The Ration Ticket

Excerpt from the diary of Jules Flegmon.

16 March. -- Lucette Roquenton entered into non-being tonight. Since she was quite fearful, I stayed with her in her last moments. She was already in bed when I went up to her place at nine-thirty. To spare her the agonies of the final minutes, I made sure to set the alarm clock on her nightstand back a quarter of an hour. Five minutes before the dive, she had a crying fit. Then, thinking that she still had twenty minutes to spare, she took the time to put herself back in order with a coquettish concern which I found most touching. At the moment she passed, I was especially careful not to take my eyes off her. She was laughing at some remark Iíd just made, and suddenly her laughter was interrupted at the same time that she vanished from sight as if a magician had spirited her away. I touched the place where her body had lain and found it still warm. I felt the silence that the presence of death imposes descending upon me. I was rather painfully impressed. Even this morning, at the moment when I am writing these lines, I am pained. Ever since I got up Iíve been counting the hours that remain for me to live. Tonight at midnight it will be my turn.

This same day at a quarter to midnight I am picking up my diary again. I have just gone to bed and I want this temporary death to take me with pen in hand, exercising my profession. I consider this attitude rather gallant. I like this form of courage: elegant and discreet. In fact, the death which awaits me, is it really temporary, or might it be just death pure and simple? This promise of resurrection doesnít appeal to me in the least. Now Iím tempted to see in this a clever way of concealing the sinister truth from us. What if, in fifteen days, none of those who were sacrificed resuscitate? Who, then, will come asking for them? Not their inheritors, thatís for sure! Now that I think of it, the sacrifices are all supposed to resuscitate at once on the first day of next month, that is, April First. It could be the opportunity for quite the April Foolís Day joke. I am filled with a horrible panic and I …

Previous Entry Next Entry
Copyright 1997 Karen Reshkin
Return Home