What shall I do with this absurdity—
O heart, O troubled heart—this caricature,
Decrepit age that has been tied to me
As to a dog’s tail?
Old age ain’t no place for sissies.
The Asphodel Meadows Senior Living and Activity Center was not in a meadow. It had perhaps been surrounded by meadow at one time, but any evidence of the fact had long ago been paved over for additional parking. An argument could be made that the bocce ball court technically qualified; it was rapidly going to weeds since the lawyers had determined the chance of someone throwing out a hip was far too high for anyone to actually use it. But there were plans in the works to turn it into some sort of a reflecting pool or outdoor patio so its days were numbered.
Asphodel Meadows was where all the second tier heroes ended up—the ones who couldn’t quite afford the steep prices of the Fields of Aaru Retirement Village (not in a field) or the Isle of The Blessed Luxury Community Home (on a bluff in a desert that might, several million years ago, have been oceanfront property). The retirement business was steeply competitive, and for many staff Asphodel served as an obligatory check-mark on their resumes before they moved on to better paying, more prestigious jobs. Working with the elderly—even second tier heroes and mythological creatures—could be quite stressful, as they generally tended to retain all of the assertive properties of their youths but their filters often went missing.
Also a few of them occasionally had trouble remembering that the staff were in fact staff and not evil minions of whoever was– in the rather cliché words of one resident right before he attempted to skewer an orderly with a sword crafted out of tin foil and coat hangers– “keeping them prisoner in this dank and foul dungeon.” Periodically they would stage escape attempts, which often involved setting something on fire as a diversion. As a result, with the exception of a few grizzled veterans turnover among staff was rather high, and due to constant repairs the center wasn’t exactly pulling a profit.
It was likely that the whole facility would continue its slow descent into complete noncompliance with Kingdom Senior Home Regulations until it was either shut down after an inspection or an inhabitant managed to blow it up—whichever came first.
But that was before the new Activities Director made a seemingly innocuous change in the usual daily schedule and tipped off a series of events that would alter the fate of Asphodel Meadows forever.
She planned a field trip on a Tuesday.
Hosted and narrated by:
Jessica McGuffey (Nuadhe)
Scenes played: 1
License: Community License