This allowed you to cheat death on many occasions by avoiding all sorts of danger except for now - you have no idea whats threating your life. Its been a year since time stopped. : WritingPrompts
“If your death is imminent, time stops for everyone but you. This allowed you to cheat death on many occasions by avoiding all sorts of danger except for now - you have no idea whats threating your life. Its been a year since time stopped.”
This had always been my worst fear. Ever since time began to stop, I’ve been having nightmares about the day that it would stop forever. It didn’t take me long to figure out that this would be an inevitable eventuality - after all, everyone dies, and someday, my death, at long last, would too be unavoidable.
When that happened, time would probably stop forever for me, and I’d be trapped in that tiny last sliver of ossified time for all of eternity. The thought terrified me. People think I’m lucky to be able to cheat death like I do. I think I’m cursed. Maybe the grass always seems greener, but I’d far prefer death over an unrelenting eternity of being stuck in frozen time by myself forever.
That said, I have to admit the reality of the situation has been a lot more amenable than I imagined in my nightmares. It’s been a full year now, or something like that - I stopped counting months ago - and I haven’t even gone crazy yet. At least, I think I haven’t. In any case, it probably doesn’t matter because crazy is only in relativity to other people, and there are no other people anymore. Whatever. The point is, I’m doing actually pretty alright, all things considered.
Normally, when time stops, I have a standard protocol I go through to set things right again. First, evaluate the situation. Determine all likely causes of imminent death, and mitigate each methodically in order. Most often, this involves relocation to avoid things like getting run over or getting shot in the face by yet another pissed off gangster (for a few years now I’ve been contracting myself out to various police and military forces to handle particularly perilous confrontations. Have to pay the bills somehow).
The second most frequent scenario is just me being about to do something incredibly stupid that would end in my death, like jumping off a cliff into what seems like rather deep pool but is in fact a jagged rock death trap. I have to admit that I’ve become rather lax about my own self-preservation over the years. In fact, I may or may not have developed a habit of using my time-stop death-evading superpower to test the likelihood of death from increasingly stupid antics, like trying to soar a bike between two cliff faces or fly a self built rocket into the sky and then parachute to safety. We all have to feel alive somehow.
There have only been a few instances where the imminent cause of death has not been something immediately obvious. In these cases, my general go-to has been to just wait things out. I make sure to move locations just in case the danger is something place-sensitive like an earthquake or a bomb about to go off. Then, I wait and chill for a while and see if things go back to normal. If they don’t, I try to relocate again, this time to somewhere farther. Typically, this solves the issue.
If it doesn’t, which has happened only twice ever, it’s always turned out to be something internal. Once, I’d been poisoned by a particularly rabid fan who really wanted to see my powers in action. Thankfully, time stopped before I ingested a lethal dose, and after much vomiting and a very unpleasant next two weeks, I escaped relatively unscathed from that peculiar incident. The other time, it turned out I’d actually been tagged with a tiny little bomb in my backpack. It took ages before I finally figured that one out.
Things have been different this time, though. I’ve tried just about everything under the sun and nothing’s made a difference. I’ve biked all the way from Seattle to Mexico and back again to Los Angeles. I’ve ditched all my past possessions. I’ve scrubbed every inch of my skin down dozens of times, looking for the slightest clue of my mortal peril, without a single ounce of luck. I’ve even spent an entire week in a nuclear bomb shelter, convinced that somehow North Korea or Russia or someone had finally decided to bomb the shit out of the States. No dice there either, though.
So far as I can tell, I’m in perfect condition, no one has been trying to kill me, and no natural disasters have been threatening to engulf the entire western coastline of the United States along with a healthy chunk of Mexico. The initial circumstances have been just as confounding in their nondescriptness. I was just in bed, having a wonderful night’s rest, and when I woke up, the world had stopped.
Going by the alarm clock on my bed-stand, the world stopped at precisely 2:12 AM on July 5th, 2018. It hasn’t started again since, and by now, I’ve lost hope that it ever will.
I spent the first few months after time stopped trying desperately to diagnose why and fix the situation. After a few months, however, I gave up on that shtick, and resigned myself to my fate. If time was going to restart itself, it would do so in its own due course. Meanwhile, I was going to enjoy my new life as best as possible.
Still, I’d refused to believe that time had stopped /forever/. I spent the next several months not entirely focused on trying to start time again, but also not ruling out the possibility that things would begin again at any moment. I took care to not upset the harmony of the world /too/ much in my prolonged vacation from reality. I broke into a few stores for food and water here and there, and definitely trashed more than one home, but by and large, I kept the world pretty much as it had been before the end of time.
Lately, however, I haven’t been giving a shit. I’ve accepted my fate, and I’m pretty damn certain things aren’t coming back online, so I’ve decided to have the time of my life. As I speak, I’m sitting here in Samuel L Jackson’s bed, having broken into his home the night before. I’ve been rotating celebrity cribs for the past month or so here. Trust me - it’s as great as it sounds. The drugs have been a fantastic way to pass the time.
One of the weird rules of this time-stopping is that everything mechanical works when I try to use it, but nothing that requires electricity, fire, or some other external power source outside of myself does. Bicycles work great, but cars won’t start for a second. Similarly, I can eat any existing edible food in the world and it will process and digest just fine on a normal schedule, but there’s no chance I’ll ever be able to cook something new. I’m stuck with whatever was available in the world at the time I was frozen for the rest of my life. Thankfully, there’s more than enough of that to go around for probably all of eternity.