Judah Henderson, Grade 11, The King's College
Finalist in the 'Just Keep Writing 2019' competition
The broken ground around her trembled, she reached into the soil and felt the individual granules of soil as they spilled off her fingers and back on to the flowing green grass below her, she realised, after all she had done, this would be the last time she would see the luscious green grass of planet Earth. Tears gently caressed her face, the salty droplets brushing past her lips as they dripped onto the soil beneath her bruised knees.
She was so tired, so tired, unendingly tired.
Humanity would never understand what it was like, they couldn’t comprehend the overwhelming solitude of those like her, the human life was so fleeting, so worthless, they looked at her, idolised her, but they could not fathom what three thousand years of being alive would do to the mind, how she could not live, not love, without watching it crumble away, they were so desperate for more time, and how could anyone with such a short life not long for more, she had believed the same when she went in to that sterile room, and as the needles and scalpels tore the flesh from her bone, the brain from her body, to make her immortal.
She did not realise how she had condemned herself to hell on Earth. A hell that would last all of eternity.
And she sobbed.
She sobbed as the cold iron manacles clamped tightly around her wrists and ankles, and as she was brutally shoved into the vessel that would take her so very far from home. This was her punishment for the acts she committed, she would be placed in a rocket and shot deep into the abyss of interstellar space. The closest inhabitable planet was eighty thousand years away.
There was no food, no water, no air, no light and no escape.
This was the ultimate punishment for the immortals, designed for if they committed the ultimate crime, genocide.
She had killed thirty six billion people.
She had counted, as each one of them perished, her bittersweet revenge on the humans who had incarcerated her in her own body for all of eternity.
There was no escape from the rocket, and even if she found a flaw, exploited it, the controls were designed to be irreversible, no way to return to Earth, and if she managed to tear the vessel apart, she would be trapped, motionless in space, until the end of all things. And she could not die.
So she threw herself, shrieking, at the walls of the barren, riveted metal cylinder, again and again, she mangled her body, smashing again and again, against the walls of her new home, and just as the bruises appeared, they healed.
She felt none of it.
She broke every bone in her body attempting to escape, terrified of the hell that awaited her.
Until she gave up, her broken body slumped to the ground in exhaustion, as the rocket engine began to gently purr, lifting her off into space.