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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: End (02/13/06)

TITLE: The End of Amy
By Lynda Lee Schab
02/19/06


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When Amy realized her husband was going to kill her, the most horrifying thing about it was the fact that she could do nothing to stop him.

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“Just open your stupid mouth,” Bill said, obviously frustrated.

Amy felt the cold, wet cereal hit her lips and she opened her mouth as far as she could, which was barely enough to get a taste. The cereal oozed onto her chin and Bill harshly scooped it off with the spoon. It was humiliating but she didn’t have a choice.

She was trapped in her own body like an animal. Amy remembered bits and pieces of the accident but had no concept of how long ago it had happened. It took awhile but she finally learned to accept the life she’d been spared. Not that she didn’t constantly pray for a miracle. A miracle was at the top of her list every day.

Amy dreamed of walking again instead of being confined to her wheelchair, slouched over and unable to hold up her head for more than a moment at a time. She longed be normal, to pull her two daughters close, hold them tight and never let them go. Amy knew how difficult it must be for them to see her in that state. Their visits were always filled with emotion, confusion and lots of tears.

She desired her husband more than ever and wished that just once more he would touch his lips to hers. It seemed like forever since he’d kissed her at all, probably repulsed at the thought of getting her slobber on his mouth. Amy remembered when he used to be gentle and loving with her. But lately it seemed to be too much for him. He’d become irritable and detatched.

Everyone thought she was practically brain dead; a vegetable. They talked about her like she wasn’t there. And although she could hear them loud and clear, her brain wouldn’t allow her mouth to tell them. When she tried, what came out were deep, pitiful, moaning sounds that caused them to look away, embarrassed, unsure of how to respond to her cries.

Bill was just dipping the spoon into the cereal again when music started playing from his chest. Startled, Amy’s head jerked involuntarily then fell forward again. Out of the corner of her eye, she saw Bill reach into his shirt pocket and pull out his cell phone. He stood and walked away, his back to her.

“Hey Babe,” he said quietly, yet loud enough for Amy to hear. “Nah. She doesn’t understand anyway.”

Doesn’t understand? I understand every word you’re saying, Bill!

“I’m fine,” he was saying. “Don’t worry about me. The doctor will be here at nine tomorrow morning. The sooner we get this over with, the easier it will be to move on with our lives. The girls and I can’t live in limbo like this forever.”

Get this over with? Easier to move on? What are you talking about?

Bill shot a brief look in her direction. He lowered his voice even more and Amy strained to hear.

“All I can say is thank God for that judge. He was smart enough to see that this is for the best. One shot and it’ll be over. Totally painless - like putting a dog to sleep.”

The shock of his statement was overwhelming. You're going to kill me? Put me “to sleep” so your life will be easier? What about my life?

Everything in her wanted to jump out of her chair and wrap her hands around her husband’s throat. But despite her efforts, her legs and arms remained limp.

There were days she actually longed for death - to be free again in her Savior's arms. But the thought of not being around to see her girls grow up was unimaginable. And to think she was such a burden on her husband that he wanted her dead... Did Bill honestly think he could play God by choosing when to end her life?

So Amy did the only thing she could: she wept. She wept for the man her husband had become. She wept for her girls. She wept for the life she was going to lose.

And her silent cries turned into deep, pitiful moans that echoed through the hospital halls.

She watched, helplessly, as Bill shot her a disgusted look and walked out, leaving Amy alone with the knowledge that tomorrow would be the end of the life she was spared.


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This article has been read 1072 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Crista Darr02/20/06
Excellent piece. I don't think the intro was necessary. The work spoke for itself. Very well done!
Amy Michelle Wiley 02/21/06
The title attracted me (for obvious reasons ;-). I was very pleased to see this story based on Teri Shiavo's life. Though her story, personally, is tragically over, it is good to spread awareness so we can fight to see that it does not happen again. Well done.
Lynda Schultz 02/21/06
My neighbour's son spent 13 months in a coma. His parents looked after him at home because there is no provision for these kinds of situations here. I made soup twice a week for all those months to help them feed him. Your story was very real to me. Well done.
Dara Sorensen02/21/06
Heartwrenching. Such a clear reminder of the Teri Schiavo case.
Linda Watson Owen02/22/06
Your story has stopped me in my tracks this morning. You've so skillfully brought the thoughts and feelings of the seriously disabled into shockingly clear focus. Excellent writing!!
Pat Guy 02/22/06
Wow! What a powerful entry! It grabbed me from beginning to end - I was enthralled. Wow! Good job!
Jan Ackerson 02/22/06
Oh, well done! Should be required reading for medical "ethicists."
Cassie Memmer02/22/06
Excellent! You fed us piece by piece bringing us to the horrible conclusion. I agree that the first line isn't necessary, the thought comes across crystal clear later. Superb writing, had me eating out of your hands, uh... keyboard, I mean.
Shari Armstrong 02/23/06
Heartbreaking, so powerful - wow!
Virginia Gorg02/23/06
How sad that human lives are so disposable for some, yet how glorious that God finds each of us special and wonderful. Thank you for bringing a horrible injustice to light. Powerful, well-done.
Kate Wells02/23/06
I actually still grieve for Teri Schiavo. I remember trying to put on canvas what I was feeling at that time and ending up putting my art away for months. It was too painful. You have captured in words what I could not paint.
Thank you for remembering...
Garnet Miller 02/23/06
I agree about the intro-it's not needed. The story is sufficiently powerful on its own. To be trapped in your body like that-I felt her pain. I really liked this story. Well written!
Anita Neuman02/24/06
Congratulations on this well-crafted and tragic entry. You did a great job conveying the thoughts and emotions of this woman.
Maxx .02/24/06
Very well done. Excellent. I think the intro was very catchy ... the piece could stand without it, to be sure... but I liked it none the less. I thought that the end was just a touch weaker than the beginning (given that strong intro) so it was a little out of balance. Small issue, though. I suspect this will be a winner!
Jeffrey Snell02/25/06
Awesome!!! Now, how come I didn't think of that? Very insightful and, I pray, effective piece.
Julianne Jones02/25/06
You've tackled a difficult subject with sensitivity and insight and shown what is right without being judgemental. Last year I was relieved to be let off jury duty for a euthansia case. At the time local radio stations carried the story and one man spoke about the time his wife who had begged family members to help her die when her illness became too much. They refused, and she received further treatment that enabled her to enjoy life once more. There's always hope. However, as you pointed out, sometimes individuals and their families are stripped of that hope and opportunity. A great entry. Well done.
Sally Hanan02/27/06
Good writing. You've captured the tragedy of "mercy" killings. Where is the mercy? The end could be a little sharper, ie. moans and Bill walks away without a backward glance.
Phyllis Inniss 02/27/06
A very touching story. You carried the reader along with every sentence.
Suzanne R02/27/06
This was REALLY powerful ... both the content and the way it was written.

WELL DONE!