Disclaimer: This will be the first in a series of (very!) short stories I have written over the last six months. Originally, many of these were featured on the sadly departed Ficly, but hopefully they find a new home here.
Today is my birthday. And not just any old odd-numbered anniversary mind, but the centenary. The big 100. Traditional congratulatory letter from the Queen imminent. (Apparently the letter is ‘personalised’, but surely they use a generic template? Unfortunately I can’t verify this: all of my peers had the good sense to croak long before they became as decrepit as me.)
Yes, so, an auspicious day no doubt, marking, if nothing else, my stamina and inexplicable longevity. People say it’s all about your diet, that the long-lasting all eat fish. “Look at the disproportionate amount of centenarians from Japan!”, they cry. Well, I hate the scaly sea-dwellers (aside from the occasional tuna sandwich). Nor did I lead a particularly active life and, just to compound the mystery, I smoked and drank like a live-fast, die-young rock-star. I’m one of those genetic anomalies who fascinate nutritionists and infuriate health-freaks in equal measure.
But I wouldn’t have it this way. In fact, I yearn for release. I have lived far too long.