Shiva's Messenger

Retirement at Twenty Five – Part 1

Government Pension at Twenty Five

Short Fiction of rejuvenation and retiring young by Russell Twyce

“According to this file,” a government bureaucrat set a reverent palm flat on the open folder, “you’ve been collecting old-age security checks for the past five years. Yet you are obviously a man in your early 20’s.”

“Chronologically,” the young looking man dug out his wallet to show the proof: the badly worn leather billfold appeared to be much older than it’s owner, “and by my government issued identification cards clearly show, I’ve just passed my 70th birthday.”

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“Then this has to be either forged or in error.” The government agent stated after he had intensely scrutinized the document. “What year were you born in?”

“I was born in 1945 and I aged normally until 1990, when I discovered the secret of eternal life and rejuvenation. From then to now, I’ve been growing younger, instead of older.”

“My year of birth was 1960.” The civil servant announced in a mocking tone. With grey hair and many facial wrinkles, his physical appearance exactly matched his 55 years of age. In fact, he even seemed older than that. “And you are NOT fifteen years older than I am. So let’s get to the real truth of this situation.”

“The honest truth is exactly as I’ve said. You can look into my tax records or you can have the police fingerprint me and compare the result against any government files you can drag up. I was born in 1940 and I am currently seventy years of age.”

“You didn’t invent the secret of immortality.” The pension official scoffed. “I should think that such a discovery, if proven, would’ve made an international news splash. I don’t recall hearing anything about it in 1990 or since.”

“I didn’t seek any publicity and I didn’t care if anyone verified my results or not.”

“Right.” The disbelieving government man said in a sarcastic voice. “So you actually are seventy and you fully expect me NOT to cancel your old age security benefits?”

“Correct.”

“And I suppose your cute wife over there,” with a nod he indicated a young woman in the waiting area, “is fast approaching sixty-five?”

“My lady friend there is twenty-two. My wife passed away awhile before I uncovered the secret of Nicholas Flamel’s philosopher stone.”

“Does she know that you’re seventy?”

“Absolutely.” The young looking old man smiled. “She appreciates my maturity and experience, while still being able to enjoy the physicality and vitality of my second twenties.”

“Philosopher’s Stone and Nicholas Flamel?” The scoffing of a minute ago had been replaced with a pang of envy: whether the old-age pension claimant was 25 or 70, that girl was certainly a knockout. “You’ve obviously been to a Harry Potter movie.”

“JK Rowling didn’t invent either the name of Nicholas Flamel or the philosopher’s stone idea. Nicholas was an alchemist born in 1330 and he returned to his youth after learning of the philosopher’s stone from an ancient manuscript.”

“And I suppose you know this for a fact.”

Definitely. Nicholas Flamel is a close friend of mine. He contacted me after he deduced that someone else had achieved his eternal youth secret. Nick is a cool old guy, who looks like he is twenty. He thought it was hilarious that he was immortalized, off camera, in the movies. But the author has no clue that Flamel really is still alive.”

“I suppose he collects an old-age pension too?” The bureaucrat jotted down the name: he would look it up in his files later.

“No. Nicholas is a gifted alchemist. Whenever he needs money, he turns lead into gold.”

“Since you have his eternal youth secret, why doesn’t he give you the transmutation tips too? Then you wouldn’t need to keep your pension.”

“Nicholas has his thing and I have mine. When he was born, there wasn’t a public pension plan in place, so he needs to make gold. I paid years worth of exorbitant taxes to earn my retirement income, so I’ll use it for my ‘golden years’ and I’ll keep collecting it for a VERY long time.”

“Unless I stamp your file as a fraud and cancel it.”

“On what grounds?” The young man asked in a resolute voice. “The proof of my age and even the ‘before’ and ‘after’ pictures are iron-clad in your department of motor vehicles. The stored license photos will show me growing older until 1985 and then progressively younger until my most recent one.”

“On grounds that I work for the Federal Government and can therefore do whatever I want to you and your case!”

“With impunity.” The young man added through pursed lips. He bit his tongue from saying what was really on his mind. ‘And that mentality is precisely why I haven’t shared the gift of eternal youth with everyone.’ “But that political superiority will not live on forever.”

“Your life won’t be much longer than mine.” The agent misconstrued the comment as personal instead of global. “How long do you have before a return to infancy?”

“Your facts all seem to come from fiction.” It was now the younger man’s turn for the mocking tone. “I’m not living a backwards life, as the ‘Curious Case of Benjamin Button’. I’ve rejuvenated as far as I want to, so I’ll stop using my philosopher stone. I’ll age normally until I choose to start growing younger again.”

“And then what?”

“I’ll make another philosopher stone.”

End of Part 1 of 2  Part 2

Author notes: This story is fiction but I sincerely believe that a true philosopher’s stone is possible and that Nicholas Flamel could’ve produced a way of returning to youth even with the limited technology available in the 1300’s.

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