A Life Eternal by Richard Ayre
English | 2020 | Sci – Fi | ePUB | 3.8 MB
What if you knew you would never die? How different would your life be? How different would you be?
When Sergeant Rob Deakin is mortally wounded during the First World War, he is destined to become just another nameless casualty of a terrible conflict. However, a chance encounter with a mysterious stranger will change the course of Rob’s life forever… Not only has he been healed, but he cannot die, and he will never age.
What follows is a cursed journey through a century of incredible change, seen through the eyes of a man immune to death, while he searches endlessly for the answers to what makes him so unique. Rob must find out why he is so different. Before he loses his humanity completely…
A hand on my shoulder brought me back to the village. I looked up and realised Captain Greene had been talking to me, asking me something. I scrambled to my feet.
‘Sorry, sir. I was daydreaming there for a second.’
Greene nodded, a smile on his face.
He was, like all of us there, a young man: younger than me and I was only twenty-two. But his eyes held the shadow of what he had seen in his years of war. It had scarred him, even if nothing showed physically.
‘That’s all right, sergeant. It’s nice to have the freedom to do so.’
He looked around the destroyed village, then at the never-ending columns winding slowly past us. Eventually, he turned back to me.
‘What are we going to do now, Rob?’ he asked, softly. His eyes begged me for an answer I didn’t have.
I shrugged. ‘God only knows, sir. I don’t.’
He eventually nodded. He was a man caught in a sudden void. For two-and-a-half years he had lived in squalor and fear and noise. He had made decisions which meant men died, often in violence and horror. He, like all of us, had shied away from thinking about any sort of future, because that future should not have been allowed. He had lived from day to day; indeed, from minute to minute. Now his future stretched before him in a blinding kaleidoscope of probability. He, like I and everyone around us, was drowning in possibility.
‘I was wondering if you had any plans,’ he said, eventually. ‘Do you have a family to go back to? A wife? Children?’
I squirmed uncomfortably. Greene and I had shared a lot. We had sat on cold, frosty, starlit nights and talked of the day-to-day running of the company. Of the men under his and my command. It was Greene who had recommended me for my sergeant’s stripes two years before. He had seen something in me I hadn’t seen in myself. But we had never really talked in any sort of personal manner.
I remembered his first day as a lieutenant. I remembered a callow, flush-faced boy whose Adam’s apple had bobbed nervously after every word as he had tried to exert his superiority over men who had seen death and carnage to such a degree that their humanity was in danger of being snuffed out forever. I remembered laughing bitterly about him with the lads. I remembered thinking he wouldn’t last five minutes. I remembered being wrong.