📅 Published on April 10, 2021


Written by Kyle Harrison
Edited by Craig Groshek
Thumbnail Art by Craig Groshek
Narrated by N/A

Copyright Statement: Unless explicitly stated, all stories published on are the property of (and under copyright to) their respective authors, and may not be narrated or performed, adapted to film, television or audio mediums, republished in a print or electronic book, reposted on any other website, blog, or online platform, or otherwise monetized without the express written consent of its author(s).

🎧 Available Audio Adaptations: None Available


Rating: 9.40/10. From 5 votes.
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My name is Harry, and I’m dying.

Less than a few weeks ago, I was in my car, sitting on a ledge.  Engine revved, looking toward the open lake.  I could hear geese calling out and looked toward the clouds to see they were breaking through to land.  I clutched the steering wheel, realizing I would never have the same level of freedom.  In my head, I could see how easy it would be, for the car to simply careen off the cliff side, toppling end over end into the dark blue waters below.  All it would have taken is a simple push of a pedal.  But I couldn’t. I didn’t have it in me to do this.

When the doctors gave me the bad news, it felt like my whole world was spinning.  I had my whole life ahead of me.  I wanted to still get married, have children, go places.

Now I was presented with a terminal disease. A slap in the face from the universe, if you will.

My friends didn’t want to accept it, of course.  But the doctors eventually convinced them that the best thing to do would be to celebrate my life while I could.

Why then, you may ask, was I there considering ending it all?

The answer is my story.

During their search for answers, one of my friends showed me access to the dark web.  A place then steeped in mystery, where he claimed I could find access to a plethora of medical treatments that weren’t endorsed by any doctors.  Miracles that supposedly could cure any illness I had.

I tried a few; I really wanted to beat this thing.  Using the dark web to buy illicit drugs was easy, and it was also addictive.  For a solid two months, I figured it was better to be doped up than deal with the pain of knowing my life was going to end.

It never fully worked, though, and I would always crash hard.  So that led me to even more seedy corners of the dark web, where I found a site I thought could fix all my problems.

It was called, and they made a business in making sure that people got exactly what they wanted for their death.

“Your life is full of choices you get to make; why should death be any different?” the user named Max told me during a sales pitch.

Initially, I was reluctant.

“I’m not sure I’m ready to die,” I typed back.

He responded, “No one is ever ready.  That’s the beauty of the service we offer.  You can take matters into your own hands, get your affairs in order and meet your maker on your own terms.”

“You make it sound good, but it isn’t like there are customer testimonials,” I told him.

“What we do is an investment in your future.  We help you set up a trust fund for a family member or close friend before you go, to make certain everything you have to leave behind is well taken care of,” Max said.

“How does it…even work?” I asked.

“We have a variety of packages that allow people to decide what they are comfortable with.  It ranges from mild sedatives where the customer can simply fall asleep and never wake up, to extreme violence.  If they want to go out in a blaze of glory, that’s what we give to them,” Max responded.

“This sounds like some killer’s twisted fantasy,” I admitted.

“It might, but rest assured, all of our customers have already considered taking their life at some point or another.  We are all scared of death; it’s only human to be.  So why not help each other with this necessity?  We are doing a kindness by allowing people to come to terms with their mortality,” he typed back.

“Do you only help people that aren’t going to make it?  Like me?  Sick, I mean,” I asked him.

“The majority of our clients are battling with a variety of illnesses, but we offer the service to whoever can provide proper documentation that shows they understand the full extent of our program.  Legally speaking, we aren’t liable for the customer purchase,” Max responded.

I typed back, “Let’s say I was interested.  How much would this cost?”

“First, you would need to fill out this questionnaire.  Be as truthful as you can in the statements you make.  We can discuss fees after that,” he said, and a soft ping on my computer told me he had already sent it over to me via email.

I scrolled through the terms and conditions, casually glancing at the different clauses.  It all looked very legitimate.  I worked up the nerve and told him, “Ok, let me fill this out.”

It only took fifteen minutes.  Given how long I debated on that cliff about ending it all, the experience seemed very smooth.  Max reviewed my information and quoted me a modest fee for the service.

I knew if I was going to go through with this, I couldn’t hesitate, so I booked an appointment with this strange service.

“Excellent.  We have confirmed your payment.  You will receive an email in a few days for an address where we will begin to work on creating your perfect death experience,” Max told me through the chat.

Over the next few days he sent me more messages, detailing how everything would go down.

“First, be assured if you ever feel the need to back out of this arrangement at any time before we proceed, there is only a small handling fee for services.  We understand that this is completely your choice and want you comfortable and satisfied with your decision,” he told me via chat.

“The location is private and secure.  You will be well accommodated.  Some of our guests choose to order a last meal before they enter their designated room; we have a fully staffed kitchen ready to serve any entree requested,” he added.

He showed me pictures of the facility.  It was well lit.  I saw friendly staff and even a few pictures of people who seemed genuinely happy to be there.  Some part of me said this couldn’t be a facade.

“You will sign in at the main desk when you are ready to be taken to your prepared room.  Once there, you will be given three hours to prepare any letters or emails you want sent to family, friends, and so on,” Max typed.

“Once the time limit has been reached, one of our trained professionals will enter the room and perform the service for you that you have customized and requested.”

He made it sound like any other business transaction. I had specified that I wanted to have the sedation. To be happy, doped up and just fall asleep without a care in the world.

The day came before I knew I was truly ready.  I drove in rain across an entire county to find this place, and it was just as beautiful as Max had described.  Pristine white concrete walls, massive side windows letting in tons of sunlight.  It felt very warm and inviting.  And that didn’t change when I got inside either.

The receptionist was well informed, polite.  I chose a simple soup as my last meal.  It reminded me of my mother.

When I finished eating, I tipped the waiter and then went up to the desk, signed my name and announced, “I’m ready now.”

“Of course, sir, someone will come get you shortly,” the receptionist told me.

A minute or later a male nurse walked up and guided me down a brightly lit hallway to a room marked with a six on it.

“Make yourself comfortable,” they said as they passed me a key and then went back to the lobby.

I opened the door to a pitch-black room.   No windows, no lights at first. I reached for the wall as I heard breathing and realized someone else was there with me.   It made my neck hair stand on its end.

I found the switch and flipped it on just as the door behind me slammed shut.  I heard this loud clanging noise, like a lock sealing me in.  Then I saw a stranger on the other side of the room, dressed completely in a Grim Reaper costume, scythe and all.  The only difference was the face.  Instead of a human skull, this man wore a mask that resembled a deer’s head covered in cancerous bone spurs.

“What…what is this??  This isn’t what I ordered at all!” I said frantically as I tried to unlock the door.  It didn’t budge.

His voice sounded like a storm cloud, surrounding me on all sides.

“Death is never a choice.  It is cruel, it is cold, and it is always inconvenient.  It will take everything from you in a heartbeat and be unconcerned with your status in life.  It is absolute.  And it will never, ever be what you want it to be.”

He moved faster than lightning, the weapon slamming into my shoulder with the impact of a car crash.  I could feel metal piercing my very bone as I screamed, and instinct took over.

I poked my fingers into the eye sockets of the bizarre mask, the man stumbling back in surprise as his weapon was still lodged in my shoulder.

Then I pulled the scythe out and brandished it toward my attacker.  I couldn’t hesitate.

I ran toward him and slashed it across his throat.

My attacker started to choke on his own blood and struggle to breathe.  He crawled backward toward the wall and fumbled for a hidden switch.  The entire room began to flash a bright red as I felt a ringing in my ears.  I suddenly couldn’t move or even react to what was happening as staff members rushed in to save their coworker.

Another of them tackled me to the ground, sedating me without hesitation.

I remember hearing frantic screams, confusion and shouting as I fell into unconsciousness.

When I woke up, I was strapped to a chair and another shadowy figure stood before me.

“I must admit this is not the outcome we expected, Harry,” the man said.

“I was right all along; this is just a sick and twisted business,” I snapped back.

“Maybe so, but you signed an agreement.  One that you violated by killing Max,” he replied.

I felt a twist in my stomach.  This was blackmail; I would spend what little remaining time I had in my life likely rotting in a cell.

“So what happens now?” I asked, certain that this man would finish what Max couldn’t.

“It would be pointless to make you suffer more than you already have.  You are living off borrowed time.  So that leaves only one option…”

He paused and passed me a keycard for what looked like an office.

“How would you like to come and work for us instead?”

I knew it would be pointless to refuse; they had me hook line and sinker.

So now where am I?

I’m watching and holding a remote control as a different car tumbles over into the same lake.  Crashing and burning as my latest client tastes the sweet release of death.  Someone else that wasn’t ready for death.

This isn’t what they wanted, but it never was their choice.  I understand that now.

Oppenheimer quoted it best:

“Now I am become death, the destroyer of worlds.”

Rating: 9.40/10. From 5 votes.
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🎧 Available Audio Adaptations: None Available

Written by Kyle Harrison
Edited by Craig Groshek
Thumbnail Art by Craig Groshek
Narrated by N/A

🔔 More stories from author: Kyle Harrison

Publisher's Notes: N/A

Author's Notes: N/A

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Copyright Statement: Unless explicitly stated, all stories published on are the property of (and under copyright to) their respective authors, and may not be narrated or performed, adapted to film, television or audio mediums, republished in a print or electronic book, reposted on any other website, blog, or online platform, or otherwise monetized without the express written consent of its author(s).

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