Appointment with Death

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Mystery and Crime  |  House: Booksie Classic
If you knew when you were going to die, would you accept your fate?

Submitted: December 09, 2015

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Submitted: December 09, 2015

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Appointment with Death

By Joseph Logsdon

From the moment Nixon walked into the saloon, he knew there would be no possibility of leaving alive. Everything around him, the very air itself, seemed to be poisonous. At around midnight, maybe a little earlier, his life would end. Cigarette smoke filled the room, as was usually the case. He needed a drink, and he needed it quick. It would probably be the last drink he would ever have, his final farewell to a rotten existence.

The bartender, Roger Coleman, graciously poured his only friend a bottle of hardcore whiskey. It was poison, the kind of drink that destroyed individuals, families and relationships, a type of poor substitute for pain, heartache, every kind of morbid emotion imaginable. Nixon pressed his head against the counter, almost completely out of his mind.

“I have to say, Nixon, you certainly seem troubled tonight. Can I do anything else for you, possibly call your wife? Go home, get some rest, and maybe when you’re feeling a little better, you can come back tomorrow,” Roger stated, trying his best to maintain an uncontrollable situation.

“I’ll be dead tomorrow, or didn’t you already know that?”

“What do you mean?”

“I’m going to die tonight, undoubtedly in this very room, surrounded by losers and criminals. Wait and see, it’ll be a good show,” Nixon chuckled, clearly out of his mind.

“If this is some kind of joke, I must confess, it isn’t very funny,” Roger panted, his hands shaking.

“That’s the point, it isn’t meant to be funny. I’ve been to many places, seen good and bad things, beautiful and ugly things, and all of them have one thing in common: they eventually come to an end. There will be no tears for a lost soul, let me tell you that fact,” Nixon stated, swallowing his poisonous liquid.

Nixon’s face resembled that of a broken man: pale, destitute, beyond miserable. The tears were a result of his delicate sensibility, a type of loving grace that was honorable, and almost simultaneously, incredibly tragic. The pain, all those rotten emotions, brought him to a breaking point.

“You’ve spoken like this before, I don’t know how many times. You need help, the kind of support that I, even as your friend, as someone who would do anything in the world for you, can’t possibly provide. We’ve known each other for how long, sixteen years? It’s apparent to me, to quite a lot of people, you need to get a grip. Continue on this path, you’ll surely end up dead, with nobody to support you; not one soul will try to help your lost cause. Is that what you want, to be a loser, a coward, a schmuck?”

“Is that what you think I am, a schmuck? I’ve lost the game of life, time and time again, in always the same way. I lose because I’m not a schmuck, I’m a hopeless dreamer, pure and simple. The money I took, I took because at the time, there seemed to be no other way of getting things done. They knew I couldn’t pay it back, that's why they gave it to me to begin with,” Nixon choked.

“Why didn’t you come to me?”

“You? What could you do? All you’re good for, all you’ve ever been good for, is getting people as drunk as humanly possible, so they can forget about their problems, toss them aside without showing the slightest sign of remorse. You couldn’t help anyone; you’re far too weak to be of any use in this world,” Nixon grunted.

Roger remained motionless. His gaze was cold, distant, resembled that of an animal. It was quiet, deathly silent. Nixon stared at Roger, in complete disbelief as the world he knew, the world he had learned to love, crumbled before his very eyes. He sighed, stricken with fear, shame, what could only be called an endless stream of regret.

“I’m not weak, I’m just a little more relaxed,” Roger hissed, pulling a pistol out of his pocket.

“You know, now that I think about it, this really isn’t how I pictured it. I have to say, that of all the people they could’ve picked, from the thousands they had to choose from, I never thought it would be you. Well, that’s how it is, you live and learn,” Nixon sighed, unfazed by the threat of death.

“That’s right, or in this case, you learn and die,” Roger stated, pointing the weapon at Nixon.

“Go ahead, put me out of my misery, do what should’ve been done years ago,” Nixon pleaded.

“It’s funny, isn’t it, Nixon, that you should be like this? You’ve lost everything: your pride, your money, everything that so many people want. The sad thing is, the best part of your life was spent with me, your friend and mentor, your biggest fan and servant. Now, old buddy, it’s time for us to learn that every man, regardless of wealth, charm, luck; regardless of fame, power, importance; regardless of status, appearance, and character, must pay his debt. Take deep breaths, let yourself surrender to me,” Roger chuckled, pulling the trigger.

The End

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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