Ackley’s New Lease On Life 1: Bucket List

For a look at Ackley’s origin in my Amera stories, read Ackley’s Wish. This microfiction series will continue to explore that particular character after those particular events.

Well-laid plans to die tended to become derailed if one inexplicably lived.

Ackley Hermes had always seen her future as building a bomb and then going to sleep for a very, very long time. She had built the bomb, and Mr. Fairway had been put to sleep for a very, very long time in her stead. Now she had to continue to entertain herself and plan out a fresh, unknown amount of new days,  a week after her vulnerable constitution should have given out on the roof of the Fairway Children’s Hospital. That had been the plan, and now there was none.

Her hospital room had been revamped since the death of Mr. Fairway and with him, the death of the restrictive new budget for the hospital. A machine now accompanied her bed, which could more efficiently drain the liquid nitrogen from her lungs through an unintrusive port installed in the middle of chest. The Nurses came every morning, unbuttoned her shirt a little, plugged her into the machine, and then went — and so, she lived. She could not have foreseen that blasting the Fairway Offices would have ultimately saved her life.

Life had a strange way of turning out after chemical missiles became involved.

To this end she had made a bucket list. Ackley was a realistic person, and so was her list. She wrote down only things she could do in the hospital bed she’d surely continued to be confined to.

She tried a new hairstyle, bundling up her ghostly white hair into a ghostly little ponytail; she tried on makeup which the nurses kindly supplied, flushing her nearly gray skin just a bit, and turning the black bags under her eyes a pleasing indigo. She’d recently turned 13, so she tried to play some of the violent online video games donated to the hospital every year, and scream invective into her headset when she lost to players who, clearly, were actually hacking.

“You idiot stupids,” She half-heartedly cooed into the mic, unable to truly scream in her condition, “You slack mothersons. You brick-eating gobsnipes. Vacillate in a postal office.”

After that round she put down the controller, satisfied, and checked off “troll online violent video games” and “say curse words” from her bucket list. Truly they had been trolled, and cursed.

She checked the list again, and next up she found, “Outsmart the Homeland Security man sure to arrive in a few day’s time,” and “stay out of kitty prison while trolling various web forums.”

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