Tom narrowed his eyes and cocked his head, listening. The woman, that frail woman before him was nothing, absolutely nothing. Her entire body tensed and the hand holding the phone shook so bad it was hard to hold on to it.
“Tom?” Her sons name was nothing more than a keening whisper, pleading for sanity, for reason. Did she expect mercy? Tom was almost tempted to show mercy to this pitiful creature. It couldn’t be that way though. He had none to give. She saw something in his eyes then, perhaps the truth became clear to her and she knew then that nothing could save her now. But she couldn’t stop. It was too late to stop. She found a scrap of resolve and a smidgeon of strength in her last moments and the grip on the phone hardened for just a moment, displaying through clearly defined muscles and knuckles exactly how thin she had become.
The sickness had done that to her. The pain and the medicine. The constant nausea, the increasing weakness. She was lost and she had accepted that the end of life was just a stone throw away. It didn’t matter to her anymore.
Tom let his eyes wander over her, a cold indifferent stare. He smiled.
‘That’s not the way. Mother.’ His soft and melodic voice could have lulled her into hopeful sympathy but she just shook her head slightly.
The woman who had born him in her body, cared for him until he was forced to care for himself, stared wide-eyed at him. He was mildly curious. She opened her mouth to reply to something the emergency operator had asked but her mouth grew slack and silent. She trembled so much that her grip on the phone loosened. She took one step back. Tom took one step towards her. Did this woman really think it was that easy?
She dropped the phone. She covered her mouth with a numb hand and took another step. Tom’s smile became soft and a slight frown of concern joined it. He really cared for this woman, this soft creature. Why couldn’t she just have left it alone?
‘Mother. Come now. Don’t be silly’ the voice was so gentle, so warm and wonderful. So sinister and cold.
His mother grew perfectly still and seemed to relax, dropping her arms to her sides. A whisper of a smile touched her thin face and when Tom took another step she didn’t move. A barely perceptible flinch testified to her fear but the eyes grew warm and tender. She took one small step towards him and raised a hand, palm up in front of her body. Tom stared at it. He was confused and wondered if this was truly going to be that easy. He would break that pale thin neck, rip off that ridiculous necklace she always wore and then he would be rid of that meddling bitch. His mother. It would be so easy. She must know. He raised an eyebrow and looked into her eyes for a long moment. She nodded.
He stared down at the knife, considering the most painless and least messy way. He dropped the knife and wiped his hands on his pants. He stepped forward to embrace his mother. He enfolded her in his arms and pressed her against him. She moaned softly and warm breath hit his chest. He let his hands stroke her back, slowly, smoothly moving his hands to the back of her neck. The dry thin strands of his mothers greying hair sickened him. He felt the urge to rip it all off before he strangled her. Lock by lock, strand by strand until she was bald as a plucked chicken and screaming in terror. Crying for him to stop when she knew he wouldn’t. He stroked her hair gently , soothingly , smoothing it out on the back of her head, drew stray strands in place behind her ears, her temples, the visible pulse at her throat. He tightened his grip. She gasped. The sting didn’t move him at first. Something had bitten him. He had no time for that now. He interlaced his fingers behind her neck and pressed his thumbs harder.
Then the burning began. An excruciating pain like fire blooming from his side just below the ribs, and out through all of him in an instant. His knees buckled and his hands grew weak and clumsy. He staggered back a step and fell backwards, staring at the fuzzy image above him. The burning, yet numbing sensation increased. He tried to scream but his lips were numb, his tongue paralyzed, his eyes tearing and starting to burn. bial rose in his throat but he was unable to swallow, or turn his head to throw up.
His ability to think slowed down and shortly it was all a dull pleasure mixed with confusion. He didn’t care anymore, about anything. His heart skipped a beat, then another, overwhelmed by the drug. His body convulsed and nerves failed. All critical functions stopped working within a couple of minutes and he was still finally.
Tom died from an overdose of morphine.
The frail woman watched her son for a long while but she denied herself the grief. She would join her son soon enough. She looked at the hypodermic needle she was holding still. She sighed deeply. She had come out here to use it on herself, to end the pain once and for all. She would have to steal another one that’s all there was to it. There was always another day. Perhaps a better day to die.
She looked at her son for the last time. Then she turned her back to the sad remains of the only family she had ever had. With an ache in her diseased bones and broken heart that would hopefully soon be all over, she walked away. She left behind past and future alike.