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Thursday, July 11, 2019

Microstory 1144: Keilix Oliver

Everyone who signed up for the Kansas City Metropolitan Area City Frenzy event had their own reasons for it. About the only thing they all had in common was that they were athletic. Some were faster than others. Some were more competitive than others. Keilix Oliver was one of the few racers who was really just a runner. When she raced, she went straight for the finish line, not stopping for anything but traffic, and other obstacles. She studied the map exhaustively, and was extremely familiar with the entire metro. Unfortunately, her tactic wasn’t the most efficient. Even though she didn’t get distracted with dancing and waving at the cameras, she also didn’t take many risks, so she never won the Frenzy. That was okay, though, because that wasn’t why she did it, and when she finally aged out of it, she pretty much just moved on with her life. Keilix wasn’t ashamed of the things she did when she was young, but competition was never very important to her. She wasn’t a tracer, or a dancer, or a martial artist. She ran for health, and to fight against the wind. She could do that alone. She went off to college in Ireland, partially to gain new and exciting experiences, but also to deliberately separate herself from everything she had ever known. She wanted to be cut off from her family—her always reliable support system—so she would be forced to deal with her own problems, with no safety net. She lived in a world with people who had special time powers, and even knew a few of them personally, but she never discovered the truth. She lived in a time of great change, technologically and biomedically, though she remained as she was, and chose not to undergo youth and longevity treatments, or transhumanistic upgrades. She took an unremarkable job in a modest town, met a humble man, raised three lovely children, and lived out her days in the countryside. She kept running for exercise, until her body could no longer do it. She died as a content old woman, surrounded by her loved ones, which included seven grandchildren. She was a normal person—nothing to write home about, as they would say—but perhaps that’s exactly the kind of person whose story deserves to be told.

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