A lone soul reaches the end of his journey.
An old man grimaced after yet another coughing fit. He laid in a large bed and stared into the mansion ceiling above him bitterly.
It was cold.
“…-eater on sev…-ght degrees…”
[I’m sorry. I didn’t quite get that. Did you ask for a meal prepared using only greens?]
“No-! He…eater. Seven….Eight.”
[Understood. Setting heater to seventy-eight degrees Fahrenheit.]
The old man groaned again. His voice had been giving out and his mansion’s Smart Assistant’s ability to assist him had declined accordingly. Part of the reason was of course due to this blasted illness, of course, but no doubt it was also due to age and disuse.
A true self-made man, Edgar had started with nothing to his name. No, he started with less than nothing, but by working to blood, sweat, and bone, he became wealthy. More than wealthy, he became a man who’d left his mark in history and had been compensated as such. He was a true magnate who owned everything.
The man trailed his tired, heavy eyes all across his room, taking in everything that he had amassed.
Besides the Smart Assistant he could no longer speak to, he had a 55,000 square foot mansion, roughly 940 thousand employees, over 90 billion dollars in private assets, 3 companies whose names are spread all throughout the world, 4 other businesses that net him a combined 20 billion annually, and…
Not a person on the grounds as he lay on his deathbed.
The coldness in the air suddenly washed over him again as that thought dawned on him. It was the age-old Aesop, the object lesson that could be taught in any cheap child’s story.
Edgar could easily consider himself one of the most successful people on Earth. While the people around him failed or weren’t willing to work as hard as he did, he continued to devote every ounce of himself in his work. To reward his efforts, he had everything. But…
…It was also nothing but emptiness. He was nearing the end of his life, and whenever that time comes, the fortunes he’s spent all his life amassing will disappear. Edgar had lived caring for no one but himself. Ergo, his will had no beneficiaries.
Precedent Running and his other companies will be safe because they’re LLCs, but all his other assets will likely be liquidated and seized by the state upon his passing.
Yes…in the end, he had no one and connected with nobody on a personal level.
He didn’t blame anyone. It was just business. Unprofitable relationships were a fair price he paid to get ahead. Even now, if some long-lost family turned up, he would probably give them nothing, exactly what they earned from him.
(…A millionaire at 35. A billionaire at 40.)
Too exhausted to even speak, some hazed thoughts filled the fading old man’s mind.
(I really…did my best. I learned everything I could, whenever I could. I avoided the way of the masses to avoid the fate of the masses. I bought and sold my time wisely and efficiency. I made all the sacrifices necessary. I…)
Despite the self-praise, what came to mind was only the lonely image of his back while he worked through life. What if he had said “yes” once? What if he had chosen differently?
His lips opened slightly and a groan escaped his lips.
(I regret many things.)
On December 26 of 2022, CEO of Precedent Running LLC Edgar Kearney was found in his home, having passed away at the age of 85.
Though this man and his business’s name might be less recognized compared to the other big icons, Kearney was undoubtedly a highly influential technology tycoon responsible for spearheading great technological advancements. Both through his company Precedent Running and as a private investor, Kearney had achieved advancements that went on to send ripples throughout the entire industry at several points in history.
Whether it’s the all-important hardware used in your Smart House, the safety chips used in a majority of children’s electronics, or the Tesla Stones used to cheaply power approximately sixty percent of all developing countries, you can bet that Precedent Running is involved at some point in these products’ creation.
Kearney’s net worth on the day of his death was estimated to be approximately $89.4 billion, with his company valued at $853.7 billion.
I’m…tired…so tired. Still, I force my eyes open. When I do, I see an unfamiliar ceiling.
The air and bed is uncomfortable too. Where am I? It’s not my home.
When I try to speak, a bizarre sound erupts from my throat instead. When this happens, the smiling face of a strangely familiar woman leans over the walls of my bed.
…Walls? Why are…and who is…
“It’s okay, Eddy. Mommy’s right here. See?”
!!! My…My mother?!
“I’m sorry, hon, but you’re going to have to wait for a bit, okay? Mommy’s busy right now.”
…Ah…I get it.
I’ve finally died. Is this the afterlife? There was actually an afterlife? That’s the only explanation I can think of, barring some bizarre fever dream.
“Uuuh, uuuh, ngaaa…”
But, in that case, why am I an infant? It feels like I’m being mocked somehow. Or perhaps…being struck without the motor skills to talk or strength to move is meant to be Hell for me?
I don’t get it.
I don’t get it.
I just don’t ge-
“Alright Eddy, here we go. You’re being talkative today, aren’t ‘cha?”
My “mother” suddenly picks me up and cradles me. She kisses my forehead and rocks me gently.
Okay…There’s still a lot of unanswered questions, but I’ve come to understand a few things in the past day or two.
I’ve no idea why or even if it’s real, but I’ve currently been reborn. I’ve been reborn back into my own life. It’s as if my entire life has been reset, and everything I’ve gained and accomplished has been reversed to zero.
I’m currently a helpless baby, and it’s…
“Aww, is it dinnertime for Eddy? I’ll go fetch your bottle, so just sit tight.”
And it’s…humiliating. Having to be lulled to sleep, fed, and…coddled through the power of others is beyond vexing. I end up unproductively sleeping away most hours of every day, and feeding the rest of the time.
Not that I was able to take care of myself very well as an old man either, but I still didn’t need anyone; anything I had was obtained with my own power. Right now, my body is too weak to move and any control over it is fleeting. This is just…
From one perspective, this is my Hell, but…I’m at the starting point again. When I was dying, I couldn’t help but wonder what could have been. I was mulling over regrets and wallowing in a sense of emptiness.
I hate this, but…
“Here we are…”
Mother picks me up to feed me and…it’s warm. After all those years, I’d long forgotten what this-a person-was like. Could it be that…this family was what I was yearning for at the end?
Father has returned.
“I’m home, Amy. Ah…need any help with Edgar?”
“No, no. I’m sure you’ve had a long day. I’ve warmed your supper on the stove already, so go ahead and have that.”
Could this be…my second chance?
I’ve experienced my life once already. I’ve lived the future. I close my eyes and think back on all my mistakes, all my regrets and remorse.
…I might be able to avoid them this time. God knows what’s going on, but there’s nothing to lose.
“Thank you dear. I’ll at least tuck him in tonight.”
A feeling I’m much more familiar with wells up in my heart as I come to a decision. I will change my fate. I will become a greater man than I was last time. This will be my ambition!
I look over to Father as he settles in at the dining table late in the evening. It’s a sight that won’t change through most of my childhood and even I remember it well.
Yes. For now…I’ll use my knowledge of the future…
…make a killing, and become a millionaire at fifteen!
Merry Christmas everyone!
This one of the ideas I had stuck in my head for a while. I’m not sure how well I did exactly, but this was an interesting, more somber tone I went with for once.
Not that it isn’t still silly. Edgar is supposed to be a “normal” multi-billionare, but I couldn’t resist slipping in some of my own weirdness in there and he ended up feeling a little like a supervillain.
I mean, we’re talking about a guy who hated leeching off his parents while being unproductive as a baby. I imagined that efficiency and productivity is often in the minds of big businessmen like these, and…well, here we are.
Anyway, I hope anyone reading enjoyed that. Once again, Happy Holidays! =w=
P.S. Does anyone know how and where someone would have about 600 million dollars’ worth in private assets, but not have it show up on official records?