seventy-five - Bea Eschen - E-Book

seventy-five E-Book

Bea Eschen



By law and like everyone else, George must die on his seventy-fifth birthday. There is not much time left and cruel things happen around him. His adored daughter reveals a secret to him too good to be true. It gives George and humanity a chance to regain hope for a dignified life. But before he and his wife can live in peace he must make a terrible sacrifice.

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Copyright © 2017 by Bea Eschen

All rights reserved.

No part of this book may be reproduced in any form or by any electronic or mechanical means, including information storage and retrieval systems, without written permission from the author, except for the use of brief quotations in a book review.

Printing and distribution on behalf of the author: tredition GmbH, An der Strusbek 10, 22926 Ahrensburg, Germany



Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Chapter 3

Chapter 4

Chapter 5

Also by Bea Eschen


This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, events and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.


It is a nice warm spring day. I am on my morning walk and enjoying the song of the birds. At this time of year the trees attract lots of them. Birds of all colours feast on the sap of new growth and flutter around in excitement. Like so many mornings before, I walk around the water fountain in the middle of the park. The light breeze sends a spray that touches me lightly on my face. I have always been superstitious, and knowing my fate, I take it as a sign of the beginning of my departure.

I am seventy-four and my oncoming birthday means my end. I know that my son Duke has arranged for the kit that everyone my age fears; men and women alike.

* * *

George and Magda lived a harmonious life together. When Magda reached the age of seventy-two, she had three years to live. The thought that her husband of almost fifty years would soon be gone consumed her with despair and sadness.

"I want to go with you," she said to him in the morning as George bent over to put on his walking boots. His back was sore from years of hard work in the mine. When he straightened up to face her, the pain showed in his face.

"No dear, I prefer to walk alone."

"I meant I want to join you on your journey to die."

"No dear, I prefer to die alone."

"Besides," he said taking his walking stick from the shelf above him, "Ella still needs you."

The door closed between them. Magda felt terrible. It was as if he didn’t care about her feelings, she thought. For God’s sake, she was his wife!

* * *

How will Magda manage without me? She will have to find her inner strength and I will have to help her find it while I am still around. At nineteen, Ella is still a child. Without Magda, she would soon be taken by one of those satanic monsters, raped and left with nothing but grief. I love Ella to death. When Magda gave birth to her at the age of fifty-three, I knew that God had sent her. Ella is an angel of God who we must protect as long as she lives.

But when I am gone, their situation will change, because Magda and Ella will be vulnerable. I cannot count on Duke. He seems to have been completely brainwashed by the New Order government. No wonder he has become like this; he is in one of the top positions and is constantly making new laws. Useless new laws that are supposed to rejuvenate our population and slow down the economy. But what about our knowledge? The knowledge we old people have acquired over decades of life? Our life experience and wisdom? God let us grow old for a reason!

Is this perhaps why God sent us Ella? An angel to heal our society from the ugliness of money making and the ever increasing immorality that's going on around us and making us sick. How can this so-called new order work when they even try to take away our beliefs? I've always been a Christian, so why should I confess to this nonsense religion they call Omnipresent Truth, where they put all the world's religions in one pot?

* * *

After George had gone for his morning walk, Ella came out of her room to comfort her mother. She had overheard her parents' brief conversation. Ella knew her father was mentally preparing to take the poison.

She took her mother in her arms and stroked her back. Magda immediately relaxed at her touch. "I don't understand why George is worried about you, Ella. You are the stronger of us, not me."

"Mummy, as long as I am around, nothing will happen to either of you."

"What do you mean, Ella? Please speak clearly!"

"I can't," Ella said. "But believe me. You and Daddy will not die at seventy-five."

"But Ella, how can you say such a thing?"

They heard the door open. Ella gave her mother a warning look.

"Shhh." She put her finger to her lips.

Duke walked in and threw his keys on the hall table. "Hey you two, I just came for a snack. Mum, do you have anything prepared for me?"

"Yes son, it's your favourite today."

"Roast chicken with baked potatoes and green vegetables?" He asked and took two steps into the kitchen. He sat down at the rectangular table and put his feet on the chair opposite. Dirt slowly ran down the sole of his leather boots and dripped onto the old wood.

Duke was a tall man with an unforgiving gaze and a cold expression. Well into his thirties, his hair was beginning to fall from his forehead, exposing his strong features. A straight, long, sharp nose separated his menacing eyes, which once had a dreamlike expression. But dreaming was a thing of the past, for he tried hard to hide his feelings. From the moment he became an official of the New Order government, he was a different person.

He sat down. "I am ready."

His mother hurried into the kitchen to serve him a plate of her delicious smelling food. Duke began to eat without saying a word. He was starving. It had been a busy morning at work. There had been a boom of seventy-five-year-olds this year, and all those senior citizens had to be processed. Their families had to be given the kit and informed of the legal procedures for disposing of their parents or grandparents. The choice between burial and cremation had been removed. Nowadays, all corpses are cremated and the ashes used as fertiliser on farmland. The human ashes had to be treated to dilute the high sodium and lower the high pH, which had spawned a whole new industry.

Duke chuckled as he shovelled a piece of chicken into his mouth.

New jobs had been created and the elite shared in the profits. The elite were those who invested heavily in the new industry to reap huge returns. Right from the start, ten years ago, A.S.H.E.S. shares traded at unprecedented levels. A.S.H.E.S. was a multinational corporation with offices all over the world, consisting of companies involved in all aspects of human body processing. Recently they had discovered that there were different qualities of ashes from different people. In particular, the ashes of Africans were of a higher quality than those of the rest of the world's population. It was finer in texture and contained less salt. Scientists confirmed that this was because humanity originated in Africa - the cradle of human life on earth - and was therefore free from adverse genetic influences and engineering. As a result, the demand for African ashes grew steadily. A new law was being drafted to lower the mandatory death age for Africans from seventy to seventy.

Governments saved billions of dollars on pensions and health care for the elderly. Globally, the fixed life cycle made financial investments more predictable, reducing risk and volatility. Returns soared. As economies grew, so did the size of families. After ten years, babies were being born at twice the rate as before.

Duke shook his head in disgust. The only dilemma was the grief of the remaining spouses and families. Although he disagreed, the lawmakers decided on a generous bonus payment from the New Order government to ease the pain of grieving relatives.

* * *

I am afraid to go home. Duke will be there having his lunch. I can no longer stand his coldness. He has changed so much in the last few years. Does he still love me?

When he was growing up, he looked up to me like a son. He respected me and listened to my advice. When we went fishing, we would watch the swallows flying low, announcing the rain. We laughed when we pulled the big trout out of the pond. Afterwards we would rush home hungry and help Magda prepare the meal with the fresh fish.

But when I turned seventy, he started treating me like rubbish. Like I was worth nothing, or worse, a stone on his leg.

The other day he was moaning about the rubbish collection fee he had to pay in advance for our household and looked at me with a devastating look. What was going through his mind?

Now that I am approaching seventy-five, he hardly notices me. Any day now he will be instructing Magda and Ella on how to administer the poison to ensure my death. Perhaps he plans to administer it himself, at a moment when I am careless. Unexpectedly and without fuss. That is his way. Without fuss. I myself have taught him this in various contexts, but I never expected it to be applied to my own disappearance. Without fuss.

* * *

"Ella, you look beautiful," Duke said as he chewed on his chicken and potatoes. He looked at his much younger sister with admiration and cold pride. As if she belonged to him. "That white dress suits you well!"

"Thanks brother, I made it myself."

"I didn't know you were a master of design and tailoring!"

"You don't know many things about me," Ella said with a cheeky smile. She feigned ignorance of his profession, trying to keep their fraternal relationship alive. It would help her with her secret mission, which was about to come to fruition.

George had just arrived at his front door when Duke came out. They greeted each other coldly. Looking for something to say, George asked if Ella was home.

"Yes, she is, and she looks beautiful in her new home-made dress," Duke said.

"See you later, son."

* * *

It is nice to know that Duke loves Ella. But I am convinced that he loves her in more than a brotherly way. He has never brought a girlfriend home, nor has he spoken of any other woman but Ella.

His cold gaze pierces me. Goose bumps run down my back and I am sure I see the devil in his eyes. I quickly walk into the house and am relieved when the door closes behind me. I climb the stairs with a heavy heart. The smell of chicken and vegetables tickles my nose.

We used to get the vegetables from Alex, who grew them himself. Poor Alex, my friend, you are already gone. You would have been seventy-six today. I miss you. You were my only friend. We knew your time had come and when we said goodbye I told you to wait for me up there in heaven. I wish you could tell me what it feels like to go from life to death. I can still see the sparkle in your eyes as you spoke. Your family acted according to the norm, or what they call the norm these days, and killed you as instructed. I watched as your cold body was taken away in the night in that horrible box. No one in your family speaks of you anymore.

* * *