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Six disparate elderly people are offered the chance to swap bodies for one final hour into young holidaymakers. Or kill one to live longer

An opportunity - one final hour to live in the sun, free from pain. What would you do with it?

A nearly blind sex addict ornithologist. A terrorist bomb maker turned to God. A Francoist police officer who has destroyed thousands of lives. A battered wife escaping. An antifranquista fisherman who searches for the truth about the death of his first love. A woman whose body is her autobiography.

They have in common two things. They live in a nursing home on the island of Mallorca and all of them are being offered a unique chance – to live an hour in the body of anyone they can see at the hotel pool next door or to choose one of those same holidaymakers to die and extend their own life.

A catch? Of course, such offers don’t come without one.

If they choose the first that is all they will have – one more hour. And to choose the second? There is no guarantee how long their life will be extended.

So, what would you do with one hour?

Or do you want to take a gamble?

3600 Seconds is a story of love, hate, fear, aging and regret. It is not for the faint hearted or for those easily offended. It is, however, for those of you who want to believe in something beyond what the Spanish call the ‘cotidiana’ – the everyday – and who recognise that not all old people are lovely, doddering, harmless, fragile creatures. These people have lived and, who knows, maybe they still do.

L J Hart (@RustyMcGee) has travelled the world but presently resides in Manchester working as a teacher. She believes her shopping list can tell you much more about her than a biography.

Cat food, wine, meal for one.

L J has been writing since she was 9, but has only in recent years been bold enough to let other people see her words. Her upbringing in the poorest part of Manchester that is not the infamous Moss Side and her ginger hair ensured that she would spend her youth reading the books from the mobile library and never looking people in the eye (until the age of 19). College and University taught her how to feign confidence, which she used to undertake a variety of jobs from working in a pub, living in Lanzarote and singing in the weekly cabaret for a holiday company, deciphering the scrawl of the CEO of a building company as his PA until she realised that 45 year old builders and 13 year old boys were pretty much the same. Which led her to her present career.

Published in 100 RPM (One hundred stories inspired by music), Paraxis and FRIGG, she now seeks worldwide acclaim and giant fortunes.

She will, however, settle for not being a terrible person.

Valves hissed, drips beeped, an unseen face wailed with the anguish of a trapped animal. The usual quiet of the building was disturbed by two things – a tannoy summoning medical assistance and the shouts, splashes, laughter and music from the poolside of the adjacent hotel.

Room 406 was a white box with a singular barred window opposite the only door which led out onto the balconied corridor running the length of the building. It had been the home to Juan Merillas Ruiz and Joan Fuster Gaya for almost four years. The men had known and shared hatred for over fifty years, but now they lay opposite each other, repeating the same nine minute conversation interspersed with a three minute blast of rage which happened around once a day.

At first the nurses ran to assist the apoplectic men, calling for sedatives to be administered and imploring the chief doctor to split them up, but now they paid them no more attention than they did to the local church bells chiming the hour and half hour.

It was 9.28am. The heat of the island summer was already pulling the walls in.


L J Hart has written 3 private updates. You can Pledge to get access to them all.

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