Story Shorts: The Anomaly of Time
The Anomaly of Time
The city of Rivertide was home to its special community of backwards-aging individuals. Here, babies were born with wrinkled skin, frail bones, and wisdom in their eyes. They were nurtured by their 'children', who were physically in their 40s and 50s but mentally just teenagers. As the years passed, the elderly would grow younger, and their caregivers would age into infancy and finally fade from existence as mere babes.
In this upside-down world, the values were different. The focus was not on accumulating wealth or building careers, but on imparting wisdom to the next generation, experiencing life in reverse, and cherishing the fleeting moments of youth. Young love was a bond between two octogenarians, and the joys of childhood were experienced with the knowledge of a lifetime.
Amidst this community, Lila was an anomaly. Born an old woman, like everyone else, Lila didn't become younger as the years went by. Instead, she aged forwards, growing even more frail and elderly. As the others around her grew into their vibrant youth, Lila stood out, becoming more and more isolated.
People whispered about her in the streets. Children, in their adult bodies, would point and stare, while their elderly counterparts looked upon Lila with a mix of pity and fear. Was she a harbinger of change? A glitch in the system?
Lila lived her life in seclusion, tended to by her 'daughter', Clara. Clara was a vivacious 60-year-old with the mind of a young adult, constantly torn between the responsibilities of caring for Lila and her desire to enjoy the youth she was slowly growing into.
One day, a young man named Arlen (young, meaning he was around 80) visited their home. He had heard of Lila and was intrigued. The two quickly formed a bond. Arlen was captivated by Lila's stories, her traditional perspective on life, and her acceptance of her unique fate.
As their friendship grew, the town's perception of Lila began to change. Her forward aging was still an oddity, but it was no longer feared. Lila, with her unique perspective on life, became a sort of mentor to many. She spoke of valuing every moment, of the beauty of aging naturally, and the importance of understanding and accepting differences.
The end of Lila's life approached faster than most, but it was a life lived fully. She had experienced the love and friendship of those around her, and she had taught the town a valuable lesson about acceptance and understanding.
When Lila finally passed, Rivertide mourned not the loss of an anomaly but celebrated the life of an individual who had brought a new perspective to their world.