Hey Hi my lovelies! My name is Tanya Hooper and welcome to TanyaTale. My place to share anything and everything with you. Be in a conspiracy theory or an embarrassing real life story time we’ve got it here for you. So if you are new be sure to click like and subscribe and if you are returning welcome back.
It feels like forever since I’ve shared a short story with you and so I am going to waste no time in introducing to you … expiration date.
The thirteenth day of the ninth month of the year two thousand and fourteen. That’s my birthmark, my date, my fate.
You see, upon birth everyone is given a date, tattooed around their ankle like a brand mark foretelling the day they will die. For me that date was thirteenth of September four years ago. So, you are probably wondering how I am writing this. Well, I didn’t die. I don’t know why or how I lived through the day. I didn’t plan it or try to avoid death because I knew it was inevitable. Three days before my thirtieth birthday I was destined to die but I didn’t. I made it to thirty then to thirty-one and now I’m 33 and fearing that everyday could be my last.
For the first few days I tried to conceal the mark, desperate for no one to notice that I was literally past my sell by date. But on the fourth day my sock slipped down, and my mark was revealed. I was on a bus at the time, admiring the mark on the girl in front of me. 03.01.62. She was destined for a long happy life filled with children and grandchildren, she was going to live long enough to fill at least three photo albums. It had never bothered me until now.
Suddenly, someone tapped me on the shoulder and discretely pointed to my ankle. Panicked I hitched my sock back up and clicked the STOP bell, desperate to get off the bus and away from this stranger as soon as I could. The bus pulled up at the stop and I scurried off the bus and into the bustling town.
There were tears welling up in my eyes as the adrenaline subsided and I was left with the overwhelming realisation that this was now my life. I had settled down on a bench in the town square as I battled back a looming panic attack, when a familiar hand was on my shoulder.
“Don’t panic.” She said as she sat down beside me. It was the stranger from the bus. She was sitting next to me, alert and looking around as if everyone was a suspect. “You’ve expired.” She whispered.
I nodded. There we’re no point in lying. She had seen my ankle and knew the truth and a small part of me hoped she would be able to help me – or at least have some answers.
“You’re being hunted.” She said. My heart stopped – I couldn’t quiet comprehend what she was trying to tell me. Hunted. As if there were hitmen with guns or poison out looking for me. As if someone had sent out a squat team to kill me. But before I could say anything she told me – they were.
The next day is still a blur. She showed me her mark. She had expired the year before I had. She told me that there was a community of expired souls, hidden in the woods always on the run. She told me that she had intercepted the signal stating that there was another failed experiment… me. I wanted to ask what she meant by experiment, I wanted to know if my life had been a lie, but I couldn’t get the words out. I stood – mouth open soaking in everything she had to say.
Before my mind had a chance to catch up she was leading me out of town. It seemed to take us five hours to do a half an hour journey. We had to keep swapping direction to throw people off of our tracks. We passed a river, another village, we walked south and north, east and west and walked until my feet were bleeding. Yet I didn’t feel a thing. I was numb from my brain to my toes I couldn’t feel a thing.
Around midnight we reached our destination. There was a small community just outside of the woods, everyone sleeping in pop up tents and a small fire in the middle. Everyone was busy. Collecting wood or pitching tents or cooking food. Everyone had a role, and everyone complied.
“Take a seat” She said, gesturing towards a log on the floor. I sat, and it wasn’t until then that I noticed how much pain my feet were in. A woman I did not know approached me handing me a glass of water. In that moment I realised that everyone’s trousers had been ripped, their ankles on show their expiration date emphasised. A few days later I asked why this was so and I was told that they were proud of their dates. It had brought them together and created a family.
I barely slept that night and the next day we packed up camp and moved on. Someone had intercepted another message hinting that the assassins knew where we were. My heart was pounding, and I was panicking when a young man approached me.
“Snap out of it.” He said. “You’re a part of the team now, we don’t have time for panic or tears. Sometimes life throws you a curve ball and its all about how you hit it. So, get up and help put out the fire. We’ve got a lot to do.”
I did as I was told. I put the fire out and ever since then I’ve been living for the day. I know any day could be my last, so I try to make the most out of every day. I help other expired souls and rescue them from hitmen. We still don’t know who has sent them or who branded us. But we do know … we are going to find out. Even if it kills us.
I hope you enjoyed this short story. If you did hit the like button and drop me a comment below if you would be interested in a second part to this short story. Until next Friday!