Forever Young
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Forever Young

Crimson red rose at the dinner party. (Photo courtesy of

Crimson red rose at the dinner party. (Photo courtesy of

Crimson red rose at the dinner party. (Photo courtesy of

Crimson red rose at the dinner party. (Photo courtesy of


“Darling, you look absolutely marvelous.” His sister, Angelica, cried with delight as she pinned a crimson red rose to the pocket of his tweed suit.

“Well, what can I say? It’s what the clothing machine picked out for the celebration,” he flashed a toothy grin at her as he attempted to squeeze past the colorful, flamboyant guests crowding the hardwood foyer as music softly floated in the background. The aromatic smells of lemon pepper chicken roasting in the automatic oven wafted his way. The dazzling and brightly lit dining room beckoned to the famished guest while he took in the lively atmosphere dancing around him through steel blue eyes.

“Angelica, is this new?”

The pale, slender fingers were fiddling with a simple gadget the size of his thumb lying on the entrance oaken table.

“Oh, I haven’t told you? Why, it’s the Teleporter 300 Ronaldo helped invent. He brought it for the party tonight and thought we could have fun teleporting each other anywhere in the world, or at least that’s what he said,” she giggled through cherry red lips like a young schoolgirl.

“Ah, sport, it’s good to see you!” A high-pitched voice barely reached his sensitive, well-formed ears as a stout, portly man sauntered over with a hand-rolled Cuban cigar languidly drooping out of his thick lips to shake the long, sinewy hand still grasping the gizmo.

“So you’ve met my little contraption,” the pudgy, unshaven face forced a chuckle as the chubby fingers snatched it away from his brother-in-law with such speed the latter didn’t even know was possible.

“If you’ll excuse me the technology is recently new, and I’d like to keep it that way. Nothing personal, old chap. Just a little habit of mine.”

The ferret-like grey eyes squinted under the gold-rimmed round spectacles barely supported on a fresh, childlike face that seemed to be free of age as his brother-in-law returned the uncomfortable gaze coolly back.

“Well, what do you two say to dinner?” Angelica eagerly suggested as she herded the crowd of chattering guests into the dining room where the beautiful elm table, covered with a pearly white tablecloth, was rapidly set by robotic housemaids for a splendid three-course dinner.

“Champagne, sir?” an automated voice croaked at Angelica’s brother as the steel tentacles whipped up his glass and carefully poured a bubbly, amber substance into it.

“You’ll like it, sport. It’s to get us all cheery for Carmen’s first birthday,” Ronaldo attempted to squeak over the noise of the excited company as he leaned over to point to his bright-eyed daughter, clapping her tiny hands in a self-adjustable highchair. He nodded with a weak smile at Ronaldo’s remark, impatiently eyeing the coconut-crusted shrimp appetizer the robotic housemaid was now bringing around the endlessly long elm table when Angelica’s smooth voice piped up.

“This is our third child, isn’t it dear? I can’t seem to keep track of them now,” she sighed indifferently.

“Yep. That’s how we stay forever young, isn’t it old sport?”

Waves of nausea suddenly overtook his tremoring form as the bright kitchen lights slowly blurred out of view. He dashed to the nearest restroom as the slender champagne crystal glass shattered to the floor. After ripping off his tweed blazer, he sat on the cream-colored bathroom tile. Feebly kneeling over the mechanical toilet and hopelessly staring into its bottomless pit of sewage water, he fiercely gagged on an empty stomach while listening to the faint jabbering that floated in from the dining room.

He knew exactly what would happen to Carmen. This was his third time visiting his sister’s spacious mansion for his nieces’ birthday parties; each time he endured it in an almost ritual-like manner with a foolproof smile plastered to his face. The doctors would pay their visit towards the end of the celebration. The doctors with those dark, beady eyes constantly shifting would seize the innocent child and plod back to that metallic van as if she were nothing more than an ordinary Christmas package. Then they would haul her off to the whitewashed, stucco building they coined “the hospital,” in which the child’s young, fresh DNA would be transplanted into her parents.

Their aging genetic material just wouldn’t do for modern society today. The adults desperately needed to remain youthful, and, in their vain lust, they hastily stepped on the toes of young lads and lassies who never had a fair chance at life. All of this he knew, and he knew all too well.

A sharp rattle at the restroom door jolted his mind back down to reality as he wearily placed the tweed blazer back onto his heavy laden shoulders and staggered over to turn the brass knob.

“Goodness man, don’t you know there’s a line out here,” scratched a rough sandpaper voice that belonged to an ostrich-looking short-haired blonde woman. The steel blue eyes were already firmly set, and, taking little notice of her, he strode with a steady step back into the boisterous dining room where he gingerly sat down in the seat next to Ronaldo with an intent look fastened on his hatchet face.

“You missed a most wonderful dessert, old chap. The maid served yellow birthday cake. Imagine that–”

A robotic maid clumsily tripped, spilling an entire bottle of champagne all over Ronaldo’s new tuxedo. In his utter horror, the pudgy little man sprung from his seat and began to scold the machine. Meanwhile, his brother-in-law discreetly slipped his hand under the tablecloth to reach the Teleporter 300 that had fallen onto the hardwood floor from its resting place in the velvet lining of Ronaldo’s pocket. Mentally screaming Carmen’s name, he pressed the maroon red button on the side of the gadget he had discovered earlier, and instantly found himself lying senseless on the frigid black and white tiled kitchen floor in his desolate apartment. Frantically, he began desperately tearing through all the rooms in the absolute dark, attempting to discover his one-year-old niece peacefully resting somewhere. He dashed into the bedroom with yesterday’s yellowed undershirt strewn upon the carpet, the living room with last night’s spaghetti still stubbornly stuck to the blue plastic plate, and then he found–

He woke up shrieking in sweat-drenched checkered bed sheets, running a sweaty palm through his unkempt charcoal hair as he attempted to subside the dizzying headache that gripped his mind when a nasally, familiar voice echoed from a desolate corner of his bedroom.

“Hello, sport. I’m missing a little gizmo of mine.”

As a gunshot rang out, the crimson red rose fluttered out of his tweed suit.


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