Read from the start

“I need to take another test!” Klärchen frowned.

Karl took her hand and gently stroked it: “Don’t worry. It’s about the new medicine.” Klärchen raised her eyebrows.

“They want to see if the medicine is working!” Klärchen nodded.

“The test is tomorrow.” Klärchen nodded.

 “At nine am.” Klärchen nodded.

“I will be back after one hour!” Klärchen said “OK.”

“OK!” Karl smiled again and started to slowly move back towards his chair.

Klärchen stopped him with her hand. “Karl?”


“Why do you scream?”

They both laughed.

“Help!” Help!” It was the next morning, when I heard Klärchen shouting from the bathroom. I dropped the breakfast tray on a chair and rushed through the bathroom door. Klärchen’s eyes were wide of fear. Karl was hanging on her side, his face ash-white, his drained, naked body was shaking. There was shit running down the inside of his legs. His knees gave in and I grabbed him just in time to prevent him smashing into the floor. Slowly I let him slide to the ground and rested his head in Klärchen’s lap. Then I ran into the hallway and called my colleagues for support.

Death has no empathy. He doesn’t wait patiently until soulmates comfort each other and say their “Goodbyes”. Death shoves his way right into the centre of the action and tears your loved one from your arms. Karl died that morning, on the cold tiles of the bathroom, exposed in his nakedness and covered in his own shit. But he died in the arms of his beloved Klärchen.

Later we found out what happened.

A few nights earlier Karl and Klärchen were conspiring to make their time in hospital more joyful. The night nurses heard the full scheme, since they “whispered” loud enough to ensure that even the cheap seats in a theatre would be able to hear them. Which was kind of the point, since the whole conversation was a staged performance “for your pleasure” or rather: For our, the nurses, pleasure.

Karl started the scene:

 “Do you still eat that?”

“No, not really.”

“They really make a lot of effort, don’t they? They even put a flower on the tray.”

“They are always so kind; always trying to make sure we get everything we need.”

“Yes. Extraordinary people. So concerned with us.”

“And everything is so healthy. A very balanced diet.”

 “And so neatly packed up. Each dish is in its own box. All sterile. And biodegradable, of course.”

“Biodegradable…yes… Wait, you mean the packaging? Or the food?”

 “The packaging of course. Nobody can eat this shit.”

“It really tastes like Styrofoam, doesn’t it? This stuff is like a placeholder: 

“This is where your food could be.”

They giggled like teenagers.

Continue reading “Whole” 5/7

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