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To The Alps
written by: Matthew Roy Davey
A fly landed on the skin of Tony’s bare arm, ran forward and then stopped, rubbing its legs together. It was iridescent green, the ones that land on dog dirt. Corpse flies. How he’d enjoyed splatting them, ending their buzzing vitality. Doing them a favour, he’d thought, helping them on the karma train. No more crap and corpses.
The fly watched him, smiling.
He’d wanted to come here, had told everyone who’d listen, Andrea, his sons, but now he’d do anything to be somewhere else.
He could hear her, voice low and gentle, somewhere close. No longer nagging, telling him to stop smoking, stop drinking. It’ll give you a stroke, a heart attack. Yes, he’d told her, good! He didn’t want to end up like her grandmother, a gnarled remnant, plagued by pain and trapped in a body that no longer obeyed. He wanted to be like his grandfather, dead at seventy-five. He’d been found lying at attention having set out on a five-mile walk.
Cheerio! Get out while the going was good…
He’d wanted to come here, had formalised it, written a letter saying this was what he wanted, but now it was actually happening he realised what a terrible mistake he’d made.
For six months he’d been trying to tell them, to stop their planning. But nothing worked.
He didn’t want to go through that door, he didn’t want the needle.
The door swung open. A nurse appeared, smiling.
The fly flew. He would be back.