Writing Prompt: The Mortality of Pain

You are immortal. You can neither die from illness nor mortal wound, but you can feel pain. And you are a really shitty fighter. (from Reddit/r/writingprompts)

I wiped the blood from my lips, the split had already healed, and kicked a toe tentatively into the ribs of the man sprawled out in front of me. He groaned. Well, he’s still alive. Frank can’t say I never did anything nice for him. I stepped over his prone form, threw the brick I’d just used to incapacity Frank in the nearby dumpster and tried to walked nonchalantly out of the alleyway.

I’d just won another ugly fight, that by rights I had no business winning. That’s the thing about immortality though. I may be a shit fighter, who can’t throw a punch or aim a weapon to save my life, but then again, my life doesn’t need saving.  When you’ve got nothing to lose, you can fight pretty damn dirty, if not skillfully. Taking risks is no risk at all.

I got drunk sitting at a bar in Shreveport once and told my whole sordid tale to the bartender. After some sidelong looks, he finally decided to ask me a question.

“Does it hurt though, when you get hit, or whatever?”

I’ll tell you what I told him then. Yes, it fucking hurts, but here’s the thing about pain. The real power pain has over you is the fear that comes with it. When you hurt badly enough, your mind starts telling you that death is near. Everybody fears death, everybody except me. But, it’s that fear that makes the pain so much worse. Since I can’t fear death it takes the teeth out of the pain I experience. I know the wound and the pain that goes with it will never be mortal, so I grit my teeth and get through it. If the pain is intense enough it can be distracting, but after this many centuries, I’ve disciplined my mind enough to get through it.

Sometimes though, the best cure for what ails you is a stiff drink in a quiet bar…which was going to be hard to come by on a Friday night in New York. I stuffed my hands in my pockets, ducked my head and made my way through the chill evening figuring the only solace I might find tonight would be in my own apartment with that weird cat I picked up a few years ago and a bottle of Scotch. You know what doesn’t dull with immortality and the passage of time? Anticipation.

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