Hey Darklings! Happy Friday to you all! Time to announce our prompt three winners and thank you all who participated. Here's a recap of last weeks prompt: Everyone carries a mark that tells the number of lives they've lived and how many they have left. Write about a character who hides the fact that their mark is an infinity symbol.
You clasped onto your best friends hand, squeezing her cold and frail fingers just bit harder. A tear slipped from the corner of your wrinkly eye, nestling into the soft fabric of her favourite woollen sweater.
"Stop crying, you old yam," Binny rasped. A string of coughs rattled after her words. "This ain't my first rodeo, I'll be alright."
"It's your last," your eye caught the wrist that used to hold so many Life Marks, marks that were replaced with old brown skin and aging scars. "You're going for good now, Binny, you'll never be born again."
She rolled her tired brown eyes, sighing. "I don't really give a damn," she noticed the tears streaming from you and her eyes softened, "You're joining me in a few years, anyway. Haven't got much left in you either... And don't deny it, I saw the results yesterday, you're dying."
But I'll come back, I always do.
You've never been brave enough to tell her the truth, that you would never join the afterlife. You were tied to this disguised hell for eternity. There was no escape for you.
You've spent more than a billion lives on Earth, lonely and angry, but that changed when you met Binny ten lives ago. Your life had meaning again, you found reason in being born each time. But now your reason was fading away, and you'd have nothing.
You could've told her, you should've. But you were scared. Of being judged and experimented on. You knew Binny would've never shared your secret, but secrets always had a way of slipping.
But she is going to die...
"Hey Binny," you called. Her eyes were shut, her body as still as a rock.
You pulled the covers to her neck, kissing her forehead. "Thanks for living with me."
"First time dying, huh?"
"I can tell—the quake in the knees, the sweaty upper lip. Yeah, the first time is awful, but it gets easier. It's the fifth death that really hurts. Don't ask me why."
"The fifth? How many times have you done it? You know, the reincarnation thing?"
"Hmm, I'd say this is number thirteen. Some might say that's lucky.""And it always ends this way?"
"I suppose so, in one way or another"
"Don't you think that's a waste? You get a new life, a start over and you end it as cannon fodder on some rich man's battlefield. I'd try to make each life last as long as possible."
"I wouldn't worry. The pay is good, and I can send money back to the family. I've got some lives left to live, see? I've a few marks left."
"Don't look so glum, kid. Everyone does it sometime. You must have quite a few marks if this is your first, though right?"
"I never said it was my first." "My apologies. It's just that you look so young."
"Well, I have a technique for staying this way."
"Does he now? Care to teach an old dog some new tricks?"
"It's not really something that can be taught... I could show you?"
"We have time before it starts, I 'spose"
"Now, you see the trick is, you don't want to think of it like giving up one of your lives."
"People like you give up your marks, cross them off and then when you run out. Poof! Oblivion awaits."
"Aye. That's the way it's always been."
"But I don't give up my lives...
... I take lives. Yours, for example. And all those lives left to live? They transfer to me."
Congratulations and once again thank you all for participating! Prompt 4 has been posted in the next chapter so be sure not to miss out.