How Did It Come To This? – Short Story

ButterflyHow could I be so stupid?

No. I won’t think that way. It was’t stupid. It was right and just. A person has to keep their dignity come what may…. Right?

How long have I been here? I remember the pounding rain, the huge drops crashing against the windshield. One moment I was powering down Highway 70; Mozart was blaring; I was going to meet Ginny…. Why? Can’t remember. It seemed important at the time.

Who’s that? Oh, the nurse. Icy. Ms. Professional. Wonder if she’s got a man. Pity the fool. Passion? Naw, no heart there. Never seen such an efficient machine wrapped in flesh and blood. Except for that one time—Never mind.

Forget it.

Who followed Icy in? Katy? God! If only I could open my damn eyes…move…twitch. Anything!


“How is she today?”

“Same. Sorry…. Nothing new.”

“Damn. I was hoping.”


“My sister, Sammy, is coming in today.”

“Oh? Where is she from? Don’t believe I’ve met her.”

“No. She just got word.  Been deep in some Filipino village. Teaching kids or something.”


“Guess. Doesn’t earn a pension, though.”

“Poor thing.”



Poor? Samantha will never bee poor. Not so long as I’m alive. Alive? Oh hell.

They’ll have the life insurance anyway. She’ll have to grow up sometime….


“Mom? Mom!  God, it’s worse than I thought..”


“Shhh, stop now. Crying won’t help. We’ve got to deal with this.”

Oh, Katy, sorry. I didn’t get word…. Then it took so long—”

“Forget it. Nothing you could do anyway. It’s pretty much over.”

“Over? What do you mean?”

The doc says we can keep her on life support for months, years maybe, but her Last Will and Testament says she want’s to be set free.”

“Oh, God.”

“Get ahold of yourself, Sammy. Mom doesn’t want to exist as a corpse, costing—”

“She’s not a corpse!”

“Sure, Honey. Sort of. Think about it, okay? It’s a tough decision. But she’d be the first to insist—”

“No! She’d want to live. She can hang on. Maybe she’ll wake up.”

“Stop dreaming. You’re making this up in your head. This is Mom we’re talking about. Remember when I got pregnant? No quibbles there. She made the hard call without a backward glance.”

“It’s not the same. That was a blob of tissue. We’re talking about Mom.”

“Look at her.  She’s just a bigger blob, now. Face it, Honey.”

“We can’t decide who’s  human and who’s a blob!”

“Grow up, Kid.”


A blob. Am I a blob now? How did it come to this?

At least they’ll have the insurance money. They don’t need me…. Not anymore.

Oh, God.


Novels by A. K. Frailey

Science Fiction

Last of Her Kind

Historical Fiction


Ishtar’s Redemption

Neb the Great

Georgios I—Hidden Heritage

Georgios II—A Chosen People

Melchior—Vengeance Is Mine

Children’s Book

The Adventures of Tally-Ho

Inspirational Non-Fiction

The Road Goes Ever On—A Christian Journey Through The Lord of the Rings

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