[WP] You wake up one day with the ability to see someone’s life flashing before your eyes. One day, you try your power on a homeless man who is laying on the floor. To your surprise, you are overloaded with thousands of years worth of memories…[Link to post.]
“See you tomorrow,” Maizy Potter waved at the group gathered around the nurse’s station on her way out.
“Don’t forget your birthday cake!” One of the male nurses, Sean, said. He bolted into the breakroom and returned with a foil covered rectangle twice the size of his large hands. “Enjoy your day off tomorrow, happy birthday again!” Sean leaned in for a hug which Maizy politely returned. She liked Sean well enough, but thanks to her gift she knew more about his private life than she should. There wasn’t anything particularly offensive, but she did not share an interest in the private things that he definitely loved.
“Thanks, Sean. See you on Sunday. Oh, you have to let me know when Mrs. Sanchez delivers. That poor woman has been in labor since before I started my shift.” She switched the subject to work as she left. As she made her way down to the first floor and out of the building Maizy thanked the heavens for small miracles. If she were not working the hospital’s nursery when her ability developed she might have gone crazy. However, being able to watch the children age day by day helped her learn to use and control her power.
“Have a nice evening, Maizy,” the security guard nodded at her as she left the hospital. After she stepped outside Maizy turned left instead of walking to the parking lot. She lived close enough to walk and the weather forecast promised a bright, cool evening. Two blocks away from the hospital she approached what she called, “Deadman’s Alley” in her own mind. Even before her ability kicked in she often found homeless persons dead or dying in the alley. She assumed it was due to the alleys proximity to the hospital. Once she knew how to read people, she occasionally tried to help a random vagabond. Maizy could use her ability to more or less guess a stranger’s medical history. She peeked into the alley as she passed it. One body slept soundly sandwiched between two layers of newspapers.
“He’d probably like some cake,” she smiled to herself. She approached quietly to avoid waking him. “Oh, I better check if he’s diabetic,” she reminded herself, then gave him a quick read with her ability.
“What the hell?!” she said loudly, and accidentally dropped the cake on top of the man’s head. He stirred immediately.
“People tryin’ta sleep!” he grumbled and rolled over. He pulled a newspaper over his head.
“Hey! Who are you?” she asked.
“Nobody,” the man replied.
“You’ve been around for an unusually long amount of time, Mr. Nobody.” Maizy knelt to pick up the cake as she spoke. The man sat up and looked at her, though he did not expect her to be that close. He yelped in surprise and hurriedly crab-walked himself backward, away from Maizy. His hands and feet crumpled the newspapers as he trampled them.
“How do you know that?” the man asked. He looked up at Maizy with fear in his eyes. His eyes darted around the alley looking for an escape, but he unintentionally cornered himself when Maizy startled him. Her nurse’s instincts kicked in when she realized how uncomfortable she made him. Maizy looked around the alley and found three milk crates stacked up on top of each other. She walked over to it and sat down, keeping her eyes on the stranger the whole time. She placed the cake on her lap and held her hands up, palms outward.
“I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to scare you. I don’t really tell people about this, but since you seem kind of odd yourself I think it’s okay. I can see the lives people have lived up until the current day. I try not to use it to invade people’s privacy,” she held up the foil rectangle. “…but, I wanted to leave you some cake. I had to check if you were diabetic first. Are you diabetic? Do you want some cake?” She asked, and held the cake out without rising from her seat. The man nodded and slowly stood up from the floor.
“So you saw my whole life?” he asked. Maizy shook her head.
“I can, but I’ve gotten pretty good at not looking at the details. I was just looking for anything medically relevant but I noticed you had a lot more to go through than most people. I met a 104-year-old man once. You’ve had a life at least 10 times as long, as far as I can tell. Who are you?” The stranger now stood close enough to take the cake from Maizy, but he shook his head when he answered her.
“Like I said, nobody. Not here, anyway,” he said. Maizy looked around the alleyway again.
“Well why’re you hanging out in an alley, then?” she asked, though she still did not move from the crates.
“mmOH,” he had his mouth full of cake and tried to swallow it while shakig his head. “Not the alley. I meant this Earth. I got stranded here last week. Hey, this is really good. Thank you,” he smiled a toothy smile from behind the cake.
“Wait what do you mean you’re not from this Earth? Nothing I saw showed me you were an alien.” Maizy asked intently. Something about him told her he was telling the truth, but she wanted to know everything. He was in the middle of the last bite of cake, but he answered her after he swallowed it.
“Not an alien. I don’t think they exist, but I’m from an alternate Earth. Someone I thought I could trust proved me wrong, and now I’m stranded here with no way to get home,” he said.
“Wow, I’m sorry. I can’t even imagine what that’s like. What’s your Earth like? Is this one much different?” She asked. The man chuckled in response, and he sat down on the floor in front of Maizy. He seemed considerably more relaxed now.
“It’s pretty similar, but our tech is more advanced. I’m probably going to need to wait until your tech catches up before I get home,” he sighed.
“Will you live that long? I mean… I’m sorry. You’re already so old. How long do you think it’ll be before we catch up?”
“Could be any time between now and 100 years,” he said.
“Wow,” Maizy said. She realized that she made a snap decision at some point during the conversation, but she did not know when it happened exactly. “That’s a long time to wait in an alley. How would you feel about living with me until you find your feet on this Earth? I’d love to hear all about your home Earth.” The stranger stared at Maizy trying to guess her intent, then looked at the ball of foil he crumpled up after he finished the dessert.
“Will there be more cake?” he asked.