I am Megan Novak and there’s something different about me. I’m special. Not in the way that everyone thinks they’re special, but in a very specific way. Let me explain…
I have a group of friends and we like to go to the pub. We’re not particularly bothered about which pub. We’re not picky. I know this doesn’t seem very out of the ordinary so far, but please be patient. Whenever our pub conversations take a bizarre turn–usually around the fifth or sixth pint–we inevitably end up on the subject of superheroes. Who would win in a fight? Who was the best super-villain? And, sometimes, we’d excitedly discuss our preferences when it came to superpowers. It invariably comes down to a shortlist of three; invisibility, mind reading and time travel. Never in my wildest dreams did I ever imagine that I’d actually have one of those powers for real. But, that’s exactly what happened.
Don’t ask me how it happened, because I don’t know. I’ve got theories. Some are more far-fetched than others, but when you wake up one day to discover that you can suddenly travel through time, the idea of wish granting genies doesn’t seem so ridiculous. In fact, nothing really seems impossible anymore.
That first morning changed my life. It started off pretty normal. I was rudely awoken by my alarm clock and I repaid it by hitting snooze three times. I checked my phone to find I’d received an email from the National Lottery telling me that there was some news about my ticket. Allowing myself to feel a small amount of excitement, I logged into my account. Any dreams I had of quitting my job were shattered when I saw the message congratulating me on my winnings of £2.60.
‘I wish I could go back and pick the winning numbers.’ I muttered to myself and, before I knew it, I found that I was on the bus on the way home from work with a serious case of déjà vu. The clock on my phone told me it was 5.20pm on Tuesday. The inside of the bus smelt like feet and B.O. Dark Funeral was entertaining me through my earphones. I’d lived this before. Pinching myself to check it wasn’t a dream, I realized that I had a second chance. With trembling hands, I logged into the Lottery site on my phone and keyed in the winning numbers. Then I blinked–
–and started choking. A high-pitched scream ripped through my ears and into my brain, churning up everything in its path. Realizing that I was laying down, I rolled onto my side and vomited. The liquid splashed onto the floor next to me, some of it spraying back onto my face. I was too exhausted to be disgusted with myself. Gradually, I opened my eyes and found I was back in my bedroom, sunlight pouring through the window and my phone in my hand telling me that I’d won the jackpot. That news enabled me to ignore the puddle of reddish brown mess that had made a hasty exit from my insides. It also helped to ignore the searing pain in my head. £35 million really makes you see things differently.
£35 million sounds like a lot of money, doesn’t it? And, it is. But, do you know what’s more than £35 million? £80 million. Do you know what’s more than that? £100 million. And more than that? Well, you get the idea. Once I discovered how easy it was, I just kept doing it.
How was I to know that there would be a price?
No amount of money would be enough to pay the price for my excursions back and forth through the calendar. I learned that soon enough. Every time I returned from a trip, my body would tell me that it was broken. But, I was greedy and I refused to listen.
I remember when the rot really started to set in. The vile vomit of the first trip was just an appetizer. As I write this, I’m a fraction of the woman I used to be. My left foot went first. Hideous pus-filled wounds appeared around my ankle in a blink of an eye. I watched, mesmerized, as they burst like tiny bloodied volcanoes. The pain was immense and I did everything I could not to pass out from the stench, but it didn’t stop there. Every inch of my foot decomposed before my eyes. Putrid flesh fell from the bone, sliding and slopping onto the floor. A macabre painting, a repulsive collection of reds, browns, yellows and greens surrounded me. I tried to stop it by wishing myself back to time when both feet were healthy, but I always ended up back in my bedroom and I was always a little more damaged.
My right arm was next. Then my ear. My left eye refused to put up any kind of a fight. And now I can feel it inside me. Things are moving and gurgling within that should be quiet and still. It’s only a matter of time before my stomach ruptures like my foot. Then it’s game over.
I’m dying. There’s no stopping it. But, I think I have enough left in me for one last trip. I could go back to pub and say goodbye to my friends.
Just as I’m about to embark on my final voyage, I hear a crash. I crane my brittle neck to see if my remaining eye can gather any information. Some books have been knocked from my nightstand and there’s no way they fell down on their own.
I am not alone.
“Goodbye” a voice says, before I hear footsteps walking–no, stumbling–away. The voice was familiar, but obscure. It was older than I remembered it. It was tired. Broken. A tiny smile played at my chapped and cracked lips.
I wonder which of my friends got invisibility.
Lou Yardley is an indie author from a house full of cats in England, and she spent last year writing two self-published novels and a novella. She is the owner of a bizarre imagination and a twisted sense of humour. Lou is totally ready for the zombie apocalypse because her other half, Mark, has that stuff under control.
Image by Rodger Evans