Jeans zipped up, belt secured. Jacket on, grab the car keys. Oliver was in a huge rush. As he ran towards his car, he called his brother, Ethan. "Hey, hey, Ethan!" he shouted into the microphone, panting from exhaustion.
"Hey Oliver, you sound stressed. Everything all right?" Ethan inquired.
"No, no, man, it's not. It's not all right! Mom, Ethan, she's- I don't know. She fainted, I'm waiting for the ambulance... Oh God Ethan, you gotta get home right now, I don't know what to do, it's scaring me to death. You gotta come home and help me, man!"
"What?! Oh, no, no, I can't, Oliver."
"What?! What do you mean, you can't?! Mom's dying, Ethan. Mom is dying and I don't know what to do here, dude!" Oliver desperately screamed.
"I- I'm on the plane. The fight got bumped up to a few hours earlier because there's supposed to be a wicked storm tonight", Ethan explained.
"Do airlines even do that?! What am I supposed to do here?! It's been ten minutes, Ethan. Ten minutes. What if she dies? What if she dies, man?!" Oliver screeched, putting all of his emotion into it.
"Oliver, God, I'm so sorry, bro. I am. But I'm on the plane, six miles up in the air. I'm not going to get home in time..."
Outraged, Oliver hung up and began to furiously mumble to himself. "He knows it was a trick. He knows! He's gonna get to England in eight hours; he's going to meet that witch, sacrifice my soul to extend his own life, and then go back to doing his stupid businessman crap in NYC, whatever that is!"
All the while, Oliver paced around the room, a look of pure hatred dominating his facial features. "I can't do anything to stop it..." Oliver's emotion morphed to one of self-pity and depression. He sat down on his bed and began to weep. "I can't do anything. I can't afford a flight; and even if I could, there's no way I'd get there in time to stop the negotiation. I'm utterly powerless. The only thing I can do is accept my fate. This is just the worst. I never thought Ethan would turn on me. Never. He was always the pacifist, always the friend-maker... The quickening of mortality... really changes people, doesn't it?"
Oliver's father came home the following morning. Saddened by Ryan's death, he stayed in his bedroom for most of the time and only came out for meals. Like his father, Oliver was also bedridden, thinking only of the little time he had left due to Ethan's proposed deal with the witch. He had heard of his brother's ulterior motives through his mother, who had heard it when the witch left a voicemail for Ethan on her answering machine instead of Ethan's cell phone (witches have to modernize too). By the sounds of that voicemail, the witch was pretty much ready to close the deal. The trip to England was to provide visual confirmation and to set up "the final details" of the plan.
A gun, specifically a small handgun, was placed against Oliver's temple by his own hand. "Like I'm just going to let him use my life as a bargaining chip", he chuckled, "If I die now, the witch will have to put off the deal... and Ethan will only get my remaining 31 years instead of the full lifespan the witch is promising him. Try to screw me over, will you, brother? You're in for a big surprise."
Several moments passed, with no progress. Tears began to stream down Oliver's face. "I can't do it. I'm too weak. I'm too scared to take my own life..."
"Mom? This is Oliver... do me a favour..?"