Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Euthanasia

Adding another short story to the ones available to read free on my website, and like Honor Thy Mother, I decided to share it here as well. It's called "Euthanasia" and I wrote it about four years ago for a contest.
“Euthanasia,” Grampa answered without bothering to move his magazine.
“No, Grampa, really. What do you want? Every year Mom gets you the stupidest things, because she doesn’t know what you want. Why don’t you just tell her, or tell me?”
“I told you. I got everything I need. Now I want euthanasia.”
“Well, you’re not going to get it.”
“We’ll see about that.”
“I gotta do my homework.”
I went to my bedroom and straight to my desk, grabbed my book report notes, and sat on a silver brocade cushion near the window. It was hard to concentrate.
I looked up. My collection of samurai figures stood in the bookcase to my right, with my sushi poster on the wall above them. Over my bed hung the painting of a Hokkaido fishing scene, and on the opposite wall was the poster of Mount Fuji.

I turned to my notes again, and forced myself to read them. It was so hard to concentrate.
When Mom got home, I snagged her in the kitchen. “I’m really worried about Grampa,” I said. “I asked him what he wanted for his birthday, and you know what he said?”
Mom picked up Allie and scratched the top of her head, between her ears. “Well, what?”
“He said all he wanted was euthanasia.”
“I wouldn’t worry too much about Grampa, Honey.” Allie began to purr loudly, pushing her head into Mom’s hand.
“Mom, he’s suicidal!”
She sighed. “I’ll have a talk with him.”
I went back to my book report. It still wasn’t easy, but with the help of frequent breaks to contemplate the strong and peaceful Fuji-san, I was able to get it done.
Putting the completed homework in my backpack, I realized I was hungry and decided to see if I could hurry supper along. 
On my way to the kitchen, I heard Mom’s voice, sounding exasperated. “All I’m saying is, you shouldn’t scare him like that. He thinks you want to be euthanized!”
“I know,” Grampa’s voice answered.
“Oh, come on! It isn’t funny.” 
As much as I didn’t want to pass up the opportunity to hear what they said about me when they thought I wasn’t listening, I felt a little guilty. Or maybe I just didn’t want to get caught. I took a deep breath and walked into the room, trying to look casual.
Mom looked up very quickly. “Oh, good, it’s you. I made a doctor’s appointment for you Monday. You need some shots.”
“Mom, I’ve got all my shots.”
Allie jumped on the table and Mom pushed her off. She looked at the little side table, against the wall, where Grampa had set his organizer, and leaped. Apparently she had expected the little table to be empty. She clawed at the organizer for a second or two, then fell, pulling it down with her. Allie landed on her feet and immediately ran off to recover her dignity. The organizer tipped upside-down before it fell, though, and whatever loose papers Grampa had tucked in there were now strewn on the floor. Since I was closest, I squatted to gather them. 
“I’ll get it!” said Grampa, rushing over. Then I saw why. Lying on the floor in front of me was a beautiful, glossy picture of Fuji, and splashed across it was the headline, “See Japan!” I thought I saw my own name somewhere nearby, and looked to find it. It was an airline boarding pass. The ticket was there, too, and the little envelope to put them in. “JFK to NRT,” it said, New York to Tokyo. In my name.
Grampa shrugged. “You’re the youth,” he said, “and that’s Asia. Youth in Asia.”




Thanks to The Third Sunday Blog Carnival for including this story in your December 16, 2012 edition.

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