Means to an end

This is my response to a challenge placed on a friends blog. Read it here. I am not sure I have done the idea complete justice, but I thought that I would have a go anyway.

– –

I certainly was not expecting him to put up such a fight. Why would you struggle against something that he knew was for the best? It just made no sense that, at that last-minute, he seemed to have a desire to cling to life. As his body finally relaxed, and his hands dropped from scratching at my face, I felt myself sag against him. In some kind of twisted way, the stinging from the scratches was almost welcome.

As I removed that pillow I looked down at the face that had been haunting my nightmares. I would never have believed that my own brother would become such a burden. I knew that my mother was going to be completely heartbroken by the news that he was gone, but it would be trebled if she had any idea that I had been the one to take his life. There was no way that she was ever going to find out that I was responsible.


Well, I had acted responsibly because I had seen the effect that he was having on our close-knit family. There had been no way that I could allow his poisonous effect to run into our lives any longer. It was a shame, but there really had been no other way.

Poison would have been better.

I crossed to the drinks cabinet and poured myself a generous portion of scotch. I raised the glass in a gesture of a toast and smiled at my brother’s body. “I think that you owe me one.”

When he had returned here a few months ago it was with news of his diagnosis of Motor Neurone Disease. Admittedly, we had all been sympathetic at the time and told him that we would rally round and support him in his life. However short that may be. We had tried, really tried, but nothing we could do seem to be enough. He was probably just scared of the fact that he was becoming trapped in his own body, but that was no real excuse for him to treat us like something he had found on his shoe.

I suppose that it was inevitable that one day he was going to ask me to help him end his own life. Of course, like a good brother should, I had completely refused at first. Then his poisonous tongue and attitude had started to take its toll on me and my family. Not that he could really speak by the end, but it was always clear what he was trying to say.

Critical. He was always critical.

After weeks of nothing positive from him, I agreed to help him out. It was very difficult to discuss method with him, and so I chose to just surprise him. Well, that is not really true, as I actually acted on my own impulse following his frown caused by me trying to help.

So help I did.

The glass was raised one more time. “Godspeed, little brother.” I walked over and tucked the pillow under his head, and tucked the blankets neatly around him.

Carers would find him the next day and have the horrible task of ringing my mother.

9 thoughts on “Means to an end

  1. A charming tale, my sweet little friend.
    But, to be serious, well told, graphic descriptions, characters well drawn.
    Perhaps you might tell us what the challenge is, or link to the friend’s blog?

    Liked by 1 person

      1. You make me laugh, you are so nice!
        Okay, mea culpa, although the word is not highlighted, at least not for me.
        I missed it completely.
        Maybe others do too.
        I wondered if it was a secret.
        Good luck.

        Liked by 1 person

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