Flash Fiction: Reasons Why I Believe I Am Dying

1. My food tastes of rubbish. Every day, I am brought the most sumptuous feasts imaginable, the finest Kobe beef, caviar and gold encrusted truffles. All of it is expertly prepared by the best chef in the world, who cooks for me and me only. Each new plate is brought to me on the finest antique china, every one a collector’s piece that by rights probably belongs in a museum. I eat with handcrafted silverware. Each knife, each fork and each spoon has been handmade exclusively for me by artisans in Naples. And every time a new meal is brought to me, it tastes of cigar ash and chalk. I push the plate away in disgust.

2. I barely have the power to leave my four poster. Sometimes, I conjure the energy to raise myself from the Egyptian cotton sheets and fine silk pillows, before staggering across the room to my en-suite. All too often now I have to call Williams to assist me. Loyal Williams. He’s been with me for years and never wavered. Terribly loyal. I ring a bell and there he is, to lift me out of the bed and across the room. My feet barely touch the hand woven carpet. Williams never complains. Just lifts me with no word. I am increasingly weak and stuck in this house. My world is narrowing down to the house, my private quarters and soon, when I am too frail to be pushed in my wheelchair, I will be confined to this room. After that, my bed only. Then only my body. Then…

3. My memory is failing. Williams brings me a pill three times daily. He has told me the doctor has recommended it. I do not remember seeing a doctor. He stays in the room to watch me take it down with water. Good, loyal Williams, always looking out for his master.

4. My priggish son Georgie is hanging around too much. He’s all of a sudden very concerned about my well being. He has returned from whatever far-flung country he was gadding about and is now resident in Walmstone hall once more. I could barely turn him away, as much as I’d like to. Now, despite not talking to me for the best part of six years, he is all sweetness and light. He comes into my room every day despite my protests. ‘How are you holding up father?’ he shouts at me. Honestly, does he think I’m deaf? I’m not stupid. I know his game. He’s eyeing up Walmstone hall and thinking of how he can divide it up and make a healthy profit. Enough to live off for the rest of his life, that’s for sure. So this smiling act is just him wanting his blasted inheritance. I just wish he would stop the damned pretence and be a man about it. But no, he smiles that stupid grimace of his and pretends to dab at his eyes with a monogrammed handkerchief. I got that handkerchief for him and he knows it. The other day the prat actually tried to fluff one of my pillows. I cannot stand him.

5. My coughing occasionally brings up blood.

6. I do not know what is wrong with me. I am sure I have been told, but I am not sure. Each day blends into one another. I wake up and its morning. I go to get a drink of water from the crystal decanter by my bedside and suddenly it is the middle of the night. People appear and disappear without warning.

7. I am sure I am mistaken, but I feel as if I have been poisoned. I started to get ill just after Georgie arrived back home. I’m sure of it. Or was it before? Either way, I wouldn’t put it past the insolent cur. He’s always wanted Walmstone Hall. A greedy little child, he always wanted everything he could get his hands on. We heard stories of him stealing from other boys at boarding school. Disgraceful. And he thinks he will inherit all this? He is incorrect.

8. I have been thinking a lot about changing my will lately. I have so much. Perhaps I will give it all away to some charity or another. The national trust perhaps. That would show Georgie, the greedy little pig. Or maybe I should give it all to Williams instead.

9. I am tired all the time. Williams has come in and given me another pill. He smiled at me as I took it, with concern. He watched me take my medicine. He even checked my mouth to make sure I had swallowed it all down. I am so tired. Good loyal Williams. I will sleep now. So tired. So tired…

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