Dying Wish aka the Man Who Loved Marilyn

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Horror  |  House: Booksie Classic




“Are you out of your fricken mind!” he muttered through clenched teeth. He kept his voice low, keeping the conversation private. His brother’s labored breathing made his own part of the conversation hushed. “That’s probably a felony. No, I’m sure it is. You want me to go to jail? Has your brain turned to mush inside that thick head of yours?”

His brother smiled and, for a brief moment, Cliff could see the man that his brother used to be before the disease had taken a firm hold. The smile was strong, determined, but what it promised, the flesh around it lacked. His brother closed his eyes and Cliff knew that he was conserving his strength, preparing for the next part of the conversation.

When Robbie had called him, begged him to come over, he almost didn’t go. He could hear the labored breaths over the phone and just knew, deep down inside where the fear had taken hold, that when he arrived that his brother would have just died. A part of him almost convinced him that if he stayed away, his brother would live longer but he was able to see through that. It was the fear talking. That and the simple fact that he didn’t want to see his brother looking the way he did, so gaunt and so withered. But he went and let himself into the small apartment where his brother would spend his last days. He had found his brother alone, the hospice aide having just left, and sat next to him loathe to touch him in case his fingers should bruise his yellowed skin; skin so transparent that every vein was bright and bold.

 Robbie had looked up at him when he came into the room with hooded eyes that were both bright and dull with the morphine that the aide had just administered. They seemed to almost glow in the darkened room like twin nightlights set to stave off the dark.

Cliff knew that he had just moments before sleep took his brother and was not surprised when Robbie jumped right into the reason he had been so adamant that he come right over. His voice was weak but steady which just proved the importance of what Robbie had wanted to ask him.

“I know the risks for you, Cliff. I have taken everything into account and I would completely understand if you decide not to be involved. Sammy and Jude are committed to this but it would mean so much if you were to help as well.”

“Sammy and Jude are dumb fucks. I wouldn't trust them to make change for a dollar,” Cliff retorted. He knew that he was already committed to his brother’s final request. He knew that the minute he sat down and saw what little life his brother had left. He knew the minute he looked into his baby brother’s eyes that he would deny him nothing that was in his power to give. Even if it meant risking getting arrested and spending time behind bars. What did he have to lose? He had no family of his own and it had just been he and Robbie ever since their parents had passed away eight years earlier. A car crash had taken them; AIDS was taking his brother. Soon he would be all alone and damned if he wouldn’t do every damned thing his brother was asking of him.

He sighed. “Ok, baby brother. I’m in. Tell me how this all works.  I must admit that I think you are bat-shit crazy but…”

Robbie closed his eyes, a faint smile on his lips. When he again opened them, Cliff was surprised to see strength behind that gaze. “It’s simple, big brother. With Sammy and Jude’s help, I want you to bury me with Marilyn Monroe.”


Submitted: February 13, 2019

© Copyright 2022 Mark W Lowther. All rights reserved.

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