American Chimera – 22.4

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The door to Dr. Worthington’s room opened. At the influx of light, Dr. Worthington turned her head and squinted her eyes. “I’m afraid I don’t have any more data you’d want.” Her voice crackled like it hadn’t been used in days, like her breath had been rattling through a dry throat.

The interrogator shuffled up to Dr. Worthington’s bed and sat at the foot of it. She reached out, held the old woman’s crepey, thin hand, and squeezed tight. “I know you can’t give me anything else. You’re 97 years old and falling apart. It’s why I put you at the top of the list for euthanasia, now that my job here is wrapping up.” She grasped at the blankets beneath her. “I’ve done things like this before, but…I feel awful, Dr. Worthington.”

“Ah. If you feel bad, you’re doing something right.”

“What?” the interrogator asked. “You want me to feel bad, forever? You told me to feel bad about what’s happening to Dani, to Stacy. Aren’t you going to tell me how to make that stop? Aren’t you going to help me stop this awful train wreck?”

Dr. Worthington chuckled. “No.” She laid her head back down on the pillow, closed her eyes. “You’re in a hard place. You know what you have to do in order to keep the country and the world safe, but lord help your soul if you don’t feel bad doing it.”

“You’re a despicable old crone, you know that?”

A light smile accompanied Dr. Worthington’s chuckle. “Well, you’re here to make me a miserable dead crone. Now, what did you bring to kill me? Drugs? A gun? Just going to withhold the blood thinners?”

The interrogator stood from the bed. “I’m going to do what’s right, Doctor. Nothing can change that decision.”

“I wasn’t trying to change your mind.”

“Why? Are you afraid of what would happen if you did change my mind?”

“Oh, child,” Dr. Worthington chided, “There’s no use in my being afraid. No value. If I die, it’s not going to harm much of anyone – even my children wouldn’t have lost much, not really. I mean, how many years do I have left? You’re putting more weight and importance on getting my love and approval than you should, is what you’re doing.”

“I hate that I can’t despise you.”


The interrogator took a gun from her pocket. She checked the chamber, checked the safety. “Dr. Smith wouldn’t give me the drugs to make this less painful. I have to start reducing the mouths to feed – I’m sorry, Doctor.”

Dr. Worthington didn’t tremble. “Don’t worry. Just tell whoever I saved that they’re welcome.”


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7 thoughts on “American Chimera – 22.4

    • H.R.R. Gorman says:

      I decided Dr. Worthington was a good emotional choice for offing – she was designed to be likable enough, but she still feels like a better person to get rid of than, say, poor Stacy.

    • H.R.R. Gorman says:

      Eh, the interrogator was supposed to start reducing mouths to feed, and I thought Dr. Worthington was a better choice than Stacy.

      When I write, I do it linearly from start to finish and I don’t know the end beforehand. I had gotten up to that last chapter where Stacy tells her story, and I meant to kill her – but then the interrogator couldn’t do it and went to kill Worthington instead. 🙂

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