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She smiled fondly at the past, inviting it closer to clutch desperately at the times when everything seemed forever. Glancing up she saw an old toy horse.  It spoke of years of playful torture at her hands, the strands of hair that made a glorious mane and handsome tail were long gone. Worn patches remained as a lasting testimony to hair that had long ago been loved off.

Here in this sterile place her life was summarised into a few objects. And People. Her eyes fell on her husband, staring down at her. Pictures hung casually from the walls.

That time she'd slipped through a barrier of riot police to snap an award winning shot of carnage.

The day she climbed a foreign mountain in wind and rain because the sky looked better from up high.

I'm scared she confessed this silently, her voice failing her as it so often did now. His smile didn't crease as he pressed a cool hand against her smooth forehead.
'But you're stronger than anyone I know.' He reminded her and kneeling forward, he continued, 'Your quiet belief in angels,' he whispered, 'will bring us together again one day.'

How do you know? Her frown challenged him, How do you know what's true anymore?

He shook his head, eyes glistening, 'I know this much is true.'

She stared at the old toy horse, at the photos and her wedding ring. Three decades of memories flew through the albums in her mind. She placed her hand on his knee, I love you. She didn't need to say the words because he could feel the warmth spreading through him at her touch. But still his throat closed up and his heart contracted.

She nodded at him.  It was time.

'Let's get this over with.' He murmured and closed his eyes as a smile broke her face.

So we can laugh about it later.

He took the pillow and clasped her hands together tightly as he gently covered her face. He knelt on the bed to steady himself.  She didn't move and he trembled before firmly pushing down.

The struggling began, she thrashed and kicked viciously. The weakness that had left her body when cancer moved in was suddenly gone and he faltered, imagining for one second that she was better. Her words from months before struck him roughly.

Keep going. No matter what I do. Keep going. I want to go to a better place.

He kept going, tears streaming down his face and soaking the pillow he was using to kill his wife. Sobs racked his body but he didn't care if somebody heard because what else was there for him now?

It was a while before he realised she had stilled. He slowly pushed the pillow away from her, almost frightened at what he would see. But he didn't need to be, buried in the lines that chemotherapy and suffering had etched on her face, was relief and freedom.

He smoothed a hand gently over her head, stroking softly over the places where, long ago, her hair had been loved off.
A License To Kill

I've thought about this alot lately, in what situations (if any) would it be okay to end a human beings suffering? Every week this issue creeps closer and closer to my heart. Not because I want to request or administer this option to end life, but because I can see a situation where one day, somebody will have to choose.

Can you love someone enough to do this? Could you end somebodys life because it would be the only thing that can set them free from pain. Because it would be the only thing to make them happy.

Could you end their life for them? Or would you refuse, for yourself.

This was inspired by, as I said before, a situation which is getting closer and closer to me. It's just thoughts, feelings...But where's the line? Where do we cross it? Do we cross it? Boundaries are something that many people don't consider important enough to invade their thoughts everyday. What do you think?
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:iconhonda-vfr:
it seems that my comments always end up as a critique.

i was touched and yes, tears welled in my eyes when i finished the story. it is a beautiful yet heart wrenching story. i read it a couple of times a few days apart hoping it wasn't my mood that was effecting the response, but it wasn't.

i'm still conflicted with many thoughts about the questions raised in this story. the social questions of right to die, the feelings of the wife and husband and the consequences of the husbands actions.

i liked the use of symbolism of the toy's hair and the wife's hair loss due to the cancer treatments. the temporal references to the husband and wife's lifelong love added humanity to the story. it wasn't a cold report of the facts.

i can't seem to bring my thoughts on the questions raised by this story into coherence in my mind, but being aware of the question is the first step in understanding the question. in the end, i don't think there any answers, only people. this is what this story was about.

besides, it is hard to be remote and objective when you are weeping.

i give this story the highest of marks.
What do you think?
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:iconkassi-kamira:
Kassi-Kamira Featured By Owner May 14, 2010  Hobbyist Writer
Featured!:boing:
[link]
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:iconkreepingspawn:
KreepingSpawn Featured By Owner Apr 28, 2010  Professional Digital Artist
their absolute devotion comes through loud and clear. the last line is priceless!
beautiful work.
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:iconkaz-d:
Kaz-D Featured By Owner May 2, 2010  Hobbyist Photographer
Thank you very much :hug:
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:iconleftxunbroken:
leftxunbroken Featured By Owner Feb 22, 2010
Definitely not a good topic of conversation. Definitely controversial. While I feel it is a person's right to die, however they choose, it's an inner conflict that keeps me from wanting to allow it. I know, conflicting sentence, no? You never know when that huge break through will come out. You never know who else could love you enough to fight for you to live.
Being a survivor suicide, I don't think people know what they're doing and who they'll hurt when they decide to end it all in a moment.
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:iconkaz-d:
Kaz-D Featured By Owner Feb 26, 2010  Hobbyist Photographer
It is very controversial isn't it!
Thank you for the comment, it's very interesting to read your view :)
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:iconaznarei:
Aznarei Featured By Owner Feb 22, 2010
I loved this...
So thought-provoking and controversial to each person his own...
It's like, is it [murder] or [mercy] to kill someone you love that much, not for yourself, but for the happiness of your love?

Reminds me of a book...Mercy, by Jodi Picoult...
A man kills his wife with a pillow to end her suffering from some disease, and though he really didn't want to, he did, because that's what she requested and what she wanted most in the world at that point. He didn't want to to suffer, and took mercy and killed her...then he promptly drives to the police station and announces that he killed his wife.

Good job, it's really really good! Keep it up!
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:iconkaz-d:
Kaz-D Featured By Owner Feb 24, 2010  Hobbyist Photographer
I've never heard of that book and I thought I had all of Jodi Picoults! :faint: I'm reading 'The Pact' right now, which kinda touches on this sort of thing. I have read it before, but can't remember how it ends :shrug: I'm going to find Mercy definitely :D I tried a quick search but could only come up with a Spanish version. :o

Thank you so much for the comment!
:hug:
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:iconaznarei:
Aznarei Featured By Owner Feb 27, 2010
The Pact...is that the one about the suicide pact? I haven't read it yet, but I want to...^^

Picoult has her website at jodipicoult.com, you might want to check there. =]

I personally LOVE Handle With Care, which is her newest one...it's about a 7-year-old girl, Willow, who has had 52(54?) broken bones, because she has OI, osteogenesis imperfecta...it's a disease that makes her bones so fragile that even a sneeze could break one. It's really expensive to care for a child with OI, so, in order to give Willow a better life, her mother files a lawsuit. As she later finds out, the only way to benefit from a lawsuit is to complain that she never had a choice, which meant announcing to the world that she wished that Willow was never born, when the truth is that she is sacrificing everything so that Willow can live a better life...
Definitely a good book!
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:iconkaz-d:
Kaz-D Featured By Owner Feb 27, 2010  Hobbyist Photographer
Oh I read Handle With Care! :D Sorry...after you wrote all that out :P I also loved the one before, Change of heart :nod: that was very good. Can't wait for the next, think it's out in April maybe.

Yes that's the Pact, the double suicide thing. Very good :nod: Have you seen My Sisters Keeper?
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:iconaznarei:
Aznarei Featured By Owner Mar 1, 2010
Ehh....s'okay. :D I still haven't gotten over obsessing about it...xP

The next one is...House Rules? I think...

Yah, I did...the beginning was cool, how they mimicked her change of POV...and the line: "This is my sister, Kate. *pause* She's dying."

Though, I really really really didn't like how they changed the ending. I mean, Picoult's books are meant to have you think and rethink your beliefs and stuff...but I think many people could've guessed the ending the movie stuck on...
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:icona-storyteller:
A-Storyteller Featured By Owner Feb 22, 2010
Wow, I loved it. Definitely a thought-provoking subject. This is the kind of stuff that keeps me up at night.

(I have one issue, that in the line: ...tears streaming down his face and soaking the pillow he was using to kill his wife. "He was using to kill his wife" isn't really necessary, and it felt awkward to me. I feel like "the pillow" is just fine. but that's me :) )


But other than that, beautiful. It actually made me tear up a bit.
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:iconkaz-d:
Kaz-D Featured By Owner Feb 22, 2010  Hobbyist Photographer
Yea I know what you mean about that bit! I forgot to take it out actually. I thought it was a bit too obvious, but also a bit too harsh...like I'd been keeping the reality out of the piece of writing, not completely...but by avoiding using the words murder, kill and all that. To drag it in was a bit of an odd bump in the flow. Thanks so much for the comment :)
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:icona-storyteller:
A-Storyteller Featured By Owner Feb 23, 2010
No problem, I'd want someone to do the same for a piece of mine. ^^
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:icondani-the-naiad:
Dani-the-Naiad Featured By Owner Feb 22, 2010  Hobbyist Writer
i had the feeling someone was dying... or that perhaps one of them was dead already or something... but it surprises me completely when he puts the pillow on her like that. it was a shock! i think you were going for the element of surprise there, and you succeeded with me! it's well written - you can feel their love for each other - the end is so shocking, but like you say in your comments, it's a controversial subject that many people don't ever even want to think about, but if they had to... well, i try not to think about it.
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:iconkaz-d:
Kaz-D Featured By Owner Feb 26, 2010  Hobbyist Photographer
:nod: Thank you so much for the comment. I thought that perhaps the pillow bit was a bit shocking, but then again it was my aim to shock a bit! :P
Thank you :hug: I'm glad you found it interesting :)
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:icondani-the-naiad:
Dani-the-Naiad Featured By Owner Feb 26, 2010  Hobbyist Writer
:D
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:icon3wyl:
3wyl Featured By Owner Feb 22, 2010  Hobbyist General Artist
I think you’ve portrayed the subject matter/concept very well. Although it does feel a bit too choppy and dramatic in some places, I feel you’ve captured the emotion and thoughts, overall.

You really have to read this twice for the whole impact, though. Reading it the first time… we come to our own conclusions, and when we come to the end, it suddenly dawns on us what has happened because you provide a titbit of information as each bit passes. In that sense, you’ve engaged us.

I think it’s a person’s choice to end their life. If they’ve decided to end it, they should have the choice to.

As for suffering… no one really knows, unless you are that person. It’s not the same just being the onlooker, and thus… I don’t think we’ll ever understand, not unless we were in that situation ourselves.

I don’t think it’s right that another person chooses, but if the person who is suffering chooses, then I feel it’s ok.

I think… if you are thinking of ending the life of a person you love… that might even be a bigger struggle than the person suffering.

I don’t think I’ll go through with it, personally, because I just don’t have it in me to end… to physically and literally end someone’s life. Whichever way you look at it, you are a murderer.

Does the reason justify the action?

I guess it feels that... one would refuse for themselves (selfish, perhaps?), but… what that person is asking of you is such a massive thing, it questions beliefs, morals, and everything else in between.

As to where, and do we cross it, that’s up to you. It’s everyone’s own, single path to take.

You’ve got to remember that you’ll be bearing the consequences. It’ll stay with you until you die, hanging over your conscience…
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:iconkaz-d:
Kaz-D Featured By Owner Feb 26, 2010  Hobbyist Photographer
Thank you firstly for such a fantastic comment. You really got my mind working with this one, prompting even deeper thoughts than the ones I had already come up with so thank you for that.

It is a really tough issue, there are plenty of reasons in support of such an act, and plenty of reasons in disagreement. Interestingly enough I read the news yesterday that a clarification of the law had been made to make it a bit easier for families put into this situation. Don't know if you heard about it, but basically they are making it a bit easier for people to 'not' get prosecuted if they go with a family member to switzerland or another country that has clinics, and witnesses them taking their life. Of course they say they'll take each case into careful consideration...however the wool can be pulled over the eyes of people with just about any issue/happening/thing going on in this world, so no doubt it would happen here.
:shrug:
I don't really know where I stand. Part of me feels strongly for getting justice and support for people who might be abused by this 'act' and part of me wants to see suffering end.

But does the reason justify the action...what a question. There's no write or wrong answer...but maybe it doesn't.

Whatever happens, if somebody requests a family member to help them die, that relationship is going to be changed for the living person for evermore :nod: they have to deal with it like you say.
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:icon3wyl:
3wyl Featured By Owner Feb 26, 2010  Hobbyist General Artist
:hug:

Ah yes, indeed! I heard about that on the radio.

That’s true. :nod:

There’s always abuse, though… whenever there is something like this. =/

Oh yes, definitely. I think… it’s even more significant if they are family.
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:iconkamal-q:
Kamal-Q Featured By Owner Feb 22, 2010  Hobbyist Photographer
For a moment I thought that maybe this was about divorce (and maybe one could read it as a metaphor for it)...its incredibly well written - and I love how the scene plays out -

But no - I don't think anyone has the right to end a life. Imagine the psychological trauma and pain the person killing a loved one would feel - and how long that would last...

Though I do think people have the right to refuse treatment. There was a woman in Maryland (I think) that found out she had cancer - and rather than undergoing treatment (which as far as I know causes a lot of pain and much "loved off hair") she went and lived her life and died with a smile on her face, I think she was like 60-70

What are your thoughts on the questions you've asked ? - sadly no jokes :( - its all your fault :nod: (and that nod ought not be smiling either)
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:iconkaz-d:
Kaz-D Featured By Owner Feb 22, 2010  Hobbyist Photographer
It could be a metaphor for divorce...a slightly sinister one perhaps. I understand what you mean though.

I think that if there wasn't the guilt/legalities and so on for the person ending the life, then yes, I think it's okay to end the life of someone who is suffering so badly, death is a better option. That's just my opinion, I'm not saying it's right or wrong. In my line of work, and in the past, I've seen people slowly but surely loose their dignity first, then their memories, then their bodily functions...and so on. I think if they had the choice, they'd rather be gone. But then again, that's me speaking for them. I know that if I was causing somebody I loved, more burden and pain by being alive, and if I was in a condition I would never get better from...I'd want to have it all ended for me. Not necessarily by a loved one...there are other ways in other countries.

I think though, it's hard to define when the end of a life is there. Like the woman you mentioned..she declined treatment, she lived for a long time and so on...how can we tell that lying in that bed in pain and with no hope, is the end? It's a tough one...then it's open to abuse aswell. You know relatives persuading confused loved ones that they want to die...inheritance...:no:
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:iconkamal-q:
Kamal-Q Featured By Owner Feb 22, 2010  Hobbyist Photographer
You raise an issue that is worth discussing...and it has interesting implications about our society and how much/why we avoid pain and suffering (part of human existence)

Personally I can't imagine myself killing a person I love - or letting them think that their existence is a burden on me that I don't want to bear (what kind of love would that be?). And I think its true that most people in great pain can enter deep states of depression, so can their decisions be considered an actual execution of a choice or is it more an emotional reaction ?

You're probably more knowledgeable on the topic then most of the folks on dA cause of your work so your insights are probably more worth while than most
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:iconkaz-d:
Kaz-D Featured By Owner Feb 24, 2010  Hobbyist Photographer
:nod:
I couldn't imagine it either.
I'm not more knowledgeable, but seeing situations like it make both sides of the argument very feasible.
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:iconkamal-q:
Kamal-Q Featured By Owner Feb 24, 2010  Hobbyist Photographer
:nod:
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:icongarnetkate:
GarnetKate Featured By Owner Feb 22, 2010   Photographer
I dont often read lit here on dA, but I really like your writing. This is so well written too, and gives us all a lot to think about.
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:iconkaz-d:
Kaz-D Featured By Owner Feb 26, 2010  Hobbyist Photographer
Thank you :) I appreciate you reading it :)
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:iconflyhigh1969:
Flyhigh1969 Featured By Owner Feb 22, 2010
Beautifuly written, sad and terrifying at the same time....how hard it must be to actualy take the life of someone you care about.
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:iconkaz-d:
Kaz-D Featured By Owner Feb 26, 2010  Hobbyist Photographer
Thank you. It is terrifying :nod:
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:icon33m:
33M Featured By Owner Feb 22, 2010
very interesting topic and one that might generate quite a few discussions...

M
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:iconkaz-d:
Kaz-D Featured By Owner Feb 26, 2010  Hobbyist Photographer
Indeed it has :nod:
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:iconsomnomollior:
somnomollior Featured By Owner Feb 22, 2010   Writer
I have often posed the question the other way: does the sufferer love the other person enough NOT to ask them to do this thing and put themselves in danger of prosecution/ or guilt?
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:iconkaz-d:
Kaz-D Featured By Owner Feb 22, 2010  Hobbyist Photographer
Very intriguing point of view :nod: I sometimes think of that, it's an interesting perspective to come from certainly.
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