Regenerative Immortality


Regenerative Immortality

Wheeling over to the auxiliary tank, Gerald twisted the evacuation value to allow the ten gallon experimental overflow to fill. As it filled, a small multitude of turridos[1] escaped with the run-off.

He had been experimenting with these miniature jellies since high school. Amazingly, his high school oddity had blossomed into a full-scholarship to MIT and summer internships at the Mayo Clinic. Now, it seemed that these pets might offer the key to his own renaissance.

His initial attraction to the Turritopsis dohrnii jellyfish was their claim to immortality. This mystical claim fit right in with his geekish boyhood desires to be a superhero, hence his enormous Sci-Fi comic book collection, and his, former collegiate successes at the pro circuit, thrill-seeking hobby, of motocross.

Adjusting his chair to allow him maneuverability to release the lower valve of his experimental habitat for the turridos, Gerald emptied the experimental tank into the foot bath.

Today was the first implementation day testing his new theory: turrido-spinal/muscular regeneration.

A mere fluke had caused his personal research to take a turn.

About three months ago, Gerald had been completing his bi-monthly measurements and counts of his pets using the auxiliary tank when his left hand had inadvertently dropped into the turrido’s tank. The turridos, in a survivalistic frenzy, had viciously attacked his useless fingers.

Luckily, stinging turridos were not poisonous.

Gerald retrieved his hand from the tank without any harm. Just scores of small red dots.

That night, as he was dressing himself for bed, Gerald discovered that the fingers on his left hand had regained intentional movement. They could not actually grasp anything, but they moved. Previously, any form of movement had been nonexistent.

Gerald forced himself to wait a week before testing out his new hypothesis. Stings from turridos might have healing-regenerative powers that could prove useful for paraplegics.

Now, after four additional self-inflected skirmishes with his left hand, enjoying the flurried agitations of turridos, Gerald was going to allow the turridos access to his left foot.

The fingers on his left hand could now not only grasp his clothing as he was dressing, but he could successfully hold eating utensils. He was not sure if this miraculous success was brought on by the aggressive attacks of the turridos or by his thrice-weekly rehabilitative efforts, but he was not going let what might have been mere happenstance hinder the chances of a momentous discovery.

Once, the confinement to his wheelchair had seemed permanent. Now, new options, options that had been previously laid to rest, were bursting forth from his imaginations.

Twisting the value shut after filling the foot bath, Gerald lifted his left leg from its confinement and gently placed his foot into the bath.

Through his fluorescent-enhanced googles, Gerald witnessed the no-holds-barred attack.

Three minutes later, Gerald lifted his foot free and set to dry on the toweled floor.

Renewed sensations in his fingers could have theoretically been a coincidence. If tonight, there were any noticeable changes in his toes… a whole new world awaited him.

Written for Tuesday’s Writing Group (Write a story using the following ideas: Character cards – witness, person in a wheelchair. Other – bid for immortality, key that no one else has. The main character has to change during the story. You cannot kill the main character.)

[1] Turritopsis dohrnii are known as the immortal jellyfish. This species of jellyfish are found worldwide in temperate to tropic waters. Turritopsis dohrnii can transform themselves from adulthood back into it fetal state (a polyp) anytime there are uninhabitable changes in the environment (like sudden changes in the temperature of the ocean waters, or an unhealthy density of the salinity of the waters, or if something caused harm to its jellied dome). It would then recreate itself into an identical turrido.

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