Damn that hurt, I think he blew out my heart along with my lungs and a portion of my ribs. The boss didn’t know that it was anything but painless to me as I was one of the Altered also. Just couldn’t read minds, that’s all. Seems that whenever I “died”, my body would regenerate itself. Now, this wasn’t an instant sort of thing, though that would have been handy as all get out. Nope, it took time to regenerate. From the shotgun blast to the chest, it would easily take six months or so for me to draw my next breath. Meanwhile, I would be paralyzed but aware of everything that was happening.
This strange ability of mine seemed to have more drawbacks than anything. I considered it a curse. Yes, I’ve tested it out. Got in more fights than I can remember. Been shot, stabbed, burned, drowned and blown up. Even got partially eaten by a tiger in India once. That was definitely a bad one. In a moment of despair, I even blew out my brains with a .44 magnum. I at least got some peace from that one, but once my brain had regenerated enough for me to come back to consciousness I was again aware of everything around me. Usually, some soul would bury me and that was the worst. I’d have to painstakingly dig my way out of my own grave. I was cremated once, and regenerated inside an urn molecule by molecule until the urn burst open.
I had finally regenerated enough to begin my gruesome climb out of my grave. Turns out they had tossed both me and the mind reading kid in the same grave. Thankfully, it was shallow and not that hard to dig out. Unfortunately, they had left the shackles and chain that joined us together. It wasn’t a problem slipping off the shackle of the kid as he was mostly bone by then. However, I couldn’t get them off of me. So the first order of business was to find some tools to either strike off the shackle or just cut my foot off. I wasn’t looking forward to doing the latter as it would be painful and make it hard to walk until my foot regenerated. My plan was to walk to the North Pole and try to freeze myself to death. I hadn’t ever tried that before and even though I had faint hope that it would succeed, I needed to try. Living forever was too damn painful. The few times I had met and fell in love with a woman were great at first, but when I didn’t age then it inevitably would turn out bad.
I found an abandoned house with a barn nearby. Scrounging around the barn, I spied an old claw hammer. I really needed an anvil or punch, but neither were available. After a few strikes on the shackle, I realized it was going to take a long time to bust it open.
“Well, what do we have here?”
To be continued . . .
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