This short piece on dying was lurking inside a folder I was about to delete and finding myself in a generous mood, I thought I’d give it a public hearing before I despatched it. It was written circa 2009 when I was a newish member of the Writelink apprentice writer community.
After reading a piece in the Sunday paper on knife crime, I suddenly got to thinking about what it must be like to actually be stabbed to death.
I know there isn’t really a pleasant way to die. apart from the blindingly obvious one of course; the one that entails 4 packs of lager and a romp with a 25 year old blonde model, before croaking in your sleep with a grin as wide as a piano keyboard on your face.
Being stabbed to death must be a particularly unpleasant way to go. It must bloody hurt like hell for a start and if you had more than 10 wounds you’d run out of fingers and thumbs when you tried to plug up the holes. Panic might set in at that point.
Choosing to be shot through the head or any part of the anatomy wouldn’t be much better. A bullet through the cranium might seem quick, but what if the bullet hits a bit of misshaped bone and gets deflected back down through the windpipe causing you to choke to death? Not nice, and even if the bullet didn’t deflect and you were taken out immediately, remember that some poor sod has to clean the walls afterwards.
I ruled out heart attacks and brain seizures early on, though they might be quicker than bleeding to death, they would also be extremely painful. I think a lot of groaning and screaming might be involved too and I’m not one for the theatrical.
Having read various accounts of drowning, it seemed for a while like that would be the best way to go. Then I thought a bit more about it. Some reports say drowning is a pleasant experience, but having nearly choked to death on a pint of Shipstones bitter once, I have to disagree.
The benefit of drowning is that your whole life is supposed to flash before your eyes. This would be good if you were able to play it back through a sky plus type device,where you could freeze frame and rewind bits of it, although I can’t see many people wanting to keep viewing the last few moments of their life experience. The gurgling sound would drive you mad.
Rolling the movie back to your twenties would be good. I’d spend a few happy weeks drowning while I revisited a few of my local hostelries and as many of my ex lovers as I could find on the recording. Mary Parkinson, in particular, would get a few replays.