Broken Cameras

For reasons unknown, Flynn is destined to live 143 lives, and in each one he falls in love with the same person, only to have his heart broken every time.

I don't quite understand.

To be completely honest, I don't understand a lot of things.

However, the one thing I do understand is that I love her.

Let me clarify.

Sometimes she is not a she. Sometimes she is a he. A few lifetimes ago, she was both, and the one before that, she was a cat. She's always different. It's always different. Of course, it's all the brand's fault, which I'll get into later.

It began on a very regular Tuesday. I was pining, as per usual, over Alice Bellamy. She was blonde with dark green eyes - a potent combination. She weighed on my mind constantly. In fact, upon further thought on the matter, I do believe I had the worst case of love sickness in the history of... well, my life. I was madly in love with her and it had begun to eat away at my very being.

Anyway, I was writing tremendously horrible love poetry. You know, the kind that you scribble down in the heat of the moment and then find a week later when you're cleaning your room, only to bury it in the trash in shame? That kind. I was trying to find a word to rhyme with "kowtow," when it hit me.

The roof, that is.

It had caved in for no apparent reason. My house had never had any issues. Had I survived, I think I would have thrown quite the fit. I wasn't angry though, just instantly and painlessly dead. I like to imagine that the newspaper called it a freak accident, because I find that term intriguing.

Freak accident: Man killed by own house

My vision went black, then a bruise-y purple, and finally a quite ugly chartreuse. While I was trying to understand what was going on, if this was heaven, and why whatever higher power existed chose such a hideous color for the after life, a voice boomed out:


I turned (or so I imagine, for I was a soul and my body was still under the rubble of my roof) toward the source of the Voice.


"Flynn!" It was loud, but not aggressive. It sounded unlike any man or woman I had ever heard. If a fish could speak, it would probably sound like the Voice.

"Yes, I'm here. You don't need to keep shouting. In fact, it's hurting my ears." The Voice sighed as I babbled on about whether or not I had ears in this heavenly form.

"Silence, please!" The Voice cried in exasperation. "Flynn, you have passed away."

"Yes, I've noticed that..." I looked around in hope of seeing some nice scenery, only to be attacked by chartreuse fromm all directions. "But where am I now?"

"In Limbo." The Voice sounded as if it were pacing back and forth in front of me. "Normally, you would be sent to the Hole--"

"Hole? No, I don't want to go there, that sounds terrible!"

"Oh, no, it's where you're transported to Heaven."

"Will I get wings?"

"No..." The Voice paused, as if in thought. "You humans really do have it all wrong when it comes to the afterlife. May I continue?"

"Yes. Sorry."

"As I was saying, normally, I would send you to the Hole, but someone seems to have branded you."

Before I could express my confusion (which I seem to have an abundance of,) the Voice continued.

"The brand is the number 143. I'm afraid that I can't remove it. This means that you'll have to live 143 lifetimes before you can go to Heaven."

"143? Isn't that sort of a long time?"

"Yes, usually the brands are only fifty or so..." The Voice mumbled.

"Why am I... branded?"

"Oh, well, see. Well, um, we don't really know these things. It's not my job, per se. I'm just supposed to, well-- just let me do my job, okay?"

"Yes. Sorry. Again."

"Brands can be inflicted by anyone. The reasons vary, so I can't tell you why. I can only send you back down to reality."

"Okay, I'm ready."

"First, I should warn you. You will never be the same person twice. In fact, you may not even be a person. Be wary, because the brander might have more in store for you. I, or one of my co-workers might check in on you from time to time. Good luck, Flynn."

"Oh, well, thanks, um... I never caught your name."

"It's Ethelbert."

"I'll try to remember."

And then I was wrapped in a warm feeling and I passed out. I woke up in 13th century Italy, fresh out of a mother's womb, though I don't quite remember the actual event.

Ever since then, I've been living lifetimes, falling in love with Alice Bellamy every time, only to never get her to reciprocate.

So far, I've tried to stay calm and carefree, but the occasional black shadow in my periphery has me on edge.

I'm Flynn and though this is a story, it is not necessarily mine.

The End

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