I SURVIVED WAY WORSE – By @oliverdfinel

By Oliver Finel



It was 1312, Europe was in the midst of its Dark Ages.
Life was bleak.
The Lord of my land was an evil man.
At the tender age of 5, my papa failed to provide the required amount of grains.
I witnessed the Lord impale my papa.
His blood splattered all over my face.
My mama died a few years later.
I was left to fend off for myself in Westphalia.
No one to feed me.
A blacksmith found me stealing courgettes in a field.
He gently took me in and raised me as his son. 

He taught me his trade.
In a few years, I became an accomplished blacksmith.
I could weld hammers, swords and forks.
I was happy.
I married the butcher’s daughter.
She bore me three beautiful children.
The first two died at birth.
The last one survived but cost me his mother. My lovely Ethel.
I was devastated.
I despised my surviving son for taking away my beloved wife.
He grew up to resent me.
In 1333, the black death reached my little village of Hummerschmidt.
All my friends died.
My son, Herschel, thought he would survive the plague. But he didn’t.
I was sad, briefly.
In the lonely Hummerschmidt, I was the only survivor. With no one to plough the fields or buy my merchandise, what was I to do?
I had to move.
I walked through barren lands, wondering when the plague would catch up with me.
How could it have killed the ones I loved, but spared me?
The lifeless lands were endless. Eventually, I reached a nice coastal town in the Kingdom of Portugal.
I was hoping to go into hiding and wait for death to carry me away.
But I failed to age.
Not a wrinkle.
I was starting to suspect I might be 25 forever.
Since I’m not one to mourn over my fate, I was quick to accept my exceptional situation.
I became a legend in the South of Portugal.

People rushed to my door to see the man who didn’t age.
The man who survived the black death.
The man who couldn’t die.
Some thought I was a prophet.
Others thought I was monster.
Some simply did not believe me.
Eventually, the novelty wore off.
People got bored.
I decided to move on.
I no longer wanted to be Hansel.
I thought that there might be another continent to discover.
After spending 15 liras for a new identity, I sailed across the ocean and reached a new land. When I got back, people couldn’t stop talking about the new continent. It made a lot of people very rich.
I then decided to write books, sharing the exciting tales of my life. Back then, writing a book was a real pain in my bottoms.
I invented a new way to make books.
The machine I created made a “Prrrnnnntttt” sound so I called the new mechanism a ‘Printer’.
Everyone was quick to adopt my methods.
Lots of things started changing.
I plastered a document on a church in Germany.
Most got really excited. The pope wasn’t.
A few years later,  people started killing each other in a field in France.
I got in a spat with a Brit.
I held a grudge for a while.
I went to India and told a small guy with glasses to tell the British Empire to get the hell out. I didn’t think he would succeed, but he did.
Lots of stuff happened in between.
Now, we’re faced with a pandemic.
As a guy who survived the black death, trust me — It’ll be fine.
But if not,
I’m sorry about eating a bat in China.

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