Monday, January 17, 2022

Microstory 1801: Jellyfish Cycle

I have been around for centuries, but I’ve not been young the entire time, or even most of the time. A few species of jellyfish are capable of something similar, through by different means. They use their genetics to be immortal. I use my soul. Before they can die, they will revert to an earlier stage of development, and begin anew. These creatures have evolved to do this, but the same can’t be said for me, because humans are not like that. The majority of us aren’t, anyway. I belong to a subspecies of humans called voldisil. We did not technically evolve out of the other either, though. You see, there are three genders. Normal people are only conceived by two, but a third can get involved, often without their knowledge. They’ll inject something else into the process. It’s a spiritual experience, which those like me would consider a gift. Back in the early second century, I was created, and unfortunately, I never had the pleasure of meeting my third parent. My mother and father died shortly after I came into the world, when you think about it, because it was only a few decades. I felt like I was able to spend a lot of time with my family back then, but I now realize how precious those moments were, and how I should not have taken them for granted. When I was 36, I contracted malaria, and I assumed that was it for me. There was no cure, no vaccine. It was pretty much a death sentence in my region in that time period. One night, I felt myself drifting away, and had to make peace with the end. I was surprised to find myself waking up the next morning as a toddler. All of my memories were intact, and I was cured. I couldn’t explain it. A new couple adopted me, thinking I was the child of a victim, and not even considering the possibility that I was the patient. They just thought of me as their little miracle.

I continued to go through this cycle lifetime after lifetime. Though, I probably shouldn’t call them lifetimes. I would be older when the transition happened every time, but I was also coming back older. The second time it happened, for instance, I looked more like an eight-year-old. By the fifth cycle, I no longer had to worry about someone trying to take care of me. I appeared to be old enough to handle myself. Each time, I would have to pack up, and move to a new land, so no one would become suspicious. I felt like I was in my early forties the last time I cycled, but that was only sixteen years ago. I’ve not known what it was like to die of age-related causes in a very long time. If I keep this up, I’ll probably only have days to live at a time, and I don’t want that. My soul’s ability to rejuvenate my body was never destined to last forever, and I always knew this about myself. What I needed to do was find some way to make my legacy last. I, of all people, understood what it looked like when someone just faded away. That’s what happens to most, in the end. Barring great fame, perhaps someone’s great great grandchildren will recall stories of their ancestors, but they won’t likely pass these on to their own descendants. I didn’t have any myself, because I didn’t know what their lives would have been like. It wasn’t worth the risk. As I lie here on my bed, prepared to go through this once more, and come back as another middle aged woman, I see now. I see that my third parent must have been in my same position all those years ago. This must be how it works; we pass the torch. I may simply be the latest in a line going back to the dawn of man. My final thoughts are of a newborn baby crying with the others two floors down, who receives my spirit ability, and has no choice but to accept the burden.

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