“Survival of the Chosen, 7”

by Brianna G. Harte

With eyes never willing to hold anger, she seemed to beg. “Please tell me that you weren’t seen. Please.”

Rubbing the back of my neck, I didn’t respond. The right words would not form sentences. “Well . . .”

“Better put the leaves back before they are found. Should they know it was you, all they need is a little evidence. Surely you know that. Haven’t we taught you well?”

“Mom, we can’t just throw it all away,” I reasoned. “If they’re poisoning you, we have to fight back. It’s just not fair.”

Her frail hand reached out and brushed against my cheek. “My son, it is not for us to decide between life and death.”

My shoulders sagged. “So you know. You know that they caused this illness, whatever it is.”

“I knew since they paid me a visit,” she sighed. “Do you remember late Lyda and Norman? Both seemed perfectly healthy until they each were visited by a woman and man dressed in those strange outfits. It was only time before they got to me.”

“Don’t you want to be well, Mom? You have a chance.”

A hand fell upon my own, calming my fury. It was as gentle as a feather and more patient than a sloth. “If they do not already know what you have done, it will only take me living for them to find out.”

My hand rubbed hers, ever so gently. “Please keep holding on, Mom. You’ve been trying so hard already to stay with us. There has to be another way. Please do not submit to death. It should not be theirs to give. We’ll come up with something. None of us want you to leave so early.”

A weak smile came to her face. “You are such a good son. I will hold onto this life. But please, be careful.”

Copyright © 2016 Brianna G. Harte. All rights reserved.

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