In a world where population control is a strictly-monitored necessity, citizens are required to induce their own death prior to the age of 70.


He was running out of time. In less than 2 months, he would reach the age of 70.

He knew that his package would arrive within the next few days. He had two options: one injection or seven pills. The injection seemed like the auspicious choice.

He had already taken the time to complete his will and say goodbye to his family and friends. He was simply playing the waiting game now. Much to his surprise, he wasn’t sad or nervous. In fact, he was shocked that he had even made it to such an old age. He thought of his poker buddy, Paul, who died from cancer. He thought of his barber, Logan, who was taken by a car crash. He thought of his wife, Carmen, who had died from the flu. He had fond memories with these people and was shocked that he had outlived them all. The thought of joining them in another world granted him comfort. 

He heard a knock at his door. His package had arrived. It was a white cardboard box with a cartoon of a woman laying in a casket with a smile on her face. She looked happy to be dead. He opened the box and saw all the protocols taped to the back of the lid.

He had 10 days to complete the procedure. He was to lay a towel down on the ground of the bathroom and leave his door unlocked. He was to inject the shot in his left wrist and push the liquid in over a span of 10 seconds. He was to leave his will and any additional details about his cremation and funeral service in an envelope on the kitchen counter.


She woke up at 7 a.m. sharp. She put on her white scrubs, latex gloves, and face mask before going to the morgue. She picked up her list of addresses for the day and set off to work with her partner. 

They arrived at their first destination: a humble, gray-paneled house. They opened the unlocked door and searched for the bathroom. Once she heard her partner holler that he had found it, they each grabbed a side of the towel and carried the carcas to the vehicle. Her partner filled out the paperwork while she disposed of the empty injection syringe and grabbed the will from the kitchen counter. 

They got back into the vehicle and headed towards the next house. 


She had just finished cooking dinner. Wednesday nights were always pasta nights. She helped serve her children food and asked her husband about his day. He had nothing new to say. 

After dinner, the family gathered in the living room. Her husband turned on the television and she played cards with the kids. A familiar gray-haired man showed up on screen. It was the population control specialist. He was wearing the same navy suit he always wore and had the same grim attitude he always had. He recited the numbers of the week and grimaced with each statistic. Numbers were still too high. Resources were still too low. He ended his segment by reminding all the citizens to vote by the end of the week. Changing the age of death from 70 to 65 was, in his words, “crucial” to keep the human race alive. 

Her husband switched the channel. 

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