He would describe the feeling as a thousand chainsaws revving their engines in his arms. Then, in his legs. Any time he moved a limb, he told his family the pain was excruciating. He would try sometimes, just to see if it still happened. When he was younger, sometimes it wouldn’t happen and he would be able to do the dishes or wash himself in the bath. In his older age, though, he couldn’t lift his arms more than a centimeter without feeling those chainsaws, sometimes sawing so hard that he felt as if his skin would burst into fire.

The advertisement appeared on the TV he was mindlessly watching. A small pod in a beautiful field, alive with green, red, and white blooming flowers and a striking sun in the distance. The woman sitting in the pod was smiling, but the ad was for her death. The glass pod was an euthanasia device, legal, it said, where someone suffering incredible pain could find rest. He came to attention so quickly that his extremities burned with the movement.

“Mark!” He called to his caretaker. “Mark, come here, please!”

Mark made it just in time to see the name of the company on the TV, and was able to search and tell him more information. “It’s sad for me to search this for you, sir,” Mark said, “but it does appear you are a candidate.”

He had made up his mind as soon as he saw the eyes of the woman in the commercial go dim.


Getting him to the field wasn’t easy, and, despite the massive amounts of medication he was given, his arms and legs reared in pain. He grimaced as he was lifted from stretcher to building to bed, back to stretcher again, and finally into a wheelchair to sit and wait.

The doctor rolled him from the hallway of a shed into the field - the same one from the commercial, it seemed. He smiled for the first time in a long while. The pod was there before him, facing the sun that was now arcing over the horizon. There might be a glare in the glass of the pod, but he didn’t mind, knowing it wouldn’t be long.

He heard trumpets as he was lifted from his chair to the pod, although that couldn’t be real. There was nobody else but him and the doctor and Mark. Seated in the pod, the chainsaws ceased. He hadn’t minded feeling them one last time.

“Goodbye, Mister Ericsson,” the doctor said as Mark waved, wiping tears from his eyes.

“Goodbye to the both of you,” he said, daring one last wave and feeling no pain in his arm.

The capsule shut tight, and the chemicals began to enter. Mark and Mister Ericsson watched in horror as he grabbed at the sides of the capsule, pushing the glass away from him in an apparent attempt to escape, his body heaving.

“Do you see that a lot?” Mark asked.

“Every time,” the doctor said, holding his breath until the man ceased movement.

Comments 0