Saya had grown complacent of late. She felt that life itself was slowing down around her, suffocating her in the monotony of her daily life. It had been years since the optimistic post-graduate version of herself had given up on changing the path of her life again. At this point, she was almost a zombified shell of the woman that she once was.
Yet something inside of her told her not to give up. To keep getting up and keep going to work. It was almost as if a voice was motivating her. At times, she felt she was merely spectating within her own flesh.
Then one day, she woke up to find a note taped to her bedroom door.
“For the next 24 hours, everything you touch with your right pointer finger will age by 10 years.”
She chuckled, deciding it was some odd prank from her small group of friends. In no way did she believe it. Of course, she was curious at her lack of desire to touch things with her right finger that morning.
Saya began her normal daily mindless routine of showering, dressing, and eating breakfast. One benefit of being so disconnected from herself was that she was able to focus her entire conscience effort on not touching anything with her right finger.
Curiosity called as she walked out her front door and saw a young budding plant. It was a tree that was planted recently by a small girl scout troop in the hopes that it would grow to be a large tree one day. She figured she mine as well test this odd note’s claim on something like this.
She extended her finger and touched the trunk of the little tree. As if the winds of time knew what to do, the trunk slowly grew huge and suddenly overwhelmed the area with a shadowed sturdiness. It’s branches were healthy and strong.
At first Saya was far too stunned to believe what her eyes told her to be the truth. Then she couldn’t help but let out a quivering cry, backing up and looking at her hand. She didn’t see any markings or differences.
Within that moment, Saya felt herself come into a shocking level of control over herself. The voice that kept her going was no longer in control and she felt the crushing burden of reality upon her.
It didn’t take long to find a glove and throw it on. Unfortunately, the more her finger rubbed against it, the older it got until it fell off of her hand. This was going to have to be a very carefully planned out day. She took off towards her office with great speed. As she got there, she noticed that her CEO was talking among some coworkers by the door.
“Ah, Saya, come here. Great to see you’re early as always!” The CEO elegantly chortled. He extended his hand for a shake. Saya began to sweat a bit.
“I’m sick, sir,” she mumbled, “Best if we don’t shake hands.”
“Nonsense, put her there.”
As soon as he reached her hand, she recoiled but not in time. His hand grazed hers and he started to age rapidly in front of the group. His skin grew baggy, what was left of his hair grew gray and fell out slowly. His back arched down and his knees began to shake.
“Wh-what happened to him?” Someone cried out.
All eyes slowly turned to Saya, who was looking horrified at what she had done. Without waiting for the crowd to fully take in what they had seen, she rushed out the door, which had suddenly grown very dusty and worn.
It was then a decision was made. She would find an isolated spot and wait out the 24 hours. It was the only was to make sure everyone was able to avoid the fate of losing 10 years of their life. Saya quickly took off into the local forest and curled up by a tree. She couldn’t stand the idea that she had just removed 10 years from the CEO’s life. As she was beginning to cry, another note fell on her lap.
“You can give back the 10 years, but there’s a price. Use your left pointer finger sparingly.”
Saya didn’t care. She wasn’t concerned about where the note had come from at this point. For all she cared, this was a deity and she was being tested.
Rushing into the office, Saya found the huge crowd around the CEO who was struggling to keep his head up. She looked at him with tearful eyes and touched him with her left finger. His hair slowly came back, his body molded itself back into a healthier shape, and his eyes gained the life that had left before.
He stood immediately and yelled, “What did you do to me?”
“I saved you.”
Saya stepped back, feeling suddenly very fatigued. She noticed the eyes of her peers were upon her and suddenly she knew exactly what the price was. She had to give 10 years of her own life in order to reverse her mistakes.
The CEO grabbed her and dragged her into a back room. She noted that he screamed something about not pressing charges but wanted a word with her alone.
As the door slammed the CEO sneered at her.
“I don’t know what this power is, but I plan on working for at least another life time. I retained all of my memories from before I changed, so there’s only one thing left to do.”
The sneer turned into a purely psychopathic grin as he grasped the left hand of Saya. He began to press it against himself over and over, slowly draining the life from Saya with each stroke. She felt a great weight being thrust upon her. Finally, there came a point where she had no more life to give.
“Thanks for saving me.”
The CEO went out the back door as a young man in his early 20’s. He sauntered off into the woods, never to be seen the same way again.
When a curious group of people entered the back room, all that was left was a pile of bones and a note.
“She got me. You’re next.”