(Note: Coffee. I am drinking more than, let’s say, a cup after weeks of not having one at all. Just to start up my rusting creative gears after weeks of not using them at all.)
So here’s the title “Countdown” all about. What if we are born knowing when we will depart? Like we don’t celebrate our birthdays as they years we have lived, but the years we have left. Like if someone is destined to live for 52 years, then on his supposedly 1st birthday he will be celebrating the 51 years left. Therefore, age will depend on the number of years left instead of the number of years lived.
So the older you get, the lower numerical age you have. In terms of respect nothing much will change, it may even boost respect around you. Imagine if people around you knows you have less than a year left, won’t they be kind to you or attend to your needs? But there is danger to having a lesser value of age, as it may put you first on a sacrfice list in times of moral dilemmas involving life and death situations.
The time given for one to live is also permanent, nothing will change it so there won’t be in conflict with the concept of living we have now which is “When it’s your time, it is your time.” One advantage of this is that even if someone shot you or the plane you are in crashed, unless it is your time, you won’t die. The bad side, you’ll just feel the pain. You won’t get scars for the injuries, even if you are burned or explode to pieces, you’ll just feel the pain. Therefore, loss of limbs or senses are not a problem, you’ll just feel the pain or temprary loss of the senses.
I know it is quite absurd and some may even refuse to even think about it. But let’s perk up this idea by adding something that everyone wants to be permanent: Youth. Yes, you will only age by the years of life yet to be lived, but physically you won’t age.
However, to pay respect to the concept of death and even life. You will only know when you’ll die but not how. I wonder, if this is the case of our reality, how will we live our lives knowing when our death will occur. Will we be more pushed to live our lives the way we want it to be? Or we’ll just succumb to staying home when we know our death is about to come? How will someone given only ten years live differently to someone given 60 years? Will someone with lesser years have lesser regrets, or the people around him will feel less grief that the time he has is so short?
What if in this alternate reality miracles also happen, and after zero a few can start counting up?
Either way, this can become a fictional story I will read.