Last up, my cuz Kobbery asked, So how old are you? Yay, that was what we was all wond’rin’. No un was ready for her answer tho’. Fifty. Yay, that’s what she said an’ we was ’mazed as you are now. Fifty. The air in our kitchen changed like the cold wind suddenwise comin’. Livin’ to fifty ain’t wondersome, nay, livin’ to fifty is eerie an’ ain’t nat’ral, yay? How old do Prescients live, then? asked Melvil o’ Black Ox. Meronym shrugged. Sixty, seventy … Oh, we all got the gaspin’ shock! Norm’ly by forty we’re prayin’ Sonmi to put us out o’ misery an’ reborn us quick in a new body, like bladin’ a dog’s throat what you loved what was sick’n’agonyin’. The only Valleysman who’d ever lived to fifty an’ weren’t flakin’ with redscab or dyin’ of mukelung was Truman Third, an’ ev’ryun knowed how he’d done a deal with Old Georgie one hurrycanin’ night, yay, that fool’d sold his soul for some extra years. Well, the yarnin’ was busted prop’ly after that, an’ folks left in gaggles to yibber what’d been said an’ answered, ev’ryun whispin’, Thank Sonmi she’s not stoppin’ in our dwellin’.
David Mitchell, Cloud Atlas, 2004