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Friday, September 2, 2016, 6:15 p.m.

Stupid old woman! Why didn’t she use the elixir on herself? She was damn near a hundred. She’d have died of old age soon if I hadn’t killed her.

I don’t understand. Ever since I first heard the rumors, investigated, tracked down obscure sources, and finally found her, she continually refused to share any of it, even when I offered her the most obscene amounts of money. I could have made her rich. I’d have given her half my wealth for the stuff.

She kept saying, “It’s too dangerous” and “It’s a curse, not a blessing,” and nonsense like that.

Well instead of getting rich, she got dead, and I’ve got the cure for everything. I’d better. I have stage four liver cancer and I’m eighty-one. Not much time left.

I’m not sure how this will work. There’s only one vial but these ancient potions don’t exactly come with instruction manuals. I’ll try just a sip at first.

“Goddamn! It’s chewing through my stomach!”

I puke on the carpet beside my bed. I figured I should be in bed just in case. Should have been by the toilet.

“Wha…” Everything’s swimming…going dark.

Sunday, September 4, 2016, 2:34 a.m.

“Uhhhh… My mouth feels like the floor of a taxi cab.

“Damn it! I stepped in my own vomit when I tried to get out of bed.

“Son of a bitch.” Make it into the bathroom. Put my leg into the bathtub and wash off my foot.

“Okay, okay.” I dry off, then turn and flip on the light switch and…

“I don’t believe it! Shit!”

I stare at my reflection in wonder. It’s like I’m ten years younger, and I just took a tiny sip of the elixir.

True, I’m not young, young, but…

“Wait. What time?”

My clock shows date and time. I’ve been out about a day and a half. No wonder I feel like I’m starving. Better clean up the puke myself. Can’t have a maid come in and see the changes, not yet.

Monday, September 26, 2017, 4:10 p.m.

Finally got the test results back. I pay these damn doctors enough, I should get prompt service.

He called it remission. Actually, he said I was cancer free. A miracle he called it. Not only that, whatever had happened seemed to improve my general physical condition. He accused me of taking illegal medications.

He doesn’t know the half of it. The elixir. It works. Now what to do?

I’ve moved into one of the small cottages on my estate. The original owner used them to house long-term guests in the 30s and 40s, the heyday of Hollywood. I’ll have more privacy for the experiment. The cottage has all the basics, and I’ll still have access to the main house if I need it.

Just another sip, a tiny, tiny bit.

“Yah!” This time I had a trash can by the bed but I didn’t vomit.

I did blackout again, though.

Wednesday, September 28, 2017, 6:09 a.m.

I feel hung over, like I’d been drinking all night. Look at the clock. Nearly two days again. Hop out of bed. Once I’m on my feet, my head clears. That spring in my step, I’m like a kid.

My reflection tells me I’m like in my mid-50s. I’ve got to be smart about this. If I keep getting younger, soon I won’t be able to pass myself off as myself…as Lawrence Welsh, aged tech-billionaire anymore.

I prepared for this. Another identity. A fake one. Everything’s digital these days, so I can create a complete profile. Allow that one to take control of my fortune in Welsh’s absence. A long, lost relative. Have to wait to complete the profile until I settle on a final age.

Thursday, October 13, 2017, 7:31 a.m.

I’ve waited over two weeks and I still feel fine. Appetite like a horse. I can go jogging again. Great stamina. But being this age buys me only thirty or so more years. I want to really dial the clock back, flip the calendar back decades.

I’ll take half of what’s left. That should just about do it.

“Arrgh!” Like I drank battery acid. It’s too much. I killed myself.

Monday, October 17, 2017, 12:28 p.m.

Where am I?

I stagger…oh yeah, there’s the bathroom. I really have to pee.

I piss in the dark, sitting on the toilet. Get up, flip on the lights so I can see to wash up!

“What the fuck?”

“What happened? Who am I? Oh yeah…um…

“I’m Welsh…Larry…Lawrence Welsh.” Why was that so hard to remember? I look about twenty or so. Aren’t I supposed to be twenty? Why aren’t I in my dorm room at Harvard?

“Right. I took something. I’m really older. That’s right. I remember now.”

I’ve got to stop. It’s like being a drug addict. Any younger and life won’t be worth living. Who wants to be a kid? This is perfect. I’m a young man just starting out in life…with access to a fortune. I could live to be another sixty, seventy, even eighty years old.

The elixir! Yep. Just where I left it on my nightstand. I’ll keep it. I won’t use it, not until I get old again. Who knows how many lifetimes I could have with this stuff.

Too bad the old woman said it was just as much magic as chemistry. I can’t duplicate it. This is all there’ll ever be, so eventually, I’ll die.

It’s worth it though, to live decades, maybe hundreds of years.

The cottage has a hidden wall safe. I’ll leave the elixir there for now. Transfer it to a more secure location later on.

Thursday, October 20, 2017, 3:26 p.m.

Done. My new identity profile is complete and uploaded to all the database services. Good thing my firm developed and owns the rights to them. I made sure to leave myself a backdoor. I’ll never be discovered.

Timothy Dane, age 20, child of a cousin, orphaned. Welsh recently discovered him. Welsh took a trip. Left control of everything to Dane.

Everyone will think I’m crazy for leaving a multi-billion dollar corporation in the hands of a 20-year-old, but that’s okay. I’ve long since established myself as a maverick. I’ll let my managers run the day-to-day stuff, while I enjoy the fruits of my long labors.

Saturday, October 29, 2017, 6:29 a.m.

My clothes keep outgrowing me. I’m like a little kid playing “dress up” in adult sized pants and shirts. I can’t be more than 14. I’m still getting younger. If this doesn’t stop soon……why is it so hard to remember anything? Oh no.

Wednesday, November 9, 2017, 10:08 a.m.

“What are you doing out here, little tyke?”

The grounds keeper found the little boy, a toddler by the looks of him, wandering naked on the Welsh grounds not far from the cottages. He looked lonely, hungry, and frightened.

“Don’t worry, niñito. Old Sal will take care of you.”

Sal Garcia picked the child up and carried him to the main house.

The police couldn’t figure out where the little boy came from. A search of the cottages revealed one had been recently used. It was a mess, but there was no telling if that’s where the baby came from. The only fingerprints found were Welsh’s.

Subsequent attempts to locate Lawrence Welsh were fruitless. His whereabouts would never be discovered.

Wednesday, March 1, 2017, 10:22 a.m.

The county court, having found no relatives for little John Doe, declared him a ward of the state and freed him legally to be adopted.

He was estimated to be approximately two years old. He was bright, with a commanding vocabulary for his age. After extensive testing by child psychologists, he showed an aptitude for mathematics.

And so on

Johnny was adopted by Franklin and Shirley Mathers a year later. Frank was a chemical engineer and Shirley was the author of a popular children’s book series. They devoted all the love and attention possible on their little boy.

Johnny Mathers had a bright future ahead of him.

This story’s probably been written a thousand different times and woven a thousand different ways, but after focusing so much on aging and death these days, I wanted to write a tale going in the opposite direction.


9 thoughts on “Youth

    • Or maybe it’s a do over. The baby doesn’t remember what he did in a former life or even that he did have a former life. Maybe being raised by different parents, and living in a different environment will make changes.


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