Mark Schaefer

A 100 Word Story

So many slingshot pilots die young looking for immortality.

I’d become a celebrity — the first to slingshot past the Oort Cloud using only an assist from Jupiter.

This was to be my masterpiece: I’d use the black hole at Cygnus X-1 to propel myself to the next star system. It would take years, but I’d be moving so fast it’d only be months of subjective time.

Accretion disk spinning around a black hole
NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center/Jeremy Schnittman, cmglee, CC BY-SA 4.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0>, via Wikimedia Commons

But I missed. I miscalculated. I’m locked in orbit around the black hole and time slows to nothing. Trapped in an infinite moment, I see stars die and the universe fade around me. Immortal.

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Mark Schaefer

Mark Schaefer

Writer, lawyer, amateur linguist, pastor, and Red Sox fan. Upstate NY transplant in DC. Author of “The Certainty of Uncertainty.”