Fiction story I forgot about …

Wrote this for my fiction course at the U of U (I sure did get a D out of that course, so I won’t claim I’m great at writing fiction).

**Trigger Warning**  This story is dark and may be a trigger for any person who has had cancer or any person who lost someone to cancer.


The cancer came swiftly, and it took to eating every molecule of my existence with a passion.  “Terminal illness” was eating away at my mind, making me feel like a discarded, turned inside out shirt lying on the floor.

The day of diagnosis was like any other, the car still needed an oil change, people cut me off in traffic and milk and eggs were still on the grocery list.  But I felt it.  I felt deaths presence in the passenger seat, of my gas sipping car, and nobody else seemed alarmed by this visitor.

“How long do I have?” I asked the doctor.

“There really is no way to pinpoint a date, but I’d say no more than six months.”

I nodded my head, as though I just agreed to a Maytag extended Warranty.  I didn’t know any other way to react.

How do I tell her?  Babe, I got cancer, but you’ll be able to pay off the house.  There really is no way to properly bomb the innocent.


I decided on chemotherapy, but it didn’t take long for the rebel forces of blood cells to launch a more precise attack.  Today is the six-month mark and I proved the doctors wrong. HA!  Even in this milestone I can feel the ache in my bones, the absence, and the void of cancer boring holes in my soul.  It won’t be long.


I chose to die at home, I didn’t want to be surrounded by sterile white walls with whitewashed human beings dancing around my death.  I needed her to be there.  Funny thing about death, there is no rehearsal, you just never know if your last act is going to be Grammy Award worthy or a Rotten Tomato hall of famer.


I could feel it, my organs dying.  I felt them sputter and put, needing more oil that would never be provided.  I was in and out of conscience, yet I kept seeing her face.  Sometimes she would be crying, other times she would be smiling.  I couldn’t tell if I was better or if I was worse and her face wasn’t giving me any clues.  Was it Mr. Mustard in the Library with a wrench or I in a hospital bed with cancer?


I had moments of clarity, but those visiting me in my room must have misunderstood.  They spoke as if I were already dead.  Can’t blame them really, I had all the looks of death.  What beautiful cheekbones you have.  Wow, your waist must be a size 23, and your hipbones are bigger than your breasts.

A lot of these strangers (or were they friends?) would use my room to talk about how sad it was she, the love of my life,  was dying of cancer as well and would die alone.  The misty fine fingers of cancer had caressed her body.  We tend to have common interest.

“Who will take care of her?”  the soon-to-be funeral guests asked.

“She’ll probably end up at the hospital,” the soon-to-be pallbearers said.

It was this night I screamed out to her.

“Please, come with me … not alone.  You can’t alone.  Looking after, to feed, hold.  Not alone!”  She just smiled and kissed me saying, “We’ll always be together.”  She never did believe in suicide.


Agitated.  Up was down, sin was good and pain was becoming pleasure.  Sweating, not wanting to go.  I felt a hand slip into mine.  I heard, “are you ready?”  The cold steel touched my temple and her warm lips locked with mine.

She whispered “Forever!”


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