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  Do Not Resuscitate

A dying man tells his great granddaughter that he has signed a Do Not Resuscitate document, giving instructions for medical personal to let him die if he’s determined to be brain dead.

 

He’s invited on a long journey that he thinks is taking place in his subconscious mind as his body is being kept alive against his wishes.

 

What unfolds before him may be an elaborate hallucination caused by the psychedelic effect of the anticholinergic drugs being pumped through his body, or are these strange and cathartic events actually happening?  

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           Excerpt from Chapter Five

After my last class, I went to see Mr. Landers in the music room. One student was in the room; a girl practicing on her flute.

“What else can you play on the piano?” Mr. Landers asked.

“Um…maybe that one.” I nodded toward the girl.

He glanced at her. “Bolero?”

“I think so.”

“All right. Let’s hear it.”

I sat and began to play.

The girl stopped and lowered her flute, smiling at me. Long auburn hair curled below her shoulders. Her brown eyes were deep, with a hint of mystery about them, as if they hid a special secret.

Mr. Landers motioned for her to continue playing.

She positioned the flute to her lips and picked up where she’d left off. Soon, we were synced together.

Mr. Landers dropped into his chair, leaned back, and closed his eyes.

Halfway through the piece, I stopped.

He sat up. “What’s wrong?”

“I have to catch my bus,” I said.

“Where do you live?”

“On Dillon Road. About twelve miles out of town.”

“Do you know any more songs?”

“Just a couple.”

He glanced at the clock. “I’ll drive you home at five. Dolly,” he said, “do you have Sentimental Journey there?”

She flipped through her sheet music. “Yes, sir.”

“Do you know that one?” he asked me.

“Maybe. If Dolly Anna will start it, I’ll try to pick it up.”

She stared at me for a moment, then smiled.

Yes, I know your middle name, Dolly Anna Dubois.

She spread the two sheets out on her music stand and began.

I do remember this one.

I picked up her place in the song.

After a moment, she came to stand beside the piano, still playing her flute.

I began to sing.

At the end, Dolly and I stared at each other.

Two years. She’ll be dead in two years! Suicide. Can I stop her? If I do, will it change the future? Of course it will. Any change I make changes the future for everyone. The blue doctor wants me to prevent global warming. That’ll change the future, big time. Saving one life won’t even be noticed fifty years from now.

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