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Only One Way Out

Finally the letter came. His application had been granted. He he was number nine in line. He waited.
He called his friends, his relatives. His children, his sister.
-I've been accepted!
-Oh, I'm so happy for you! Tears of joy ran down her cheeks.
The day arrived. He got his ticket out, walked down the street. Looking at all these people doomed to keep on doing whatever they were doing until they, someday, would be accepted as well.
The controller was easy to recognize in his blue and white uniform.
-Ticket please!
John held out his ticket.
-Thank you , sir! Have a good trip!
-Thank you.
He stepped onto the levitation disk. It lifted him up between the modern buildings around him, the shops, the bars. He floated up through layers of time. Up to the heights were things hardly changed.
Finally he could see it, a tower far above.
A monument of the time when death was first conquered, from the time when population went out of control, when something needed to be done.
He floated closer, enjoying the view. The city, so vast it never seemed to end. He could see people down there, tiny little people looking like ants, living their eternal lives in their all-safe paradise where accidents and disease never happened.
The disk attached to the platform. The heat from the flames burned his skin. Even the pain was a refreshing relief from the numbness eternal life had given.
-Funny. He looked down at his hands. -I haven't felt this alive in ages, and it's the moment I die.
The disk flipped up, threw him into the flames inside. The pain increased. He fell screaming until it all disappeared. He had finally left.

This story and illustration have never been published before.

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2021

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