Mercy Killing

 

In desperation I sought out this great physician. My condition was fatal, but he had a plan. It was radical and it would either succeed or fail. He was more honest than my other doctors, they said the same thing in pages of legalese on consent forms they hardly expected me to read.

He hauled me down to his river. He asked me to trust him. He lifted me up and carried me out into swift, deep water. I clung to him in fear, until he reminded me I promised to trust him. I reluctantly released my grip on his hair.

He plunged me down into the river. At first I just looked up at him through the surface of the water. But when I needed to draw a breath I struggled. Then, I fought with all my might, but to no avail. I blacked out and yet he still held me. I died in that river.

I watched my killer from the shore as he drew me out of the water and back into his arms. He behaved with a remarkable tenderness, now when compassion was too late. Back in his office he laid my body out on a table. The rest of me followed and watched and wondered what was I supposed to do in a situation like this?

The entire second day my body lay there on the table while I paced nervously around the room. I tried touching it, but found I could not touch anything save the ground beneath my feet. He occasionally checked on me. And when he spoke to me, I realized he knew both parts of me were present.

The third day he prepared a funeral for me. My body was placed in a casket, and I was delivered to a chapel. The doctor stood up to address the empty chairs, there was no congregation. There were none to mourn my broken remains.

He began his eulogy by detailing my condition and its deadly outcomes. He described aloud my faults, my frailty, my failings—these things were why I had to die. No kind words about my good deeds, or the quality of my character; he just pronounced judgment.

Murderer, I thought. I had to die, but not yet. It was your choice to kill me before my time. You decided to take my trust and execute me because of your intolerance of my descent into death.

Then he did what I thought was impossible. He grabbed me by the arm, not the arm of my body, but my arm. He wrestled me into the coffin, he forced me back into the corpse.

A moment later I was gasping for breath. For the first time in three days, I drew air. I saw through eyes. I could smell the dust of the room.

“You killed me!” I said.

“No, I killed the diseased body, but you have been raised to newness of life.” His voice was not angry, despite my accusations. The opposite of anger, he was full of joy. As these thoughts came to me, another I scarcely understood crept into my heart.

“What do you mean?” I asked, failing to believe yet this glimmer of hope was possible.

“I mean you are no longer sick.”

There was a long silence, while hope began to become acceptance. I felt better, I felt new.

“How did you do this?”

“I killed the diseased body and then raised you up in a new body.”

“So the frailty will never come back?”

“Actually it will come back. Every day you will experience it again in one way or another. But I will train you how to deal with it.

“What will I do?” I asked with familiar fear creeping up my spine.

“I will teach you to kill every new attack. I will teach you to daily take up death, and thereby to also take up life.”

“You can teach me to do that.”

“Yes,” he said, “I will give you the tools to crucify yourself daily.”

“What kind of a tool do I need for that?” I asked.

“Your cross, of course.”

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Looking Too Close

The building appears to be abandoned.

But I find myself wondering about the details.

Why did they put up strips of wood to cover the windows instead of solid sheets of plywood?  Strips allow weather to pass through between them. They also allow light in.

Over one window it says, “No Trespassing.” It’s scrawled by hand. A sign would have looked more official. The words tell you not to go in, but their location marks the only place you could get in.

I figure somebody is still using the building for something. But don’t ask me to go check it out.

 

(Written for Friday Fictioneers. Follow this link if you would like to see the picture or if you would like to enter the challenge.)

Ricochet

There was only one thing left to do. I reached back behind my head and pressed a button. A wave of dizziness swept over me, but it passed quickly.

This was not the first time I had turned on the Implanted Tactical Operative Assistant, commonly called ITOA, but it was still overwhelming.  Now as a SWAT sniper I could put a bullet into a dime, from 300 yards, with a ricochet. All I have to do is focus on the spot. ITOA works with the massive computational power of my brain, and it can link to any internet capable device for additional data.

I was happy to get it after World War Three started, not the expected nuclear holocaust, but instead a massive global gang war. It started with Russian and Chinese Mafia fighting for the ghettoes of India. But it quickly spread. Smaller gangs no longer exist and five massive illegal crime syndicates were setting the whole world on fire.

The current situation is an all-out attack on the barrio outside of Los Angeles. The Russian Mafia is starving the Crypts financially. No customers leads to no cash flow and another gang is defeated.

Over the next twenty minutes I took out a couple dozen guerillas. I used an existing camera in an atm, and bounced the shots off a steel wrecking ball. One man, the last of his unit, grabbed a hostage. I waited for him to move his head back just a little for a clearer shot.

That was when I noticed his scar. It was just like mine. It was inevitable that sooner or later they would get a hold of ITOA too. I put a bullet through the little computer implant. The girl settled down on her tush crying.

I saw a security camera on the building next door turning toward me. A sinking feeling came over me. It didn’t last long.

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This story was prepared for the Trifecta Writing Challenge.

• Your response must be between 33 and 333 words.  (My entry is 317 words)
• You must use the 3rd definition of the given word in your post.
• The word itself needs to be included in your response.
• You may not use a variation of the word; it needs to be exactly as stated above.
• Only one entry per writer.
• If your post doesn’t meet our requirements, please leave your link in the comments section, not in the linkz.
• Trifecta is open to everyone.

 

tush

1. a long pointed tooth; especially : a horse’s canine
2. an interjection used to express disdain or reproach
3. buttocks (slang)

The Great Appendix War

I was assigned to be Tessa’s constant companion within moments of her conception. She doesn’t know I am here, but her welfare is the only reason for my existence. So I have watched and guarded her for 10 years.

Under the orders of my commander I have prevented accidents, emotional scars, and heart rending disappointments. But also under orders, I have allowed some of these to take place.

Last December 12 was a turning point. My charge had gotten sick a few days earlier. Her parents assumed it was a minor bug. The next day they took her to her doctor, who misdiagnosed the inflamed appendix.

I could have intervened, but I was under orders not too.

They awoke early on the morning of the twelfth to find their child on fire and sluggish. They took her to the ER. Early that morning the appendix had ruptured.

I could have prevented it, but I was under orders. I neglected my ward for a short time. My commander predestined a better opportunity for this family.

During surgery the commander’s enemies tried to hurt the child. One provoked the appendix to release more infection into her. At an appointed hour I dispatched him. Another was sent to create an allergic reaction. I killed him as he passed through the wall.

A few rooms away her parents prayed in their desperation. It was no sallow bargain, they sought the commander in earnest quiet faith.

The time came for new orders. I began squashing the bacteria spreading through her body. I protected her from furious attacks of the enemy. I was careful to bring about a normal recovery.

Tessa’s life has changed in the year since. The repentance of the parents has remodeled the home in subtle ways. One important feature is they linger over meals, talk about life, and pray together. Tessa is being shaped very differently than she would have been without the spiritual warfare of December 12, 2012.

 

This piece of flash fiction was prepared for The Trifecta Writing Challenge. This week’s prompt is to use the third definition of the word companion

COMPANION (noun)

1

:  one that accompanies another :  comrade, associate; also:  one that keeps company with another

2

obsolete :  rascal

3

a :  one that is closely connected with something similar

b :  one employed to live with and serve another

 

 

 

The Reunion

Calvin Hopper packed and headed to Oakland for his annual reunion. He loved the reunion. He hated going back to the old neighborhood.

On the flight he prepared his words. It was his turn to speak again. He wondered if any other fifth and sixth grade boys Sunday school classes had annual reunions. But then again his class was far from normal.

They all stayed at the same hotel, had an informal dinner together that night, and went to church together the next morning. Calvin felt apprehensive. Two brothers and a sister had died on these streets. His mother’s funeral had been in this church.

He and the nine men with him were the only ones he knew who made it out. There were four entrepreneurs, one accountant, a cop, a lawyer, a stock broker, a soldier and Calvin was in marketing. All but one was married with children, and none were divorced.

At church, the old ladies cried to see them again. The pastor gushed at their success and gladly accepted their gifts. Calvin gave a brief testimony, but he saved his notes for later. After the service, the ten survivors went to the graveyard. They gathered around the grave of Brayton Johnston to remember the man who had given them the courage and hope to survive.

Calvin took out his notes, and for the next twenty minutes he described to Brayton what he had done with his life. He thanked the man for the sacrifices that had given them all the opportunity to escape the gangs and violence. Finally, with tears running down his face he recounted how the gang had taken Brayton’s message as an offence.

He finished by quoting John 15:13. “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.”

302 words. Prepared for the Trifecta Writing Challenge. Follow the link if you would like to participate. The prompt this time was the third definition of the word ‘remember.’

Friday Fictioneers: The Messenger

al_forbes

Copyright-Al Forbes

The facade of the government building was crumbling. The new President called it a disgrace. Too bad he was yet unfamiliar with intrigue.

He suggested an artist to do the work. Security failed to mention their concerns; They didn’t want to start off on the wrong foot.

New parapets were put in place. And then the decorative headpiece was added.

If you could get closer you would see one nostril conceals a camera watching everyone come and go. The support holding it up connects to the presidential office with a listening device. And one pupil expertly hides a transmitter.

Yes, Mercury is still a messenger.

WELCOME TO FRIDAY FICTIONEERS. 

As always, writers are encouraged to be as innovative as possible with the prompt and 100 word constraints. 

Henry David Thoreau said it best.

“It’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see.”

THE CHALLENGE:  Write a one hundred word story that has a beginning, middle and end. (No one will be ostracized for going a few words over the count.)

THE KEY:  Make every word count.

This is one of the writing challenges I have enjoyed of the past couple of months. If you are interested in joining in, follow the link above and have fun.

Trifecta 102: Routine Patrol

Trifecta Writing Challenge is one of the weekly flash fiction contests I have enjoyed. This week’s prompt word is a fun one. The word has to be used exactly as it is listed below and under the third definition, which is bolded for you. The story has to be between 33 and 333 words. Mine is 323.

CRAFT (noun)

:  skill in planning, making, or executing :  dexterity

a :  an occupation or trade requiring manual dexterity or artistic skill <the carpenter’s craft> <the craft of writing plays> <crafts such as pottery, carpentry, and sewing>

b plural :  articles made by craftspeople <a store selling crafts> <a crafts fair>
3 :  skill in deceiving to gain an end <used craft and guile to close the deal>

I must have SciFi on the brain again. Here is a story I thought of last night while I should have been sleeping.

 

Routine Patrol

Heath serves as an Enforcement Officer for the Border Patrol of the Human Colonial Republic. It’s a lonely existence. His powerful ship is comfortable but very claustrophobic. He’s gotten twitchy from being far out, too long.

His current assignment is to check an uninhabited galaxy, Mysis 9, three days farther out at full warp. Two planets, one outside an asteroid ring and the other inside. Protocol says to start with the farthest from the star working toward center.

While scanning the outer planet his listening device detected a distant percussion. It might be a malfunction. It might be two asteroids bumping into each other. It might also be poachers. He touched his eye to stop a nervous tic.

Approaching the belt, an alarm went off. The debris in the belt was moving in an unnatural way. Another alarm. A small ship had blasted an asteroid with a mining laser. He saw it tractor out the minerals liberated in the explosion. His cockpit was climate controlled; but he was sweating.

Calling for help would alert the poachers to his presence. He was authorized to use deadly force; this was the preferred response. He would do his duty; but his mouth was dry.

He slipped into the asteroid belt. He could approach relatively close and have a better shot by hiding. In the last little bit he clamped hold of a rock and waited for it to spin revealing his quarry while hiding him. He found the craft of his plan reassuring.

Then a green glow passed through the asteroid he was clamped to and through his ship. This scan revealed the mineral content of the rock. Before his mind fully processed what was happening, his ship and the asteroid were shattered by the poacher’s mining laser. His cockpit automatically formed an escape pod, but pods are defenseless.

He felt the tractor grab hold and pull him toward the poacher’s vessel. Heath began trembling violently.

 

The Fishpond

Friday Fictioneers is one of several weekly flash fiction writing challenges that I sometimes participate in.  If you wish you can follow the link to see you to enter as well. Below is a picture used as the prompt for this weeks challenge

koi

Copyright–Douglas M. Macilroy

 

Rick loved being a leader, but he hated politics.

He walked to the courtyard of the state congressional offices and stared down into the fish pond.

A lobbyist approached, “Senator Tyler can I have a few minutes of your time?”

“Sure, just make an appointment with my secretary.”

The man grumbled an apology and left.

Rick sprinkled breadcrumbs into the pond; he pitied the fish fighting for their share.

Only took a few minutes for the majority leader to find him, “Rick, the oil lobby is a crucial part of our reelection strategy.”

Rick pitied the politician’s fighting for crumbs in their fishpond.

Pieces

Pieces

copyright – Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

Pieces

 

A motherboard, a power supply, and a piano keyboard; inspect it all piece by piece. Put it all back together, and it still doesn’t work.

Katie spoke. “We don’t have the rent money.”

Jason felt like a failure. He couldn’t fix it.

“I’ll talk to the landlord, maybe wear my waitress uniform.”

Again the pieces are separated. Each one worked apart, but failed when put together.

“I love you. But I am just so sick of this.”

He wanted it to work, but wishes hadn’t fixed anything. What could he say?

Katie went to the bedroom. He heard her sobbing.

 

Friday Fictioneers is a website and weekly writing challenge that allows people to write short pieces based on some kind of a prompt. This weeks prompt is the picture above. These pieces are linked together and all the writers get to know each other and offer positive feedback. This particular one is not a contest, it’s more like a community. If interested follow the link and read the details.

Lies

It was a necessary illusion.

No one knew him. No one understood the constant heartbreak, the sorrow or loss he constantly absorbed. He comforted himself with a convenient lie—he lived a life of sacrifice for the good of others.

Yet at times this solace fell unspeakably empty. He was lonely. He had never known a friend. He had never felt loved. Two more convenient lies. He had friends as a child. His parents had loved him. But remembering only made his life now more painful. He would have been better off if he had never known humanity. He had no hope of ever being loved again, no expectation of friendship. That at least was the truth.

He hated when it was time to take the young. He detested himself when his victim was an attractive woman. He hated himself most when he destroyed youth or beauty. But he had to, such was his life of sacrifice. It was his role to strike fear into the heart of civilized society.

Rarely a day went by he did not kill. He studied himself in the mirror. He had been crying again. His ribs were beginning to show from lack of eating. He counted 4 scars across his chest, from times he had foolishly given his victims opportunity to strike back. His injuries were never treated.

He turned away from his own image, loathing it. He hardened his mind. Steeled his thoughts. He pulled on the black shirt. Standing he pulled on the mask. He picked up a large axe. Today he would carry out the king’s edict against a common thief. He turned back to the mirror. Now the image he saw was the dreaded executioner. The image was of a phantom. It bore no resemblance to the man inside.

It was a necessary illusion.

 

This post is in response to today’s Trifecta, Week 100 Challenge. You might like to go over there and take a look. Maybe even add something of your own.

PHANTOM (noun)

1   a :  something apparent to sense but with no substantial existence :  APPARITION
b :  something elusive or visionary
c :  an object of continual dread or abhorrence <the phantom of disease and want>
2 :  something existing in appearance only
3 :  a representation of something abstract, ideal, or incorporeal <she was a phantom of delight — William Wordsworth>

Remember:

  • Your response must be between 33 and 333 words.
  • You must use the 3rd definition of the given word in your post.
  • The word itself needs to be included in your response.
  • You may not use a variation of the word; it needs to be exactly as stated above.
  • Only one entry per writer.
  • If your post doesn’t meet our requirements, please leave your link in the comments section, not in the linkz.
  • Trifecta is open to everyone. Please join us.