They call me Dr. Death.
I offer a service, as discreetly and humanely and as painlessly as possible, to shuffle those off this mortal coil who cannot do the shuffling on their own. Those who are broken. Those who are beaten. Those who are so tired but cannot bring themselves fall asleep.
Do no harm, the oath says; but who’s to say that if someone is suffering, really, truly suffering, that the act of putting them out of their misery is doing more harm than good? That ending a life cannot be a benevolent act? An act of healing? An act of righteousness?
I am bound to a chair. There is blood everywhere on the floor beneath me. I’d never have thought a person could bleed so much and still be alive.
“I’m not afraid to die,” I say once more to my captor. The words come out slowly and quietly, choked whispers. I’m gasping for air again and I don’t recognize my own voice. “I’ve seen hundreds of others do it. I’m not afraid…”
“You killed her!” he screams, for what seems like the thousandth time. The bloody straight razor hangs from his hand at his side. He is covered in my blood. My vision is blurring and I can’t see his face anymore. His voice sounds garbled and distorted. “You took her away from me!”
“She wanted to die…” I gasp weakly. “She asked me to do it…”
My vision is fading. This is it. I feel myself slipping away. And then, far off, a pin prick in my arm, again. He’s stabbed another needle into me and is pushing the plunger.
He draws his face close to mine and I see it clearly now. He is grinning wickedly.
“Not yet,” he says. “Not yet.”
They call me Dr. Death. What I’d give now for my own medicine.