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Really Short Story: My Fourteenth Birthday

petrol station - my fourteenth birthday

Really Short Story: My Fourteenth Birthday

I first died on my fourteenth birthday. I was trampled by a buffalo. It was a horrific death, but then I came back to life as a daughter of acrobats. I died again, at the age of fourteen again, this time of disease. The third time around, I was born the daughter of royalty. I died in a car park from the hands of a stranger. I was fourteen years old.

I couldn’t help it. I kept dying, I kept coming back to life. It would’ve been fine if I didn’t remember each life, but I did. I’ve now lived fourteen hundred lives, and I distinctly remember each of these lives, and no matter what I’d do, I’d end up dying on my fourteenth birthday. I’d always kept this a secret until I met this guy named George. George worked at a petrol station. He collected Star Wars toys and spent most of his money buying Star Wars Toys or hiring storage sheds to store them all in. He had an odd face and his hands were smaller than usual.

He asked me, “Have you been born in the future?”

I said, “Yup.”

He asked me, “What’s it like?”

I said, “Everything’s different, but everything’s the same.”

He asked me, “What’s the meaning of life?”

I said, “What’s the meaning of life to you?”

He said, “I’ll be there on your fourteenth birthday.”

I said, “Good luck with that.”

He said, “Come find me when you return to the world again.”

I asked him, “What if I return to the world a million years from now?”

He said, “Then find me in the next life.”

I died on my fourteenth birthday, as far away from George as possible. He called me, and I ignored him. I died in a bed in South Africa. I had a broken heart.

I came back to life three hundred years into the future. I found his storage sheds, and, predictably, he’d written me letters. He had terrible handwriting, and he mostly wrote about Star Wars, but he’d also ask me the same questions again and again, “What’s the future like?” and “What’s the meaning of life to you?” and in my head I’d reply to him with different answers each time.

 

 

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About the Author
David Bobis is an award winning writer whose stories have been published in The Melbourne Age, Ceriph, and Solarcide. He received a third place prize for a national Melbourne Age short story writing competition at the age of 18, was shortlisted for the Brisbane State Library Young Writer's Award in 2005 and received the third place prize for the John Marsden Short Story Literary Award in 2009.