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9 pages7 minutes


A man fights a battle with his conscience on whether or not he should continue to help a disabled girl. Altruism vs. self.

Time: Present
Word Count: 1828

SAMPLE (574 words of 1828 words)
(this story contains: immature drinking, death)

“At least stand up.”
Tia wails, flailing her arms madly. She is sprawled on the couch and looks up at me suddenly, her face rather demented.
“Tia, I can’t help you when you’re down like that.”
“Don’t care! Don’t care!”
“You should care, it’s your life.”
“Don’t care!”
I am sitting on the arm of the couch. I study Tia’s uncomprehending face and then sigh.
“Tia, if there’s anything I can do for you...”
“There isn’t.”
“But if there is, you know you only have to tell me.”
“I won’t! I won’t!” Tia flails her arms wildly once more. Her resistant, tortured voice is like nails on a chalkboard to my ears.
“You have to understand. You need to stop, Tia. You need to stop thinking how you’re thinking! It’s ruining you.”
“Stop! Stop!” I doubt Tia thinks at all. Her eyes roll madly and she begins to sob. For several moments I look at her before I turn and walk from the room.
Almost at once, I hear, “Come back! Come back!” Tia is now shrieking in her cracked, rough voice, spit gurgling in her throat. “Help me!” This has occurred every time I have tried to leave the room so I am not surprised when it happens again.
I am irritated at Tia’s dumbness, like a dumb ox, and her inability to care for herself, but I am a good man who does what he can to help others in need. Slowly, I make my way back to the room as Tia’s cries become increasingly louder the longer I am absent.
Tia is an unstable and extremely insecure girl, as I like to call it. She doesn’t know where she belongs or even where she is half the time. That is why I am helping. But I am irritated. Tia is taking up too much of the time I usually use to do fun stuff with people who aren’t inhibited by mental something or other.
Tia is still flopped on the couch, her sticky hair matted to her anguished face.
“Come back!” she shrieks, ruining half the cells in my left ear. She has not yet noticed that I have returned. “Come back!”
“I’m here now! Look!” I raise my voice, so our two voices together sound like a bloody murder.
“Come back!”
I shake her viciously. Her head lolls back and forth as froth comes from her mouth and she coughs. I jump back immediately to avoid getting contaminated.
“I’m here, Tia. See me?” Tia’s eyes look over my face. Her breathing is still heavy and raspy but she has calmed down from her hysterics. “What’s the matter?”
There is a moment’s pause.
“I can’t take it.”
“Can’t take what?”

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