Friday, May 3, 2013


The smooth gloss of health is gone from his hide.

“Feel here?”

My hand mirrors hers.

We palpate a distention, warm beneath our hands.

“We have to put him down.”

The life-bearer talks of death as if it were an obligation.

My tears slip, unbidden and unwanted, like the mass before us.

I am a child again, resisting the first day of school. I do not want this lesson, this task.

“I know you want him forever, but it can’t be.”

I want to throw myself down on the straw, screaming.

“Our responsibility is to add quality, not suffering, to others’ lives.”

My feet scuff the chaff, raising dust. He snorts weakly. I regret my angry footwork.

“This will hurt. Not him. He’ll simply go to sleep. But you are going to hurt. I can’t make that go away.”

My chest already clenches with pain.

“This is the toughest thing I will ever have to teach you. A good mother must bring death. You must be brave enough to end the suffering, even when it hurts you deeply to do so.”

Her face mirrors mine.

Her tears slip, unbidden and unwanted, like the duty before her.


Copyright © 2013 Femme Malheureuse
Words: 200
Originally submitted to fan fic flash fic - Week 14
Photo prompt: origin unknown


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