The Product by Victor Bort

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“Can you imagine someone who knows that he may be living his last year?”

The enquirer was sitting in a wheelchair opposite me – a man in his late forties to early fifties, broad-shouldered, dressed informally, black hair with streaks of silver grey, intense brown eyes, clean shaven.

“How old might he be,” he went on, “and what might be the reason for his imminent departure?”

He eyed me questioningly, an enigmatic smile on his pale, handsome face.

“I believe you’re not referring to yourself,” I smiled back.

He grinned broadly and chortled, “Well, a bit of sarcasm won’t spoil the pleasure of our interaction.” He pressed one of the buttons on the arm of his wheelchair and moved closer. “Are you really sure you want this?

Now, he was staring at me intently, unblinkingly. “Let’s put it this way: Are you adamant in your decision?”

“Listen,” I said, “as long as what the ad said is correct, I am happy to go ahead.”

“Well, if you insist, I must warn you. Once the price has been named, there’s no way of repaying – you’ll have to honor the outcome no matter what. Wait a second!” He gestured at me to keep silent.

“There is one final thing that you should bear in mind. The expiration date of the… shall we say… product, depends upon the duration of your life as it has been planned for you.”

He paused, then added, “Although no one knows the EXACT time, with you, it’s going to be somewhat short – fifty four is quite an age…”

There followed a few seconds of dead silence.

“Well,” he sighed at last, “that seems to be all. So…”

I clenched my fists, breathed deeply and replied, “Name your damned price!”

“It is…” he made a brief pause, “… one year of the product in exchange for every planned five years.”

“Yes,” I shouted, “ just get on with it and be quick!”

Within moments I started to feel it working – my body no longer ached, my vision was perfect, I felt a tingling in my scalp as the hair began to re-grow. I felt younger, fit and agile again…

Watching me, a complacent look on his face, he then asked in a soft voice, “Any questions?”

I remembered what had struck me on taking a first look at him and asked, “Why the wheelchair? You are no cripple.”

The question seemed to have amused him. He stood up to his full height of nearly seven feet and, chuckling, answered, “Well, it adds empathy, doesn’t it? Anything else?”

“Yes, one last question. How many of those planned years do I have?”

This brought a sad, apologetic smile to his face as he answered, “Sorry. Only God knows.”

 

Victor Bort

15 thoughts on “The Product by Victor Bort

  1. A good interpretation of a well-known theme – solid dialogue, well edited and easy to read. The ending is perfect. Thanks for sharing this with us Victor. Cheers, Nik

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    • Thanks ever so much, Nik, for your kindest comment which I take as a warmhearted welcome to LS2014 writers’ community. Without all your attention to my writings and unfailing encouragement, today’s posting could hardly ever happen. Extremely appreciated. Best regards, Victor

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  2. Hi Victor, I am so happy to see this here, as well as your good self. An enjoyable, thought provoking story beautifully written.
    All the very best my friend.
    Hugh

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    • Hi Hugh, it’s a great day to me! A good deal of my inspiration I have taken from your feedback, always thoughtful and friendly. All the very best to you, my friend. Victor

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  3. This is engaging and interesting from the very first sentence.Well done, Victor. I remember reading it for the first time and it stayed with me. I’m glad it’s here on LS. Thank you.

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    • Thanks a lot, Tobias, for leaving your great comment. Am really happy to see my piece published on this wonderful site and delighted you liked it this much. Happy, proud and honored, I swear. Best wishes. Victor

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  4. Hi Victor, The only moral I can draw from this, is that it is not the number of years you have that matters but what you do with them. Thank you for an enjoyable read.

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  5. Hi Sam, I’m so glad you didn’t miss it. Thanks tremendously, my friend, for cheering me up. Hope to see one of yours here soon. All the very best. Victor

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  6. Thank you, Richard, I’m very much pleased with and encouraged by your ‘well done’. Your time and read is highly appreciated. The best, Victor

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  7. Pingback: Literally Stories – Week 2 | literally stories

  8. Thanks ever so much, Yelena, you have always been very kind and most encouraging to me. Am happy to see you here, reading and commenting. All the very best. Victor

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