well there is quite clearly a mistake an obvious big one i wonder if the mix up is because english is not his mother tongue as the saying goes maybe his third or even fourth but i know my body and ive been right as rain the time ive been here and ill be just as righty rainy when i leave bet its a bug silly food bug not covered by my injections the hundreds of em i had i did try a fishy looking prawn but what would a non fishy looking prawn look like maybe a squirrel or a seahorse a curvy seahorse thank GOD i cant get pregnant how painful whoopsy sorry doctor i floated away but i have probably thought more sense than what youve sprouted as the saying goes TERMINAL ive only had a blimmin headache for 3 weeks 2 days 14 hours and so on yeah and that adds up to TERMINAL some INCURABLE illness with months to live 90 days and how many hours god knows who knows nobody knows so what if i threw up a little bit or that i smelt plastic burning phantom smells yeah right it was there all right probably the kids next door so he says in a strict tone to me who knows who cares lighters should be illegal and smoking i dont even smoke when i get back to my own country ill see my REAL doctor whos going to assure me im FINE take some anadin kenneth my dear man and in no time youll be in tip top shape honestly a BRAIN TUMOUR if i had one i quite clearly would not be able to think so logically doctor so stick it up your hey doc look at me go my thoughts are all crystal clear and speedy like my car wish it was yellow though like an imposing bee overtaking the slower ones out of the way you hooligans ah what father would think of me if he saw me now out in the big wide world on another continent last month and doing fine and dandy well apart from this common and CURABLE bug but ill shake it off in a few days daddy just you see i will not be joining you beyond the grave any time soon i can assure you of that oh yes say hi to mother wont you and tell her not to fuss as i am quite definitely and absolutely not DYING and not losing my marbles oh dear doctor moreau just said something back in the room kenneth before he thinks youre crazy





‘Kenneth, Kenneth, are you there?
I know you find
this all unfair-’
‘Sorry, Doctor,
not at all.
I was thinking about my fall:
I absolutely have no clue
why last Tuesday out of the blue,
at home I smelt plastic burn.
It made me dizzy, made me churn.
I just put it down to stress.’

The doctor prepares to protest:
‘Kenneth, from my point of view
this was your body warning you.
If anything else appears
call me quickly, or I fear
your life will be compromised-
leading to a quicker demise.’


Hôpital Universitaire de Boudevilliers
Clos Fleuri
Les Acacias
2043 Boudevilliers
+41 44 455 22 22


Date: 12.09.2016
Patient Number: 452 000125
Patient: Kenneth Williams
DOB: 01.06.1981
Translated and transcribed from French by Sabine Laurent,

Kenneth received his latest CT scan results today. I have confirmed he has stage 4 Glioblastoma Multiforme in the frontal lobe. His reaction was a little worrying as he didn’t appear to believe the diagnosis.

Kenneth has described symptoms commonly associated with GBM: chronic headaches and phantom smells. Kenneth has disregarded these symptoms as a coincidence. At the moment, Kenneth has chosen not to pursue any treatments that could prolong his life. However, once he has accepted the diagnosis, I believe he will agree to the treatment.

Kenneth first started displaying the above symptoms over six weeks ago. Unfortunately, as he did not seek medical advice, an earlier diagnosis was impossible.

Kenneth is in the first stage of grief, denial, which concerns me at such a critical time. I have offered him counselling which he refused.

I broached the subject of his options regarding palliative care. I told Kenneth chemotherapy might shrink the tumour but it would not get rid of it completely. I would suggest we go straight to Tamadol and Limoustine as the tumour is already extremely advanced. Kenneth refused to discuss these options. I sincerely hope he will quickly reach the acceptance stage so we can begin treatment to extend his life. However, if he refuses to accept his condition in the next 2-3 weeks, the tumour will have advanced so much that any life-sustaining treatments will be futile.

I have also advised Kenneth to begin the process of putting his affairs in order and contact his support network but Kenneth said he didn’t have anyone to notify.


Dr S. Moreau

well im tottling along fine and dandy doctor moreau doesnt know his arm from his elbow seventeen days ago he tells me im dying just the three months to go im afraid mr kenneth well ive gone and shown him tells me ooo be careful youll start to decline rapidly now so just to make things clear doctor now ive been diagnosed my body will start to die sure that makes sense apart from this headache ive been as right as rain now youve given a name to the headache my health will now deteriorate doesnt sound very fair to me he just wants my money its so obvious it hurts give up doctor im having no more help from you thank you very much medicine is too expensive over here when i get home ill have to see a counsellor after all this trauma for sure but for now i think I will sit back enjoy my traditional swiss breakfast of bread and jam with my newspaper from home that cost me an arm and a leg and its three days out of date hey ho now lets have a look at page 3




what are all these lines and squiggles

where are all the WORDS

‘Well, I am sorry Kenneth but you were warned.
It was a pity and a real shame when you scorned
and refused to accept my diagnosis.
Your blunt denial stopped us giving you doses
that might have helped your body sustain
your quality of life or at least maintained
the size of the tumour and stopped it growing.
But that time has passed due to your misdoing.
Now we must talk properly and face the facts-’
Kenneth struggles to understand and overreacts.
This new symptom has changed his very core
and Kenneth fears a slow demise, ‘I wish to explore
assisted suicide. I want some control
how I exit from this life, I don’t want the toll
of slowly wasting away my mind and body
It will just be a futile folly.’
And so, like the adults they are
they discuss how his death is not so far.
They speak of DigniFide, a Swiss clinic
that helps a patient die in minutes.
‘Instead of suffering for months and months,
you choose when to die – sorry to be blunt.’
But Kenneth is unfazed by Moreau’s realistic attitude.
Instead he says matter-of-factly: ‘I wish to conclude
as soon as possible this awful disease.’
‘A peaceful message is what dignifide guarantees.’


Hôpital Universitaire de Boudevilliers
Clos Fleuri
Les Acacias
2043 Boudevilliers
+41 44 455 22 22


Date: 28.09.2016
Patient Number: 452 000125
Patient: Kenneth Williams
DOB: 01.06.1981
Translated and transcribed from French by Sabine Laurent,

Kenneth booked an emergency appointment with me today after he was unable to read his morning newspaper. The appointment lasted for over an hour and I was pleased to see towards the end, Kenneth seemed to have reached the stage of acceptance and we have discussed his options for the future.

Kenneth’s mind-set has drastically changed and rather than denying his diagnosis, he has embraced it and wants to take control. He spoke of assisted suicide and I referred him to DIGNIFIDE which is the closest clinic to Boudevilliers. Kenneth grew agitated and demanded an in-depth description of the process of assisted suicide. Although I repeatedly told him ethically I cannot consult on this matter, he still demanded more information. As Kenneth had only just accepted his diagnosis and as he grew more agitated, I provided him with the online brochure to placate him. For reference, I have outlined the key points below:

_________1.___ The patient will only be considered if they have a
terminal disease, they suffer with unbearable and
uncontrollable pain or a life-long disability that is
incapacitating and unendurable
_________2.___ The patient needs to have a minimum of two face-to-
face meetings with the doctor.
_________3.___ The patient needs to be of sound judgement.
_________4.___ The patient needs to possess enough mobility to self-
administer the drug.
_________5.___ The patient needs to provide a clear diagnosis of their
illness from their doctor which details the following:
__________________a.___ A description of the cause of the illness and the
development of it.
__________________b.___ Evidence to show the patient has undergone all
available therapies and treatments and whether
they were successful or not.
__________________c.___ Evidence of an in-depth psychiatric appraisal
which shows the patient’s capacity of judgement.
__________________d.___ If the patient suffers from a mental illness, their doctor must provide evidence their decision for assisted-suicide is a balanced, well-considered decision rather than a symptom of their illness.


Dr S. Moreau

that FUCKING doctor moreau i knew he was trying to do me in i KNEW it but noooooo noone will listen will they and now im DYING and its all his fault fucking fuck im going to KILL HIM or kill me who knows so confused now once upon a time i was sharp as a knife leave me ALONE you nasty nurse big twat big tits fondle them all day i will this headaches been longer than a day longer than a year cant stand this stand up kevin


thats not right or left

hand drive stop the car i need a weewee woooo rollercoaster tycoon with heaven and hell where will i go why cant this when i go who cares no one cares no next of kin no one to notify when i plop me cloggs

kellogs cornflakes

lights BURN

CURSEDKILLMENOW maybe being a loner my life was a blessing in disguise i can’t lash out to any close ones because there are NONE I have NO ONE so the staff suffer it but they’re used to it so its not too bad come on dignifide i need to leave oh how brilliant nurse bossy has come in did i invite her i don’t think so turn around and GET OUT you work for me why won’t you look at me




Shortly after Kenneth had lost his ability to read

The rest of his body started to shut down with a worrying speed.

It soon became apparent he was close to the end

And as the days passed he could no longer pretend.

For Kenneth had secretly always maintained

A desperate hope this was a simple pain

Completely curable and simply a misunderstanding

A benign tumour rather than one expanding

And filling his brain leaving no room spare

To store new memories; Kenneth could only despair.

And so he made a final arrangement

They agreed a date and he sent the payment

The clinical admin attached to an emotional trauma

But the price was worth it to die without drama.

SOPHIE MARIE is a writer of all genres and has had a short story published in the Book a Break Anthology 2017. Her articles and flash fiction have appeared online at StudentWire.co.uk and outofthegutteronline.com. In 2017, Sophie was awarded a scholarship to attend the Swanwick Writers’ Summer School. Sophie has tried a variety of jobs, from cleaning caravans in Italy to making cocktails in France, but she has found her dream job in writing fiction. She is wrapping up her Creative Writing degree and hopes to ditch the dull grind of her day job to become a full-time writer in sunny Wales. When she is not writing, Sophie can usually be found with an energy drink in her hand, a notebook in the other, her doggie, Leia on her lap and her pup, Chewie by her feet.