A fellow blogger and writer recently offered this challenge – come up with an idea, story, poem etc to achieve this – Make me sympathise with a man who killed his own brother.

Here is my effort…

The Doctor

By Carl Baumann

The doctor checked the vials of the three containers to ensure there were no air bubbles inside them. “Heaven forbid he should die of a heart attack!” the physician thought.

‘He’ was strapped securely to the padded table behind the doctor. Beads of sweat dotted his forehead and his eyes didn’t blink as the priest read the last rites to him. The prisoner was staring at the ceiling above him, perhaps wondering whether he would float to paradise or descend through the table and floor on his way somewhere else.

The doctor had worked hard to get where he was. Although the youngest son of a pack of inbred hooligans who lived lives of violence and crime, he took himself to college and medical school in order to become more than he should have been destined to be.

The man behind him had made no such effort and now he was going to pay the ultimate price. A murderer and rapist of whole families, a beast who had violated his victims in every way imaginable both with his body and with home-made ‘tools’. There was no level to which he had not sank. He possessed a sly wit which had kept him out of the hands of his pursuers and allowed him to continue his atrocities even after his identification had started a nation-wide manhunt.

The doctor did feel a little sympathy for him. He had been given few choices in life and had not been granted the strength with which to resist his body’s urges. The doctor had been obliged to treat him for numerous injuries inflicted by his fellow inmates. At those times they had conversed some and thus forged a kind of bond between them that may not have otherwise happened.

It was time. The doctor went over one last time to the table and checked the needles inserted into his veins. As he did so he moved his mouth close and placed his hand on the prisoner’s chest. – ‘Goodbye brother’ he whispered.

As he pressed the button activating the hydraulics to pump the poison into the captive’s veins a single tear slid, unnoticed by the audience, down his cheek.

End

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5 thoughts on “My response to a challenge…

  1. An interesting read, I liked the way you hinted at their relationship halfway through. Now I have got some feedback, I hope I don’t sound critical. I think to truly sympathise with a character you should’ve shown a bit more interaction between them, maybe what had happened before this encounter. Also, the man being killed doesn’t seem to have a heart, he’s hard to relate to. Maybe by suggesting that he was forced into the lifestyle, that he didn’t have a choice? Just my personal opinions, other than that good job!

    Like

    1. Oh I could have done loads more with it, you’re right. I just bashed it out in about ten minutes because I thought you just wanted short ideas/concepts. May revisit it but busy with another short story for a competition on Scribophile and also well into a first novel. This was just something to distract me away from sci-fi and comedy for a minute. Glad you saw something in it!

      Liked by 1 person

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