I was judge this week for #MotivationMonday and the prompt was An Act of Mercy. Of course I'm not eligible to enter this week, but the prompt really got my mind working, so I decided to write a story anyway. Enjoy! (By the way, you should check out the stories I had to try and pick a winner from. Not an easy task.)
An Act Of Mercy
By Lisa McCourt Hollar
It was an act of mercy. That’s what the doctors had told her when she’d agreed to take her mother off life support. It wasn’t mercy that Tara was after. She hated her mother. The woman had been the cause of all her misery, until she ran away at the age of fifteen. Even then, the woman haunted her. Every time Tara looked in the mirror, she saw her mother’s cold blue eyes staring back at her. And right below, the scar from the cigarette burn she had inflicted on her, when she caught her new husband…the third one in as many years, looking at the young girl.
It wasn’t the only scar her mother had left. Her body was covered with proof that not every woman was fit to be a parent. Tanya and seen Tara as competition, even when she’d been as young as seven. Her jealousy eventually drove her husband away. He had tried to get custody of Tara, but the courts always favored the mother. A few well placed rumors, some pictures the ‘loving’ mother had found in the back of his closet and no judge in the world was going to let him anywhere near his daughter.
Tara leaned over her mother’s bed and looked deep into her eyes. The blue had faded over the years. She had lost her beauty long ago, the effect of alcohol and a life lived too fast and hard. Her last boyfriend had beat her, damaging her spine. Her mother was only alive because of the machines. She would never walk again, never be able to eat solid food. She couldn’t even breathe on her own. Now Tara hoped to get some satisfaction, seeing her mother take the last few breaths of her life, before the doctors disconnected her. She was looking for fear. Instead she saw relief. Her mother knew what was happening and was looking forward to the end of the pain. This really was an act of mercy.
“Stop,” Tara said, reaching out and staying the doctors hand. “I can’t do it.”
“I promise you, she isn’t ever going to recover. We can leave her connected, that is your right as her next of kin, but your mother will be in constant pain. There’s nothing we can give her to ease her suffering.”
“I understand that, but she’s still my mother. If there’s any chance at all…”
The doctor nodded, understanding. He had seen this before. It was hard to let go of a loved one. “Perhaps after some time has passed…”
“Perhaps,” Tara said, feigning a sob as the doctor left the room. When he was gone, Tara leaned back over her mother’s bed and looked into her eyes. “Hell will have to wait mother. I get a go at you first.”
Now Tara saw the fear she was looking for.
Word Count: 476