In the future, you can take a sabbatical from life.  From five to twenty-five years deep sedation or suspended animation.  What if the things you put in place to improve your life when you woke up had far-reaching consequences?  What if you accidentally changed the world?

Sabbatical is a slightly longer short story about a neurotic corporate man on the edge of a breakdown.  His best shot pays off in ways he only ever dreamed.

Snippet: “The day arrived for Michael to go to the Sabbatex resort.  He drove out to the building about ten miles from the city, a large new building standing alone in the middle of nowhere.  It was built of simple red and yellow brick with mock Corinthian columns at the entrance, a black tiled roof sloping down like a rain hat.  Windows sat at regular intervals, mirrored on the outside reflecting the sky back at him.  It looked like some vast cartoon character with hundreds of watery blue eyes, he thought, half expecting it to turn and look at him.  Thick, black, cylindrical ventilation conduits were bolted on to either side for arms and two smaller, canopied entrances with large black metal doors looked like upturned feet where the building sat among carefully constructed grounds.  If it had stood up and stretched its legs he would have been only mildly surprised.

Inside, a blonde receptionist cooed at him while he booked in and minutes later a nurse in perky pink uniform with brilliant white sneakers that matched her highly polished teeth came to collect him.  Following her onto a painfully slow horizontal travelator, he looked around.  Everything gleamed.  He placed the smell at somewhere between hospital and beauty salon.  The travelator halted and began to rise vertically for three storeys then continued horizontally at right angles to the track on the ground floor.  Artwork on the walls was bright and cheerful but otherwise unremarkable.  He stopped looking and focused on where he was going.  The nurse pressed a button on a controller in her pocket and they stopped at a door in the corridor.  Michael’s name glowed from the digital panel.  So this was his room.  A sense of claustrophobia crept over him.  For five years, this room was his life.  Once shut in, that was it for one thousand eight hundred and twenty-five days.  Forty-three thousand, eight hundred hours.  He couldn’t remember how many minutes or seconds that came to.  He felt a lump in his throat and wondered whether it was his heart or his stomach; both seemed to be jostling to get out.”

Body Count: 3
Blood Spilled: Good smattering

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