Three thousand goddamn years he’d had the knowledge. To say this shit was old would be… well, it would be fucking stupid because, duh, that’s a long-ass time.
The year 5002AD was all right. I mean, yeah, it’s cool he got to see some cool shit: Interplanetary travel, teleporting, virtual real-reality and Viagra that would let a 90 year-old bone like he was 13, to name a few. But at 3,022 years old he was beyond caring about Viagra. He’d hit all the skins he’d ever cared to hit and some he wish he hadn’t two millennia ago.
His journey began because he enjoyed concocting twisted rhymes. How could anyone know words had so much power? In his search for the sickest lyrics of all time he went to the ends of the earth.
If his record went platinum he’d take the money and travel anywhere to learn something that would make his next album go double platinum. Of course, he’d succeed. He never, ever lost. So then he’d have to learn enough to make his next album go double platinum. That shit got done, so the next had to be quadruple platinum. Then octuple platinum. Sexdecuple platinum after that. And so on.
But there was no end for him. He had to keep pushing. He had to reach limits no one else had. Then he had to push further so no one else could catch up. He learned so much along the way that he learned too much.
That’s crazy, right? Learning too much.
The thirst for more knowledge pushed him past anything anyone else could’ve imagined. That was the problem. Nature ain’t gonna let anyone who knows as much as he does leave. He’s got to stay or be replaced so the knowledge doesn’t go with him. That’s what the last guy he learned anything from taught him over 2,950 years ago:
“I’ve been waiting for you,” the Old Man said that day they met.
“Or someone like you. You’ve figured out everything I know. Otherwise you wouldn’t be here.”
“I still don’t know your name, old man.”
“Of course you don’t. That’s the last step.”
“Figgering out your name?”
“I’ll tell you, son. It’s Sean.”
“That’s it? Your name is Sean? I’ve been rhyming that my whole life. All this knowledge and searching for that?”
“And yet, I don’t know your name,” replied the old man.
“Funny you should ask, it’s–”
“NO!” the old man interjected. “I don’t want to know that. Then I’d know more than you.”
“So you’re saying I know more than anyone else alive?”
“Exactly. I’ve only been forced to stay because I knew the most. Now I don’t.”
“What does that even mean, dude?”
“It means I’m out. You know enough to figure out the rest.” Sean clutched his chest, let out a sigh of relief and died giggling.
He immediately realized Sean had played him. What a joke: the smartest person alive outsmarting the second smartest dude. He couldn’t help but admire the tricky motherfucker. And be grateful. At first the promise of living on seemed pretty dope. That was before he realized everything, including living, gets played out.
Now he’s just got to wait. Wait and wait and wait for someone ALMOST as knowledgable as him to come around and get punked like a dumb shit.
Some of you may be wondering why I wrote a story in “10 minutes, kinda.” Good question. I recently found this awesome site that aims to encourage creative writing: storypraxis. Every day they post a new prompt — in this case “An Aging Knight” — and suggest people write, if only for 10 minutes. I tried to take the challenge literally. However, after my initial 10 minutes (that I began immediately after reading the prompt), I went back and did some rewriting, expanding and editing. Hence, “written in 10 minutes, kinda.” For all the short fiction I’ve been writing lately, I find it the most challenging format for my sensibilities. But that’s a topic for another day.