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December 27, 2006


You are with someone who is about to die. Get some last words in to them.

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Jim: The Winner

My older brother, so sturdy and proud in youth, now lies small and feeble in the antiseptic hospice bed, an IV relentlessly dripping saline and morphine into his blue, withered veins. I listen to his final battle against the cancer in every ragged breath.

“Andy,” he rasps weakly, beckoning with a bony finger.

I lean close. “I’m here, Simon.”

“One. Last. Thing.” His voice is no more than a quavering whisper.

I hold one gaunt hand while his other reaches toward me. “What is it, Simon?”

A shaking fingertip gently touches my tear-streaked cheek and he painfully gasps, “Tag. You’re…”

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Tanya: Untitled

He lay slumped in the bushes in front of me, his breath slowing, eyes flickering from side to side in a belated panic. One of his lungs was collapsed, and I could hear it wheeze through the ragged gash in his chest.

I could call for the police and an ambulance. I knew CPR. I could keep him alive long enough for the paramedics to reach him.

I grabbed him and laid him flat on the ground. His pulse was slow, but he was alive. Good. I removed his shirt, and slowly began carving the word “pedophile” into his stomach.

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