short story, story promptBraithe and Aronis have worked on perfecting a serum for eternal life for several years. The time has come for them to finally begin testing, but are they brave enough to take that step?


Was it true?

Had they actually succeeded?

Was eternal life finally theirs?

“There’s only one way to find out,” Braithe said, staring at Aronis who gazed back at her. His eyes looked as wide as hers felt. After all these years experimenting and searching, the answer seemed to be within their grasp.

The stray mutt they’d found outside their house lay on a pile of blankets. He was weak and very ill. There was nothing they could do for him. He wouldn’t have lasted the week, so she’d suggested something radical – test their new serum on the dog.

“We’ve never done testing on live animals or humans before,” Aronis protested. “What if it doesn’t work? What if there are awful side-effects?”

She felt a pang of pity for the stray as she took in the extent of his injuries. “He’s going to die anyway. If our serum works, it could help him get better.”

“Or it could end his life right now, in agony.” Aronis crossed his arms. “I don’t want to be the cause of his suffering. The least we can do is give him a peaceful end.”

He’s always been so soft, she complained inwardly. She was the one more likely to take risks. He tended to think things through and reject things that could have less-than-perfect consequences. The combination usually worked well when they were collaborating on their project, but sometimes his hesitance annoyed her. He’s the reason we’ve hit this wall in our research. He’s too reluctant to push the boundaries and take leaps of faith.

“It’s true, we could let him lie here and die,” she agreed. “Or we could give him eternal life! He could chase cats and dig for bones for the rest of eternity!”

Aronis raised his eyebrows. “I don’t think animals have aspirations of living forever.”

Braithe placed her palms on the bench in front of her and leaned on them. “Then what do you want to do? You know that we can’t go much further with these tests and simulations. We need to start doing real testing. Our serum is good. We know that. We’ve worked on it extensively for years. Honestly, the worse case scenario for the dog is getting a case of the trembles.” Glancing at the mutt, she amended her statement. “In fact, he’s so badly off, nothing we do to him is going to be worse than what he’s already going through.”

He was wavering. She could see it in his expressive eyes. He wanted to help the dog, softy that he was. He was also a brilliant scientist and their final serum was practically faultless because of his hard work. There was little to no chance that it would adversely affect the mutt.

He sighed. “Fine. Let’s do it.”

Rejoicing inside, she kept her face professional. “Very well. I’ll start getting everything ready.” Passing the dog, she scratched his ears. “Don’t worry. We’ll take good care of you. We’ll look after to you forever, if everything turns out right…”

Would you want eternal life? I don’t think I would… I think having relatively short lives allows us to strive for what we really want out of life! If we had eternity, would we simply keep putting things off until another day or another decade?

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