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by Sean Lewis

This story… is a crazy story.

Maybe you saw it online on the news. Maybe you thought it couldn’t be true. But…

A body is washed up along the waters in south Texas. It’s a white male. He looks around 33 years old. Fit. Lungs are in good shape. Missing most of his clothes- pants no shirt. There’s cuts on his shoulders and back. There’s a laceration near one eye. But otherwise a completely healthy individual. The problem is when the autopsy is done.

The internal organs start to tell something different.

There are ways that you can tell the age of a human being. Childbirth, imprisonment, disease: Human teeth contain a record of life events. A tissue in the tooth called cementum forms annual layers that record major life events. Scientists have found that our teeth can provide a record of human life, much like the rings of a tree.

And this healthy individual, white fit male aged 33, that was found just off the side of a beach, dead for no reason, but with enough scratches and cuts and dressed in such a disheveled state that you had to at least look into foul play? He gave a very strange reading indeed.

According to his internal clock he was 78 years old.

But he looked 33.

The first coroner was dismissed. Another was brought in to do a similar test: checking teeth as well as measuring the telomeres in the body. Through this, the first coroner was proven incorrect. The man was not 78 years old.


He was more likely 83.

83? What the fuck is going on?


Flash forward a few months.

The train along the coast of Mexico is gorgeous. If northern Mexico has their problems with cartels, the Tulum area is protected. The lush green trees are surrounded by crystal blue sea.


Everything here seems to exist fully and beautifully. It feels like it has been like this forever.

And forever is my assignment. We live in a period of being obsolete, of constant entropy. My name is Danielle Crist. But everyone calls me Dana. I am 33 years old. And until two years ago I was a journalist for Sin News.

Like an offshoot of Vice, our work was all embedment. Gonzo journalism. Living and reporting deep within our own adventures. The goal was to understand all of the subcultures around us. All the invisible places that make up the world we’re in without us even realizing it.

See, I worship Hunter S. Thompson. My grandfather had all the famous stories from Thompson’s Rolling Stone articles. He even had a few of the drawings from those articles, you know the famous sketchy ones with splatters of ink left and right, hanging in his office. So this job was everything to me.

I read all of Thompson’s books on the campaign trail. I read his stories with the Hells Angels. I read about him and his fat lawyer seeing bats in the desert. There is such bravery in his work.

He just gave no fucks. But there was also such a genuine, childlike curiosity.

He was a fucking baby out there.

Hopped-up on mescaline, seeing bats in the middle of the desert, hanging out with his drugged up lawyer, baby.

I felt like a baby all the time, too. Not infantile, like I couldn’t do for myself, but curious. Constantly wondering how the world could be new again. Constantly experiencing things for the first time.


How’d I end up here?

I went to Skidmore College.

Junior year? I wrote a blog where I inspected the secret lives of liberal arts school kids. I’d go with classmates on their drug runs. I’d visit with them back at their parents’ penthouses in New York City. And I’d watch those parents, who often operated hedge funds with way more hands-on attention than they exercised on their own children.

The blog was becoming like its own Less Than Zero, the Brett Easton Ellis book that dictated most of the 80s. It was brash. It was loud. I used a fake name on it- Danielle X. I know. Lame. I was in college.

It’s fine. Because this blog led to me getting a text a few months later from Sin Magazine.

A job.

Goal achieved.

I am fucking Hunter S. Thompson. With boobs.

Or so I thought.

In reality? Sexism plays at the progressive, wild companies, too. The offices blare punk rock music and fucking drill rap and all the guys talk about MeToo as they secretly text each other about the girl’s asses in the break room.

Long story short, I didn't get to do the reporting that inspired me. My blog was more edgy than anything they had me doing in their offices.

It didn’t help that I had entered “traditional” journalism right as the entire industry contracted: when it became about Clickbait.

  • What's the smallest apartment you could rent in New York City for a month?

  • How many sex jobs could you get off of Craigslist?

  • What kind of prank could you get away with in the middle of Central Park?

I got people to click, sure. But inside I wanted to die. I felt like I went from a beautiful baby in this world to aging extremely quickly. I was atrophying. I was already a jaded, middle-aged woman at the ripe age of 27.

My most famous article was about an overweight influencer who called himself Fat Spanish. He lived in his car instead of an apartment for at least six months. He did this not because he was broke, but because it made a good bit online. He said he loved conspiracies- “body hacks, aliens, assassinations, all that shit.” He also said he “boned” a lot of white girls.

“Models love the hatchback.”

Eventually Sin let me go.

They were being purchased by one of the Gannett Companies who own like every newspaper and magazine in the world… and who no longer really needed a reporter who did articles that ranked the funniest forms of sex work.

Around the same time my girlfriend decided we needed a break. When we first met in a bar off of Canal Street, she thought it was kind of hot that I wrote for such an edgy and aggressive magazine.

She watched YouTube videos I made (all of which were scrubbed after the sale to Gannett). She- her name is Sandy- thought that they were funny, and I was cute.

In the end, she saw me as someone who had potential. But now she just saw me as an unemployed bitch pushing 30, in an industry that didn’t even exist anymore.

I was down. I was out. I was trying to figure out what to do with my life. And that’s when I heard about Everlasting. A company dealing in:




Every- fucking- thing.

It fixes it.

Uh huh. That’s the claim.

We all have relatives who suffered from those diseases. Who died from them. Who couldn’t escape them. And deep down we all know that will be our fate, too. Or at least, it used to be.

Enter EVERLASTING. A private equity company in health sciences and specifically, longevity.

This was not approved by the FDA. These were not regulated de-aging practices. THIS WAS ALL ILLEGAL. Pirate Medicine, we called it.

See, Everlasting? They experiment on the human genome. Basically, they are hacking our bodies. They are trying to create everlasting life by telling our genes they can’t die.

You read that right. They’re talking to them.

I know. It sounds mad scientist-ish. BUT, it sounds fucking real, too. Because it is.

See, as you age your cells age, if you treat your body horribly your cells age faster than you. This is real. You could be 40 years old and have a brain that ages itself to 50.

Your heart could be 60.

Your uncle who is age 40 but looks like he’s 60? It’s not because your grandparents fucked your life up way before you were born with their shitty genetics, it’s what you’ve done to your cells. That’s way more important than anything you inherited.

So, you have two choices:

1. You can treat yourself like shit and speed up your cellular age. Or…

2. You can behave well and your cellular age will keep up with you.

The one thing you can’t do is reverse it. There is no way that your cells can get younger.

Until now.

Like I said before-



Everlasting is the brain trust of Marilyn Rogerson and Dr. Orion Michaels.

Now, Michaels, while at UCLA, he was disbarred in California for doing uncertified stem cell treatments on Alzheimer patients. He went to Switzerland after that, avoiding jail time.

He stated Alzheimer's and other diseases could be resolved if the FDA stepped aside. His argument was that the money that goes into regulating science was actually stopping science. Which, for anyone who has ever been alive seems at least somewhat possible.

He then disappeared. You’d think he’d been assassinated. Like no trace.

A year goes by.



And then, Orion emerges with Marilyn.

Marilyn was a complete unknown. Her résumé stated that she worked at some of the biggest private banks in all of Europe. She had direct contact to extreme levels of cash. We’re talking Deutsche Bank cash.

And yet… if you did some research and tried to call those places about her, you got a myriad line of no comments.

They didn’t outright deny she worked there, but she wasn’t on the ledgers for any public banks in countries where that was demanded. She was on no websites and was part of no paperwork. But no one said that she hadn’t worked there. They seemed to be hiding the fact that she did.

And whatever money they paid her?

It founded Everlasting.

The company now settled in Tulum, Mexico.


I heard about the company from a colleague.

Seth Burks works for the New York Times. He's basically their wunderkind. He is all the things that I would assume I should be, except I'm not.

Yeah, we have a good friendship. LOL.

We also used to date. He actually asked me to marry me. I said no. Which… ended the relationship. He later found out I dated girls, and seemed to be okay being friends. He wasn’t dumped. I was gay- in his mind. I don’t mention I still date guys. I’m bi. Basically, when asked I’m straight, I just end up in bed with a lot of girls.


He knows he has a better job than me. Which, I guess is easy, since I’m unemployed. But even before that: Sin or the New York Times? Yeah, that is not a contest. One your parents brag about, the other your parents have to Google.

Seth thinks I’m funny. He also thinks I’m not a threat. In the grand post-graduate, ex- boyfriend/girlfriend competition, he’s proven that he’s way ahead of me in the race.

But he also knows I’m fearless. I do everything like I have nothing to lose.

So we meet at the Uber Deli around the corner from the Times offices. Stellar bagels. Best in the city. For real.

“You've heard about Everlasting?” Seth says, getting his orange juice open.

“Yeah,” I say, focusing on cream cheese.

“Well, how much do you know about them?”

“Um. I've read the basics. I follow Orion Michaels. I'm confused by his partner,

Marilyn whatever…”

“We have some tips. Nothing we can actually follow up. The Times won’t even

touch it. Which made me think that you might be interested?”

“Oh yeah? Because I like being sued?”

“Well, you’re not completely against it.”

He was right.

Every article I did at Sin I was sued for. The ‘small apartment’ landlords would take me to court almost on a weekly basis. The judge started calling me “my girl.” Inappropriate. But who argues with the judge?

“So,” Seth continues. “We’ve been hearing that they’re doing treatments. They’re

getting people from the states to come down to Mexico, paying for their travel,

and paying for the treatment itself and then send them back up. And none of it is


“No shit?” I say.

It was an adventure.

Seth left me a folder with everything that he knew about Everlasting. He was smart, he had printed it out on paper, nothing digital. No traceable proof. And then he told me not to send him any emails. If I needed anything in reference to these documents-


What can I say? I was a desperate reporter.

And a desperate reporter can get a hell of a lot done.


Before I change my life forever, I have to make a few stops.

I visit my grandfather every month. He is in an old folks home. He says he likes it. Or he did. I don’t know. I don’t know anymore because he doesn’t.

His memory… as he’d say-

“It ain’t what it used to be.”

My grandfather was the main man in my life growing up. When my parents were fighting and not really interested in my life, he would take me out to a baseball field, a museum, even a cross-country trip…

Ha! The cross-country trip? Grandpa knew I was interested in deserts and specifically the healing properties of the creosote bush (I DID NOT DATE MUCH IN HIGH SCHOOL). But, in all reality it’s one of the world’s greatest anti-inflammatory drugs. It can heal arthritis. I was obsessed. So, we went to the Sonora desert in Arizona. Home of the creosote bush.

But… we kind of forgot to tell my parents.

It took them at least a week before they realized I was missing. They called Grandpa and threatened to call the police. My grandfather put me on the phone and I said if they called the cops, I would tell the responding officers that my parents beat me.

That was that. By the end of the trip Grandpa and I took an extra week and went to Disneyland.

Post script on that story: my parents moved out of the country after I graduated from college. Dad is a hedge fund manager and mom likes wine, so it seemed like a natural fit. Though, this is the first time I’ve considered the move and my phone call from Arizona being connected. Nowadays? I literally talk to them twice a year. They fuck up the holidays and my birthday.

But my grandfather and I still stay close.

Eventually he started getting sick with Parkinson's. Then his memory followed. The strongest man I knew was looking and behaving… smaller. He had to go into this nursing home. At first we still had great talks. But now-

“You got a lot planned for the next few weeks, gramps?”

“No. Baseball. Fuck the Mets. 80 years on this earth and they can’t figure that shit


“They have good pitchers, I read.”

“Always have good pitchers. Then they blow out their arm. Bullshit.”

“Remember my name today?”

“Don’t ask that shit. You’re my granddaughter.”

“My name?”


I apologize.

I tell him about all the problems I’m having. All the rejected articles that been going out: Washington Post, NY Times, The Nation, fucking TMZ, AARP Life…

He leans in and grabs my hand-

“I know I usually cheer you up. But I’m forgetting stuff. I’m fucking scared. So I’m

going back to my room and you’re going to have to figure your young and healthy

life out for yourself.”

It’s a wake-up call.

I am able-bodied. I am determined. I can do this.


My grandfather taught chemistry on the collegiate level. He’d do experiments with me as a kid. You know- ‘science as a magic trick- type stuff.

It’s also why he was into the creosote trip. He knew I wanted to do journalism.


While I was at Skidmore, my parents refused to pay $75,000 a year for me to get a journalism degree. Remember I mentioned Gannett? My dad invested in things, he was part of newspapers being bought up under that single entity, so he knew it was a dying industry. I probably wanted his attention or to say ‘fuck you’ to him, so I focused on it anyway at first. Though, I relented and studied biochemistry. An homage to Grandpa. The desert bush, all that stuff I had grown up with it, it made school a breeze.

And going through the papers I have from Seth, this basis let’s me understand the basic ideas that form the science of Everlasting’s project.

“What’s their goal?” Sandy- my ex- asked me.

For better or worse, I still bounce ideas off her. We meet at a bar. There’s a drag queen singing Kim Dracula’s “Make Me Famous” as we talk.

“They think that through using cell therapy they can take years off of someone’s

life. They can keep you healthy and young forever.”

“I hate that,” Sandy says.

“Really?” I ask, doubtful.

“What do you mean really?” Sandy asks.

“You want to get old? Bad hips, arthritis, cancer?”

“Well,” she says, “I don’t wanna live forever.”

“Why not?” I ask.

“Everyone around me would be dead.”

“What if they could do it, too? If everyone around you just lived forever?”

“They wouldn’t,” Sandy says. “If this happened you’d pay to be a part of the club.

They aren’t gonna let everyone do it. It’d be for the richest of the rich. So maybe

you can get enough money that you can live forever but you have to watch

everyone you know who can’t pay die.”

We part and I decide it’s time to leap.

I head to the employment portal on Everlasting’s website. And I do something I probably shouldn’t. Something that a journalist at the New York Times would definitely never do. But something that Hunter S. Thompson would probably smack me on the ass for.

I apply for a job.

My biochemistry degree at use.

Like I said, most of what I did for Sin had been wiped completely from the Internet.. All of my years of work disappeared. It was all attributed to Danielle X, anyway. Not Dana.

I can start over.

I can re-invent.

And then I can get back in the game.

I fill out the online form. I take a little test.

And 72 hours later, I’ve got the job.


Everlasting’s main base is about 15 miles south from the public beaches in Tulum.

Tulum is known as a destination for tourists. But in recent years you travel twenty miles South of the major haunts and it is teeming with gangsters and cartels.

Because of this I assumed the Everlasting campus would have tons of guards. But when I arrive, it’s just a normal setup. I ask my driver.

“Are there guards?”

He shakes his head.

“If you have money you hire guards.”

“This place doesn’t have money?” I respond, confused.

I’ve seen Seth’s papers. This place has money. That’s when the driver responds-

“Ha. When you have unfathomable money, you simply hire the cartels.”

And that’s it.

Everlasting has enough capital they just paid off the local cartels to leave them alone.

Who is pumping it in? And what are they so sure about that the cash keeps coming? My job will be as an analyst. But I need to find the experiments immediately. This much capital wants results. Or, they are part of the fraud.

And I need to find out which…


The campus is by the water. And it might as well be its own resort.

It’s a beautiful day. The sky is completely blue, and from where I stand, you can see the ocean in the distance. It looks like there's six to eight buildings. All modern and recently built. There's workers moving in and out of each. And I can vaguely see a group of older people getting off a van with smiles on their faces, entering into one of the buildings to the right of me.

“That’s the mess hall,” a man says to me.

He’s Mexican. Handsome, probably in his 30s. He reaches out and takes my hand.

“My name is Raul. You’re Dana?”

I nod.

“Good, the science labs are always busy. Follow me.”

As we walk through, everything has been built beyond code. Brand new. State of the art. It’s better than any medical facility I have seen in the States.

“Do you have any questions?” Raul asks me.

“If I want to leave what’s the easiest way to get off campus?” I ask.

“You won’t want to leave. This is the safest place. Anything you need you tell me

I’ll go get it and I’ll bring it back.”

“That’s nice,” I say, “but what if I wanna go for a walk, or I just want to drive into


“I’ll take you.”

He smiles.

This is when I got a little nervous. And then I feel a tap on the top of my back. I turn and it’s Marilyn Rogerson.

“Dana. Come with me.”


In her office, Marilyn has the best furniture that I can imagine. It’s white and sleek and her office window is the size of a personal movie screen and looks straight out onto the ocean.

It feels like a movie set. Waves crashing and the sun dawning on us both.

“There’s big gaps between when you were employed and not,” she says. “A

recruiter missed them. And then in a cursory search we didn’t find much about

you. Just strange. What were you doing for the past six years?”

“I can’t say,” I respond.

“You can’t say?”

“NDA,” I drop. “I cannot say. But as you saw my response to the test. It was in this

field. And there was some sensitive information. And I cannot say.”

“We are your employer now. So, I think you must say. Or else I might start to

think that you aren’t here for the right reasons. Or we made a mistake. Have we

made a mistake?” Marilyn asks.

“I don’t know,” I say. “I think if you send me home you made a mistake. I’m good

at what I do and I’ve seen the lab. You need the help.”

Marilyn smiled.

“Mm hm.”

I was sweating.

It’s my first day. I am twenty miles from anywhere and I already know I cannot leave without an escort.

There is no law here.

What if they know I am lying? What if they know from the beginning I am trying to out them?


Back at the lab, I keep my head down.

I make notes on everything. I draw pictures. I’m trying to make as much information as I can. I still needed to find a way out.

Michael just looked at me.

My worries about my former employers had made the rounds. Raul wouldn’t talk to me. But Michael had a different take.

“You’ll fit in here. They like people who are loyal.” He said. “It’s ballsy. The NDA.

But honorable not to break it.”

“Yeah,” I say, offering little more.

The NDA thing is a trick that I learned when I was at Sin. I talked to a person in recruitment and asked them-

“What do you do if you have a prison record or some kind of horrible firing and

you’re looking for a new job in a completely aggressive and competitive job


The recruiter’s answer was-

“Don’t answer.”

I asked him what he meant. He said-

“Don’t tell people that you got fired for hitting your boss. Don’t tell them that you

were in prison. You don’t have to tell them anything.”

And then I asked,

“Well, how do I not tell them anything?”

He said-

“NDA. It’s legally binding. An employer will ask if you bring it up they’ll

understand. They also know that you have access to a lawyer. And that if they

don’t hire you because of the NDA, you can probably use it as a reason to sue the

company for being unfair in their hiring practices. Invariably they’ll just hire

you. And they’ll accept that the NDA was some thing that went horribly wrong.

And that you’ve been employed this entire time.”

I just can’t believe it actually worked. I’ve never tried it before.

For days, I was left alone. And no one was talking to me.

Except Michael. I was contacting Seth each night, a burner phone I smuggled in. I needed to get out. I needed to escape. Just a little more info, a little more clarity on what was happening here and I’d have to make a run for it.


“So how old are you?” Michael asks.

We are at the lab. And I am jittery. I almost drop a vile of a virus I am looking at.


“Real 31 or fake 31?” He asks and he winks at me. “Don’t tell me. Women always

lie about their age. It’s kind of charming.”

“How old are you?” I ask.

“How old do I look? I’m just kidding,” he says. “I’m 33.”

“Where do you go to school?” I ask.

I need info. And Michael is the only one who talks to me. He is almost insanely pleasant.

“Stanford,” he says.

“How do you end up getting this job? Did you just go through the portal like I


“Portal?” He laughs. “It sounds so magical. No, I’ve worked with Orion for some

time. I actually went out to Sweden when he was working out there,” Michael


This is huge.

“No shit. Was that weird? I mean well, I shouldn’t ask,” I say.

“You should. You should inquire about anything you need to know. If I can’t

answer, I won’t answer.”

This feels dangerous. There are cameras everywhere. I cover my mouth and say quiet…

“I know back in the States he didn’t have the greatest reputation.”

Michael makes no attempt to hide what he is saying.

“You’re scared.” He says. “You should be.”

I look at him.

“There’s a bar on campus. Meet me there tonight.”

We then go back to work. Cameras on us.


We go to a restaurant for tacos and chips.

It’s right on campus. Again, no need to leave the hub. There’s a group of senior citizens playing volleyball. They all look like they should be in an ad for those little call systems for people who fell down and couldn’t get up. Yet here they were playing fully competitive volleyball.

An 80 year old woman literally dove on the ground near our table to defend a spike.

“I- wow,” I said, watching.

Michael leaned in.

“This place is terrifying.”

I looked at him. He continued-

“Past the small talk. This place is a horror show. You need to leave. I will help you

if you want.”

I nod.

“Good. I’m gonna leave too.”

He then got up and left. Holy fuck.


Back at the lab. I did my work. I was running tests on each of the major fields related to age reversion.

My work incorporated an attack on Alzheimer’s.

Yes, an attack.

I was given a chemical recipe to follow that developed food that could widen blood vessels to better allow a piece of nanotechnology to travel the interior of the body.

There was a woman I saw receive the treatment. The woman from the volleyball game, the one who dove to save the spike. She is named Claire and she has Alzheimer’s.

So, here is Claire in a room with doctors. T

They laid Claire down after she ate. This is the food I engineered for her. And then they sent the small vessel- a nanotech- into her body through an incision near her groin. The blood pathways had widened from the nutraceuticals she had been fed and the nanotech was delivering two “anti-aging” genes into her brain, with a virus used for transport. Yes. WE WERE GIVING HER A VIRUS. On purpose. Into her brain.

These viruses don’t cure dementia- but IN THEORY they talk to the other genes and brain cells and tell them “hey, create this enzyme” called klotho, that stops aging.

The brain cells do.

And the brain gets younger. And the Alzheimer’s? It goes away.

There is no long term test on it. No one who can be claimed as the survivor or patient X. We watched as Claire smiled and then… she started shaking. Violently. Vomit from her mouth. She was speaking and it sounded like tongues.

A code red was called. Michael pushed me from the room.

“Is she okay?”

“Just keep walking.”

“Does that happen a lot?” I asked.



“Go to your room and forget you saw this!”

I did as I was told.

He slipped me a note. It had a point where I could meet him. Water. There’d be a boat.

I got back and I packed. 17


I knew they’d kill us. I needed Seth. People needed to know what was going on here. The few times I tried to call him the cell coverage was too awful. This night I walked out into the water.

I made it look like I was out for a swim.

It rang.

I could see commotion in the buildings.

More ringing.

Finally, Seth answered and I told him everything I've seen.

“And you're pretty sure you understand how they were doing the experiment on

the woman?” He asked.

“This woman they sent a virus right up into her. I mean it's just enzyme


“I don't fully understand all that, but let me talk to my editor. Because it’s starting

to sound like something real. You're doing good work here, Dana.”

“It’s a little scary I might actually need to reach out to you guys to see if I can

figure a way out of here.”

“What do you mean? Are you in danger?”

I heard a noise by me. I dropped the phone in the water.

Two orderlies came out and grabbed me.

Marilyn was with them- “trying to cleanse what you saw?”

I looked at her and she grabbed my face, concern on hers.

“It’s okay. It’s okay to be scared of what you saw.”

I nodded. She then spoke to the orderlies.

“Take her to my quarters.”

She turned back to me and said.



Her room was huge. All windows. And there were guards right outside. I slept. And in the morning, they came in and got me dressed.

“Marilyn wants to see you.”


New patients were coming in. We had to be ready to start them on vitamins and chemically induced supplements.

“We’re gonna change the world today? How are you feeling?”

I nodded.

“A nod? How are your genes?”

I looked at her.

“What?” I said.

“How are your genes? Genes are everything.”

My grandfather said the same thing. He had taught me that genes are the most honest things about any of us. Your gene can’t deny what it is or what is going on with it. If it’s sick, it shows. And if you look closely into the genome, you see the imprint of every part of us.

Grandpa said it was incredible.

Who we are: our hair, our teeth, what we should eat, what we think- it all exists on a molecular level. The smallest part of us is the whole of us. This was the poetry of the science he loved.

“It’s how we should look at everything. The smallest of our communities are the

entirety of them. Their problems are ours, their strengths are ours. And they are

there from the beginning.”

Some of my early writing was about this. But it also had a dark portion to it-

“Doesn’t it mean if someone is bad, or if there is evil in a cell-“

“Well cells aren’t really good or evil-“

“But if we learned they were, then…”

“It would be unchangeable. It would be evil at its core.”

Marilyn was at the door.

“Come meet the new patients,” she said.


Marilyn had been undergoing all the science that we were putting into these people for at least the past five years. She says that she is 60 years old but I can attest, she looks 30. Scientists behind closed doors- they hope it’s true.

She was walking through the greeting area with me, looking at the first doses they give to new patients.

“We are looking into your NDA just so you know."


“In transparency I am telling you. You can’t tell us, but we can investigate. I

wouldn’t worry about it. You’re doing great. And I know you were shaken

yesterday. But this is the Fountain of Youth. And some missteps will happen. Is

there anything you need to tell me?”

“No,” I say.

“Okay, then let’s get to work.”


The new patients are lined up and I am giving them the first bits of engineered bread to get those blood vessels widened.

I am moving down the line when I feel a hand on my wrist.

“I know you.”

It’s my grandfather. He doesn’t recognize me yet.

“I know who you are…”

But he knows there is something between us-

“Is everything okay?” Marilyn asks.

“Yes,” I say but my grandpa won’t let go of me.

What the fuck is he doing here? And then I realize a few of the faces around him, are from the same nursing home. They chose to be here like the previous subjects.

My grandpa is trying to find a way to fight and I am trying to find a way to run.


Before I can answer, a red light goes off with a wailing siren.


I am certain. But the doors close around us and I realize as Marilyn rushes out of the room-

“Someone is escaping.”

It’s Michael.

He’s on a boat, a rowboat he must’ve built in his quarters. And he has the papers of all his lab work with him.

And gunshots follow him. But he makes it to shore.

In Texas.

Where he is found with injuries on his body. And taken to the coroner. Where they find him… a 78 year-old man who looks 33.

Didn’t I tell you it was an unbelievable story?

I tried to tell Seth, but when I called him again there was no answer.

I’m alone here, now.

With my grandfather.

I am going to find the truth.

Like the fact Marilyn knows who I am. And thinks she can use me.

I’m going to try and get my dad to help.

To find money might be thicker than blood.

I’ll discover Seth is gone.

And that I am trapped.

And that my grandfather? He might be getting better.

But he’s changing.

Becoming darker.



I’m going to find everlasting life.

It starts now.


SEAN LEWIS is a record-breaking comic book writer who has written major characters from SPAWN to SUPERMAN. He's an award-winning playwright whose work has played internationally and off broadway and he's a radio commentator who's been heard on THIS AMERICAN LIFE. His next project is the short story collection OPEN ENDED (some things go on forever) which includes the story in your hands and a novel.

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