The Last Sleep
By Joseph Logsdon
They found her, practically unresponsive. She was driven to the hospital, where her doctor attempted to talk to her. She wouldn't talk, not even when he slapped her face. She was, for all intents and purposes, completely incapacitated. She stared at the ceiling, frightened of her surroundings. Given what she had been through, it was a miracle that she was still breathing. The doctor stared at her, concerned and confused.
"Barbra, can you talk? If you understand what I'm saying, nod your head," he requested.
She nodded, unable to respond. Her eyes moved from left to right, trying to make sense of the situation. Her mind raced, desperately sorting the information presented to her.
"Barbra, I need you to calm down. Whatever has happened, we'll figure it out together, okay?"
"He attacked me," she whispered.
"Who attacked you?"
"He dragged me to the side of the street, pinned me against the wall, as if I were some kind of animal. He put his hands around my throat, fully aware of what he was doing. I screamed, certain that someone would hear. No one came, not until it was over. He couldn't finish the job, so he left me behind," she sighed.
"Who did this to you?"
"My husband," she answered.
"You mean, Daniel? Why would he want to hurt you?"
"Why don't you ask him? We're so focused on our enemies, we forget to watch the people close to us. He'll come back for me, I know he will. He'll finish the job, regardless of what will happen after the fact. I'm already dead, I just don't know it yet," she whimpered.
"Assuming that what you say is true, we have to call the police," he suggested.
"John, may I call you John? You've been my doctor for a long time, and not once have I ever asked you for anything. No police, they'll just make things worse. I have to end this myself, otherwise I'll be taking a huge risk. This isn't a matter of winning or losing, it's a matter of life and death. You can either help me, or you can get out of my way," she stated.
"I'm impressed, I never thought you could be so brave. Come to think of it, I have something that might just help you," he stated.
"And what's that?"
"Do you remember the story of Romeo and Juliet?"
"Where are you going with this?"
"Long story short, I can put you to sleep. In the eyes of the world, you'd be a dead woman, but not forever. If he thought you were dead, he would stop looking for you, correct? The drug is perfectly safe, I assure you," he stated.
"I don't know, it sounds risky," she replied.
"Do you have a better idea?"
"How long would I be out?"
"Two, three days, tops," he answered.
"Which is it, two or three?"
"Do you want my help?"
"I hope you know what you're doing," she stated.
John walked to the cabinet, where he pulled out a small bottle of pills. He walked towards the bed, confident that his plan would work.
"How many should I take?"
"One will be enough," he answered.
Barbra swallowed the pill, ignorant of what it contained. Within seconds of swallowing the pill, she started to feel dizzy. Light left her eyes, blinding her ability to see.
"Does it always work this quickly?"
"Oh, I forgot to mention, you didn't take a sleeping pill," he stated.
"What are you saying?"
"You'll fall asleep, there just won't be any waking up," he laughed.
"I trusted you, how could you do this? In a different world, I would've married you, not Daniel. How could I have been so stupid, to think that anyone could ever love me? It's absurd, when you really start to think about it," she cried.
"By the way, Daniel sends his regards," John laughed.
"You mean, he paid you to do this?"
"I owed him a favor, so I had no choice in the matter. Don't think of this as a betrayal, think of it as a gift. You'll be dead soon, absolving you of all responsibility," he laughed.
"You think this is funny? Laugh it up, I'm sure it will be very funny in prison," she stated.
"The day I go to prison, will be the day pigs fly on the moon," he laughed.
John continued laughing, but soon found that his laughter was out of place. Several police officers entered the room, all of them holding weapons. Daniel accompanied them, to the dismay of John, who stood in the corner, trembling.
"What's going on here?"
"You're under arrest, that's what's going on," Barbra stated, handcuffing John.
"Will someone explain to me?"
"You thought you were so smart, didn't you? You've been poisoning patients for years, we just couldn't prove it, until Daniel and I got involved with the police. Daniel told you to murder me, in the hope that you would reveal yourself. Oh, and that pill you gave me, we switched the bottle with sugar pills. You've finally been caught, after all these years," she stated.
"What a pity, I nearly got that promotion," John whispered.