The Looped Man

 

When he was a young boy, he played with a red truck in his yard. He’d play all day until he was all tuckered out. To him, it was the most glorious thing in the world. Finally, as the days shadows grew long, he’d trundle back inside and have a cookie with a glass of milk. His life was wonderful in his opinion.

 

He grew into a young man. This man had great intentions, big ideas for the whole world. A difference. That’s what he’d make. Change the whole world. Many years in the real world gave him many skills and an amazing amount of knowledge about the world around him. The real world gave him other things too. It gave him greed. It gave him lust. It gave him a desire to benefit from all that he did, after all, if he didn’t, someone else would.

 

The young man became a man of the world. He married and raised a family. His children were able to play and grow because he provided for them. By working his way up the corporate ladder the man became the ruler of his own financial empire. All over the world he owned cars and houses and factories that produced the goods he sold. He no longer held the ideals he had begun with as an old man. He was now interested in the value he could get from his products, not the pollution or hardships of his employees that were the consequence of his actions. He didn’t know or care what he did to those around him.

 

In a large estate house an old man lay dying. His family was gathered around him. His youngest son, just starting college, a young man, full of fresh ideas that would change the world, he was sure. His oldest, young children of his own now, was a man of the world, following his fathers footsteps, taking care of the company, earning that bottom line. The man had led a life. Its ups and downs and all that came between. Still, it made him smile one last time, to see the future was taken care of.

 

---

 

A man opened his eyes. Tears streamed down his face and he cried out.

 

“I didn’t know! How could I have known!” Around him, alien machinery hummed to life. A cold metallic voice sounded from all around him.

 

“Subject: Human.

Charge: The desecration of a planet suitable for life and the destruction of its diverse species. Judgment: Guilty.

Sentence: As the sole survivor of the human species, subject is to be held indefinitely, living the life of each member of his species, suffering as they suffered, and seeing the crimes they have committed.

Authority given by the Galactic Right to Life Act of the Garplox Empire.

Subject now entering memory loop fifty-five thousand eight hundred forty-six.”

 

On the medical slab the man cried out once again. “No more! Please, let me die!”

 

---

 

When he was a young boy, he played with a blue truck in his yard…