Story Two – Living Death

This is a shorter story. Aaron’s writing from experience, this has happened to him fourteen times… always over a slinky.

Rotyo was a great man. He was a general of a great army, holding their ground against the invaders coming from another moon. He led the charge against them.

He was struck down in the first wave by one of his own. He was betrayed by a high ranking officer, a man named Koyl.

Rotyo was both dead and alive.

Rotyo was dead. Rotyo’s body, however, was alive. It’s difficult to explain this. Life is strange.

There’s nothing about it that’s quantifiable unless you’re alive. Even then, it’s all relative. There’s no addition or subtraction of elements. When a body dies, the energy within it slowly decreases to nothing. On the outside, it’s the same body… Until it decomposes.

Rotyo’s body didn’t call itself a ‘body’ it didn’t classify itself as anything different. It simply called itself Rotyo.

So, Rotyo was both dead and alive.

He stayed there, where he had fallen, and took in the world around him.

It was noisy, but only the cells in his eardrums were bothered by that. It was dark, as the tiny organisms called rods and cones were quite well aware.

Sensory perception only seemed to affect those parts that were specifically built to handle it. The eyes couldn’t hear. The ears couldn’t smell. The nose couldn’t see.

Everything that made Rotyo what he was was, however, concerned with one thing. Heat, or the lack thereof.

The battlefield was cold. It was almost absolute zero. Rotyo’s suit would protect against it for a time but the power sources wouldn’t last forever. The cells knew it. As a whole, Rotyo knew it.

There was a meeting, of sorts. Precious energy was expended, electrical signals sent along recently dormant nerves jolted information to parts of the body.

Where it originated from wasn’t really understood. The group that sent it must have used everything they had because there wasn’t a second message.

What was left of the brain, the cells that still held on, decided that they were in charge. It wasn’t a big leap for them. They were the brain. They continued the signal, boosting and repeating it.

The heart cells couldn’t be bothered with the message. They were desperately trying to contract. They were a few attempting to reawaken the rest of their smoldering army. The blast, the fatal wound, had been perfectly aimed for their home within the chest.

The few that had exploded and didn’t burn as the energy disipated were mostly destroyed with the suit’s automatic sealant burst from the hole and hardened within the wound. It would have saved the life had it not already left.

The message continued to the lungs, drowing in their own fluids, going down with their ship. They were breathless, speechless, confused.

The muscles were responsive. They jerked in acknowledgement.

Stay alive.

That was the message.

Keep going.

Hours passed.

A few organs became aware that the battle outside had been won. The war inside had begun only a short time before. The monsters the systems had held within their means to use as decomposers and protectors were rebelling. Without a leading organism, chaos ensued.

Bacteria broke free. It began to eat through the stomach lining and out into the rest of Rotyo.

More time.

The cells were fighting back, but without their transit lines, they had no reinforcements. The immune system was gone. They were farmers with pitchforks against firebreathing dragons. There were no knights coming.

The acid spilled from an ever widening hole. Methane escaped from the bloated stomach and colon. The body was falling apart.

The skin could feel vibrations. The muscles had long seized, rebelling against death itself. They were draining themselves and dying all the same. The body so tense, any movement made the sickly grey covering of Rotyo aware.


It spilled every flowing liquid inside. They were carrying him. They were careful, but not careful enough. He’d only fallen once but it was enough to jar most of the still living creatures inside to their death.

It grew dark again. Then light. Time wasn’t apparent now, not with so much to do, with so much to defend.

Rotyo became pieces. His arm went to one lab, his head to another.

The floundering cells were plucked without grace and dignity from where they had layed to die. They were placed in glass coffins and covered in a suffocating liquid.

They realized their strength was returning. They grew robust and powerful again. Soon, bolts of light and heat forced them to replicate.

They were transferred to another container, made to replicate again, then the cycle would continue.


Rotyo stood for the first time for the second time. He opened his eyes and saw the doctors sliding needles out from under his newly formed skin. He only knew what they had showed him through the implants. He only remembered his prior life before the last cerebral dump.

The legacy cells tried to remind him. They tried to scream as a man clapped his hand on Rotyo’s shoulder.

Koyl smiled, searching in Rotyo’s eyes. Staring back at him were three remnants of the man he had killed.

“Welcome back, General.”


About Aaron Shively

I have been working as a freelance writer and artist for the last decade. In that time, I've done everything from ghostwriting to toy design and everything in between. I am currently working on a novel series called 'Myth' which has held my attention for the past sixteen years. I have spent my time developing the world, character and story and am now ready to funnel all the preliminary material into the manuscript of the first installment, 'of Men and Monsters' Bookmark & Share

Posted on 05/02/2011, in Freewriting, Personal, Short Stories, Updates and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. O.O

    That was awesome! Such a twisted ending. Maybe next time they can kill and reassemble Koyl….

    • Ironically, this is the weakest of my story a day collection, in my opinion. I wasn’t sure about it when I wrote it. I’m really glad it struck you the way it did. It’s funny how a writer’s own preference can exclude one of their own stories.

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