Bucket List

“We’re not the kids we used to be.”

“You’re right. We’re not,” I replied.

I stepped into the bank through the main doors and yelled at the top of my lungs. “Everybody, get down on the ground, right now!” I quickly pulled my shirt open to reveal all the dynamite strapped around my body and raised my hand holding a detonator to show them I meant business. “Give me all your money or I’ll blow this place to the ground!”

My partner walked in after me and threw a couple of duffel bags onto the counter in front of the tellers.

“Don’t make me repeat myself! Hands behind your backs! Follow my instructions and nobody is going to get hurt.”

Nobody had to be told twice, everybody else in the bank was now lying on their front with their hands behind their backs.

“Except the tellers, please get up and fill the bags with as much money as you can.”

They complied without a word. Pleased with the situation, I smiled and lowered my hand, which was still holding on tightly to the trigger of a detonator.

You see, the thing is – I knew that today would be the day that I was going to croak. It was a given. Many people have tried changing their fates. Nobody has ever succeeded. Knowing that, I didn’t even bother. However, knowing when I was going to die, I decided to live my life very differently. I mean, I can’t say if it would have been any different if I didn’t know – after all, I only had one life. But I guess that isn’t the point – or maybe it is.

Because I knew I was going to die today, for the past year of my life I spent it accomplishing all the irrational fantasies I had on my bucket list. One of the first few things I pulled off was skydiving without a parachute. You would think that would have ended me, but nope – you can’t beat the date. So by some stroke of luck, I managed to survive. That put me into overdrive and I decided to do all the things that I was afraid of doing before. I hopped out of a car at a safari. I ran through a shooting range that had a live practice going on. I drove my car into a lake. Each time, I came out unscathed. I was living my best life.

For my final task, I decided that I was going to live out my ultimate fantasy – to pull off a bank robbery. You see, I had done my best to stay clear of the law in all my previous tasks because what use would a life of ‘immortality’ be if I was locked up behind bars? Exactly. It would have been a miserable life.

So here I stood, waiting for my money to be packed. Minutes felt like forever. I checked my watch hand – only thirty seconds to go before I met my soulmate. I wonder who she would be. Was she one of the customers on the floor? It was hard to tell, none of the people on the ground dared to look up at me. Thirty seconds passed, and the alarm on my watch rang. Just like clockwork, the bell at the entrance to the bank rang.

*ding*

In walked the most beautiful girl I had ever seen in my life.

“This must be her,” I thought to myself.

She stood still, frozen, stunned at the scene that lay in front of her.

“Wow,” she managed to whisper.

“Wow,” I said to myself.

Nimbly, she got down to her knees and lay on the ground. Her eyes met mine, and for a moment we exchanged glances. Then she never took her eyes off the tiled floor again.

“So much for meeting my soulmate.”

“Yo, I’ve got the money, let’s go!” said my partner who was now next to me with the loaded duffel bags strapped to both of his shoulders.

He rushed me out through the front doors where the getaway car was waiting at the street corner.

“Thanks a lot man,” he told me.

“Don’t sweat it,” I said. The alarm on my watch rang again. “You better make a move.”

“Tell Tort I said hi.”

“I will.”

The car shifted into gear and tore down the street. I sat down by the sidewalk and watched the car disappear in the distance. I took off the fake bomb that was strapped to my body and put the detonator down. I looked at the watch on my hand. “Any moment now.”

The alarm went off for the last time. A sudden pain shot through my body and I felt my chest tighten. I began to lose consciousness and struggled for air. Then the world around me turned black.


Writing Prompt from Reddit: Everyone is born with 3 dates on their wrist. One represents when you will accomplish your life’s goal, one is when you will meet your soulmate, and one is when you will die right down to the second. Yours are all the same day within a minute of each other.

Rhythm of the Falling Rain

The loud booming thunder, flashes in the sky and falling water set the tone for the evening. It was like any other Wednesday, minus the atrocious weather. There goes my jogging plans. He thought to himself as he slumped back into the couch in his living room. He picked up the remote control and turned on the television. News. Soap opera. Cartoon. News. Nothing tickled his fancy, and he switched it off.

He wasn’t afraid of falling sick by going out in the rain. After all, he read it up on the internet that rain causing sickness was only a myth. Neither was he worried about slipping or being hit by a car – there was a perfectly safe park opposite house where he could jog to his heart’s content. The rain was just an excuse. He was just feeling lazy.

He got up from the couch and took off his running shoes. He walked back towards the window and looked out again. The rain wasn’t letting up. He definitely wasn’t going to jog tonight. Hopefully it doesn’t cause any floods – would be a bitch to get to work. He noticed that his thoughts sounded like one-sided conversations with himself. Most of the time he’d ask rhetorical questions. Once in a while, he’d stump himself. But unlike conversations with other people, there was nobody to judge him for the words going through his mind.

I guess I’ll just call it an early night. He took off his running clothes and headed into the bathroom to wash up. It’s the perfect weather to fall asleep to anyway. He thought to himself as he pulled the blanket over his head. The falling rain was music to his ears.


Writing Prompt from Reddit: What he saw outside his window

The File

“Holy shit! Did you hear that?”

“My screams of agony?”

“No! The computer, it beeped!”

“You must be hearing things, now come on, get this cord out of me before the wound gets infected and I get poisoned.”

“No, I’m serious, George! Look! she said as she turned the laptop to my face.”

“New device found. What would you like to do with it?”

“No fucking way! What the hell?”

“Exactly, we’ve got to check it out!”

“Please hurry up, it really hurts.”

She moved the cursor onto open drive and there was a single executable file on the drive. George.exe.

“Is that it?”

“Uh huh,” she nodded.

“Should we be running untrusted executables on your laptop?” I asked.

“What the hell does that mean?”

“No wonder your computer’s always full of malware..”

She slapped me on my arm.

“Hey!”

Before I could object, she double clicked the file.

A little window popped up with a list of options that would normally be found on a computer.

Explore, run, shut down, restart, sleep, and update.

“Let’s see what’s in explore,” without giving me a chance to object, she clicked it which and a gallery popped up, showing tons of folders named and sorted by dates. She clicked the folder at the top of the screen and a video clip popped up. It was a point of view video clip, showing me waking up, brushing my teeth, taking a leak and getting dressed before leaving the house this morning. Basically everything that I had been doing until I was at her house where we were wrestled on her bed and the USB cord pierced into my back.

“Holy shit. What the hell is this shit?”

She closed the video and selected another date at random, it was a few days earlier. It started off the same way, me waking up, heading to the toilet to wash up, taking a dump, getting dressed and heading to work.

“You spend a lot of time on Facebook in the office,” she remarked.

I laughed. “Alright, that’s enough of going through my memories. Let’s try plugging the cord into you.”

“No way, I haven’t had enough yet!” she responded.

“Come on, this is way too much, you can’t spend the whole day going through what’s in my head!”

An evil grin appeared on her face.

“Don’t tell me, you’re thinking of what I think you’re going to do.”

Without saying a word, she exited to the main menu and clicked on sleep. I immediately blacked out.

I don’t know what happened next.


Writing Prompt from Reddit: While wrestling around on the ground with your girlfriend, you accidentally roll over onto your USB cord and it pierces into your back. You reach around to pull it out, your girlfriend screams and points at the computer where a small window says “New Drive (Q:) Recognized”

Eighteen

“Come on!” yelled Sobia. “What does it say?”

“Yeah!” said Farez. “Tell us!”

It was my eighteenth birthday and I had just blown the candles out on my birthday cake. Fortunately I didn’t get saliva all over the cake this year. For the past few years, my friends have been calling me ‘The Spitter’ for that very reason. I breathed a sigh of relief. I had made sure I swallowed all my saliva before attempting to blow the candles this time. However, this year my friends didn’t really care about the cake. They were more interested in my final words.

They would have appeared somewhere on my body, but I had no idea where they were yet. As far as I could tell the words didn’t appear on my face or my arms, if not my friends would have seen them already. Oh dear, I hope it wasn’t on my ass. That would be a pain to read.

I was the youngest of my friends in the group. All my friends had their last words appear on them last year. Most of them had typical last words like, “Goodbye world.” and similar variations. Some of them had more amusing ones like, “I told you so.” Which led us to speculate how they would be leaving this world. As for me, I had no clue yet.

“Come on guys, can we just enjoy this cake? I didn’t spit on it for once!” I said trying to change the topic.

“Don’t leave us hanging! We’ve waited all year for this!”

“Fine, let’s finish the cake and then I’ll go check it out.”

Tanzeel was ahead of me. He grabbed the knife from my hands and started dividing the cake for all of us.

I sat down there, waiting for the cake to be served to everybody before I started eating my own piece. It was a silent occasion and nobody hesitated to wolf down their helping of the delicious chocolate-flavored dessert.

“For fuck’s sake, guys! Are you serious? Did you guys attend my birthday party only to find out what I’ll say before I croak?”

“Yes,” Farez replied sheepishly.

“You guys are assholes.”

“Come on, we’re done with the cake, now go find out what your last words are!”

“Did you know birthday parties are a celebration of life? Not a ritual to find out what someone is going to say before they die?”

Nobody listened to me. They just stared at me, waiting for me to get out of my seat to look for my last words.

I grumbled and got up and headed to the bathroom. A couple of them followed me to the door. I could hear them from the outside talking among themselves. “What do you think it’s going to say?”

“I bet it won’t be as epic as yours, Sobia.”

“What if it’s something sad?”

“Oh shit, I never thought of that.”

I put their voices out of my head as I removed my shirt. There was nothing on my body. Craning my neck around, I checked out my reflection. Nope, there was nothing on my back. Hmph. I guess I’ll have to check my lower body. I took off my shoes and my pants. I noticed some letters trailing out under my boxers. It was on my thigh. Not too bad I guess, it would be easy to keep concealed. I pitied those people who had messages on their foreheads. Nobody understood how these last words appeared or where they appeared. It was just an accepted fact of life. We all just learned to deal with it.

I pulled one leg of my boxers up to reveal the full message. Oh fuck. Is this some sort of joke? I stumbled backwards and fell to the floor on my ass.

I heard banging on the toilet door. “What’s up man? Don’t leave us hanging!”

I took another look at the message on my thigh. I rubbed at it, to make sure that it wasn’t some sort of marker pen joke. The words remained, as clear as day.

“What are your last words? Do you need help in there?”

I tuned out their voices again as I sat on the floor, pondering my last words. No, this can’t be real. Why the hell would I say such a thing? I remained speechless. I didn’t know what to say. I couldn’t tell my friends what my last words were. Nobody could know. I broke down and cried.

“Are you alright? What’s wrong? If you don’t reply, we’re coming in!” yelled Farez.

I couldn’t reply. My friends kicked the door in and found me on the ground, a whimpering mess.

“Holy fuck, Zoraiz. What the hell are your last words going to be?”

I didn’t reply. They inspected my body and saw the words on my thigh, still revealed for all to see.

“There is no God but God, Muhammad is His messenger.”


Writing Prompt from Reddit: When a person turns eighteen, their last words appear somewhere on their body. Yours frighten you intensely.

Rock Problems

Over the years, I’ve seen many people come and go but nobody has ever caught my attention like her. Like a moth to a lantern, I can’t help but watch her from where I stand. It’s always the same spot, the bench under the tree. That’s where she eats her sandwiches during lunch time, drinks her coffee and smokes her cigarettes. Always alone, as though she prefers the company of my gaze to anybody else – at least that’s what I tell myself.

I’d go over to say hi, if only my feet didn’t feel like I had concrete filled boots on. I’ve been told that I had a heart of stone but if anyone could chisel through it, it would be her. I don’t know her name, or anything about her but I would love to. I’d find out what she likes, and surprise her every time we meet. I’d be the best boyfriend and eventually husband. I wonder if she feels the same way about me.

Would she like larger-sized guys? Someone who could tower over her and protect her from harm. I was strong enough to crush any foe that would stand in my way. As far as I knew, I was cut from the same cloth as mountains. While I hadn’t lost a fight in the past, this battle for her to notice me will probably be my inaugural defeat.

It’s Friday evening. I see her leaving the office, walking away from me. It’ll be another lonely weekend. But that’s okay. I’ll see her in another two days. Maybe next week I’ll be able to tell her hello, and how much I am in love with her. For now, I’ll stay here, dutifully guarding this pond.


Writing Prompt from Reddit: You’ve fallen in love with a girl, only problem is, you are a statue