Friday, 26 November 2010

A useful death

I watched as the team of surgeons set to work.
They worked in virtual silence, quickly, efficiently.
Time was of the essence, time was not their friend, the clock was ticking...

I watched as they stripped the body of its parts....

The eyes would give sight to a nine year old girl, blind from birth.
They would bring light and colour to her life, and enable her to become the leading geneticist destined to discover the cure for cancer.

One of the kidneys would save the life of a fourteen year old boy, who would grow up to become the famous auto-engineer who developed the car engine that would run on tap water.

The other would ensure a post natal mother would still be alive to love her baby when he became a man, the same man who would eventually become the leader of the political party that was instrumental in successfully restructuring the World Health Organisation.

The liver would continue the existence of a nineteen year old girl, who would one day become the physicist to discover the link between time and space, restarting the space programme, and eventually leading to the possibility of deep space travel.

One of the lungs would save the life of a peace activist, who many years later would be the leader of the global network that successfully negotiates the destruction of all nuclear weapons.

The second would enhance the breathing of a twenty four year old man, who would go on to father the child who becomes the botanist famous for creating the fast-growing hybrid tree, enabling the rapid replacement of the rain forests.

The pancreas would extend the life of the meteorologist who in years to come would accidentally discover a cheap, and permanent way to repair the ozone layer.

The heart would save the life of a twenty three year old medical student, destined to make ground-breaking discoveries in the world of organ and limb transplant. The man who would be the great grandfather of the woman responsible for initiating the political programme that would eventually lead the way to world peace.

I watched all this from above the operating table as the link between my body and soul slowly evaporated, and I began to float away....

And I reflected on the irony that I had just signed the organ donor card, and was placing it into my wallet as I stepped off the kerb, when the lorry hit me.

©2010 Stephen. J. Green.


  1. Who has more than one life to give for his country?

    The organ donor, of course.

  2. Hi John, yes, there are many people in this world who would not be alive today if it weren't for those who carry on giving even after their own death.

  3. great story (as ever) the only person responsible for fixing all the worlds problems gets no credit at all

  4. What a deep question: why fate shines well on some, but dimly on others. Good story.

  5. I was half expecting the list of recipients to conclude with a future axe murderer or something but I like the irony ending!

  6. Thanks for reading guys.

    Jason, ain't that the usual case? (Bummer :-D )

    Stephen, wouldn't it be really good if this actually happened? (not the death, which sadly would have to happen, but the benefits that it gave the world.)

    Harry, I almost wrote this from the perpective of a mass murderer. who knows, I may write it again, but from the perpective of a really good person donating his organs to those who would destroy the world.

  7. I like being surprised by short fiction and this surprised me twice, Steve. Being a morbid and cynical bastard I was expecting a quite different ending to that list, and hadn't considered that this might also be the donor witnessing his own dissection.

    The final irony too leaves me thinking... is that a good way to go or bitter?

  8. Hi Rol, I think it is probably a noble end, in as much as he wanted people to benefit after his death, although he never thought it would be so far-reaching.
    On the other hand, the poor sod didn't have much time to appreciate the feel good factor about having signed the card.

  9. This is such a great piece of writing - it should be used as an public awareness piece to get everyone to fill in those donor cards!!

  10. Thank you Rebecca, this is another story that I wrote back when I first started, and I wasn't sure how strong it was, I enjoy more writing the very short sci-fi and horror that I have been producing lately, but I still want to air the few older stories that I have written.

  11. Dear horror writers of the world: horror has no punch unless you can produce it's opposite as well. Good work here, Steve.

  12. Hi Mike, thank you, I hold your observations with the highest regard, I have much to learn.