Four By Flash Piece 10: 15 Pills

As I mentioned in this blog entry, I entered a Flash Fiction challenge despite a) Not having written Flash Fiction before, b) not really having time to enter such challenges and c) not actually knowing what Flash Fiction was. We’re now at the end of the first month of the challenge, and at a four piece per week rate, I should be posting the 15th or 16th piece by now,but reality intruded. That means I’m either going to fail the challenge by not getting enough done,or fail by having a bunch of kind of terrible stories cranked out before midnight. The second type of fail seems more noble,so i may well go for that. Here’s the tenth piece. This one clocks in at 318 words, which fits in my stated goal of “300 – 500 words, hopefully closer to the 300 end.”

15 Pills

Fifteen doesn’t seem so many now that I spill them on the table. Fifteen white discs with the letters RT imprinted on them like so many hieroglyphics. The prescription bottle called them Metoclopramide or something like that. To me, they were simply “good night pills.”

I’d lined my stomach with a couple of pieces of dry toast about an hour ago, and had followed that with a little bourbon. I figured it couldn’t hurt to have a buzz going on and I’ve always enjoyed the feeling of a whiskey burn.

The pills were bigger than I thought. Swallowing them all in one go seemed unlikely to work out for me. I divided them into five batches of three. I figured that would leave them as small enough to fit in my fist and easily swallowed in one gulp.

I tested that theory with the first batch of three, and it worked. I had not expected the pills’ taste to be so bitter. I had to physically work at swallowing my retching down. I imagine I can feel my mind floating around my body as I stare at the twelve pills that remain.

Mechanically, I lift and swallow the next three. My head slumps towards the table, my nose almost nestled amongst the nine pills that remain. I swallow another group of three whole and am now over half way to the sweet release of oblivion that I desire.

I can feel consciousness slipping away, but far too soon. I’m not done, not fully and that needs to change. I scoop the last six pills into my mouth, chew and try to swallow. I feel drool forming at the corners of my mouth and see chalk-flecked trails of spittle leak out on to the table in front of me.

I feel myself slipping away for the last time.

Fuck you cancer, I think, I’m leaving on my own terms.

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