A Stellar Flare of Young Adult Writing and Visual Art

The Price of a Second Chance

Traffic, Highway, Lights, Night, Speed, Road


A feather spiralled silently from the heavens, dropped by some unsuspecting avian. I never saw if it reached the ground. It would’ve been a redundant observation nevertheless. Even so, I couldn’t help but notice the striped pattern that marked the feather as it spun around like the sole blade of a discarded pinwheel. It was a day like any other, people and cars melded into a blur of light and fabric. I’d gotten used to the overly saturated colours of the city. Still. It was lonesome. The place. No. The time I came from was leaps and bounds ahead in technology than this. 

Recently, I was promised eternal life via ChronoTransfer’s Illustrious Process. The catch was that I’d have to start over from a different point in time. Of course, as a lower-end customer, I wouldn’t get to pick the time or Primer model, but I’d still retain my consciousness and accumulated knowledge. Sometimes I regret undergoing the Process.

The meaningless moments spent browsing this ancient version of the Cybercosm model of cyberspace. My desire for an escape from this stagnant existence, unsatisfied. At this point, ChronoTransfer hadn’t gone public yet, the United Nations had agreed that the possibility of time travel had to stay under wraps. If the public ever realized such a thing, the world would turn itself upside-down trying to find the next scientific breakthrough. However, as a private company with its secret international ties to governments around the world, ChronoTransfer had already started planting its Primers in every country it could.

As dusk fell and the sky darkened, the city came ablaze. With no azure to compete with, the Jumbotrons flourished, brandishing their multicolour displays, adding to the kaleidoscopic cityscape. The cars were no longer a blur of light, but individually-discernable objects—stuck traffic. Everything else was an indistinct blob. Briefly, I thought back again to the life I could’ve had, the worldly desires I left behind and reminisced. I remembered the day that the three methods of immortality were revealed, the day the colourful world was painted Standard-Factory-Blue, the day I became so poor I could barely afford the Process. Really, I hadn’t even tried to turn it all around before I had my brain scanned into the microchip. I had many regrets, but maybe things would be different if I weren’t stuck living life through the operating system of a Jumbotron camera.

About the Author

Eric Tang is an average high school student who aspires to write fiction for the rest of his life, but cannot do so as he has planned to study computer science in university.

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This entry was posted on November 4, 2020 by in Fiction and tagged , , .
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