Saturday, April 4, 2015

Letter E : The Choose Your Poison #AtoZChallenge



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     "Daddy" she sobbed, brokenly.
     "Shhhh.  It's okay, Michelle.  He's at peace." Laura stroked her sister's hair. "You've taken such good care of him. You hated him for so many years, but you came through in the end.  I can't believe that you sacrificed so much to take care of him these last few years. I guess I was really wrong about you."
     The room was eerily quiet, now that the machines had been silenced.  Laura leaned over the hospital bed and bent to impart one last kiss on her father's forehead. She hesitated at the last moment, puzzled. In death, his mouth had slowly fallen open and his tongue - with a decidedly neon green tinge - was visible.
     "Michelle, what's with his mouth?  I've never..."
     The on-call doctor bustled into the room, still talking loudly to someone in the hallway, so Laura heard her say only  "....and he asked me to get him a lime slushy."
     "The chaplain will be here in a few minutes.  We'll give you all of the time you need to make arrangements.  I'm very sorry for your loss."  The doctor flipped through a chart.  "Convulsions and acute renal failure.  Not entirely unexpected, given his age and his history of diabetes, alcoholism and heart trouble. Although things did happen rather rapidly.  We'll need to know what to uhhh...what arrangements have been made for the body."
     Michelle sniffled loudly. "Cremation.  He told me yesterday he wanted to be cremated."
     "I want an autopsy." Laura yanked her coat from the back of a chair and flung it on.  She turned to the doctor.  "And I want every test ever known to man done on him."
     Another wet outburst erupted her from sister.  "They're not going to cut him up. It's horrible. Disgusting. He wouldn't want that."
     Laura studied her sister coldly.  "He wouldn't have wanted to have poison poured down his throat either. I know exactly what you've done. I remember what happened to our dog Pluto. And Daddy hated lime flavored anything."

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     Today's poison is ethylene glycol,  a colorless, odorless, sweet-tasting chemical found in many household products, including antifreeze (which is often green, yellow or orange in color).  Antifreeze poses a significant risk to pets and children because of its sweetness.  Most cases of  ethylene glycol poisoning are accidental;  however, it has also been used as both a murder weapon and a means of suicide. There have also been documented cases of death resulting from someone knowingly or unknowingly drinking it as a substitute for alcohol (ethanol).

Recent Case: Texas doctor Ana Maria Gonzalez-Angulo gets 10 yrs in poisoning

     
     

32 comments:

  1. Wow, poisoning her own father. That's cold. Laura was sharp to notice the green and piece it all together.

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    1. Yep, her sister almost got away with it!

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  2. Never underestimate the patience of revenge. . .when someone acts out of character, they just may have a motive. Well done. I knew about the antifreeze as the vet told us cats will sometimes lick up the antifreeze if it leaks out of a car. It then crystalizes inside the body. We lost a cat that way.

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    1. As you say, when someone acts out of character, alarm bells should go off. It might not be a sinister change; perhaps the person is depressed, suffered a loss, a financial setback...there's usually a reason.
      Animals and kids are, unfortunately, susceptible to accidental poisoning because of their innocence and curiosity.

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  3. Whoa. That's cold. and cruel. Even if she didn't like him.

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    1. I may revisit this flash and expand the characters. The more I think about, the more questions I have about the dynamics of this family! :)

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  4. This is a great theme and promises to be very informative. I'll have to stop by and check out the other entries. Good for Laura for using what she knows about her family to figure out what happened.

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    1. Thanks Sandra. By the time this challenge is over, I'll be yearning to write some light stories with happy endings!

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  5. Wow this theme is really very interesting
    Good choice Lisa
    I liked the theme topic
    I liked the way you are introducing your poisons :)

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    1. Thank you! I'm trying to make each entry different and engaging so that regular visitors don't get bored.

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    1. Thanks Deniz. It was a challenge to write a complete murder mystery in under 500 words!

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  7. Love the story and interesting information.

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  8. Not so clever now then! Nice twist in a great bit of FF!

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  9. You are on my list to check if you are being part of the A to Z Challenge.

    THANK YOU for being up to the letter "E"...
    Jeremy [Retro]
    AtoZ Challenge Co-Host [2015]

    There's no earthly way of knowing.
    Which direction we are going!

    HOLLYWOOD NUTS!
    Come Visit: You know you want to know if me or Hollywood... is Nuts?

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    1. Don't worry, I have all but 2 posts written and scheduled! :)

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  10. Woah! That's an awesome plot twist! We had a case here in Oneida County (in New York State) where someone was accused of poisoning their husband -I think it was the husband- over like, a period of years. It was all over the news. Scary the things in our garage and under the sink that can kill us! *shivers*

    I'm loving your theme for the challenge--you've given some great information for the different poisons. And the flash fiction that goes with it? Well, it rocks. :) Can't wait to see what else you have to share throughout the challenge!

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    1. Thank you Kat! Yes, I think I read at least 30 different articles on poisoning cases. (Not to mention the "famous" cases we all learn about, like Socrates and hemlock.
      Due to scientific advances, it's becoming harder for murderers to get away with it.

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  11. I'd seen where antifreeze was dangerous to animals, but didn't quite understand because I thought it would taste bad. But, your post points out it has a sweet taste to them. Terrible thing to happen.

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    1. I learned that tidbit years ago from my husband. There was a little reddish fluid on the garage floor and he wondered whether it was antifreeze (minor problem) or brake fluid (major safety issue). So he dipped the tip of his finger in it, licked it, and said " antifreeze".
      I was horrified but impressed. And it's not a test method that I would recommend.

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  12. Clever. And creepy. There are so many very effective poisons which are part of our daily lives.
    And it is nice to hear of someone else who loathes lime flavoured anything (which isn't a lime).

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    1. I don't like lime anything - including real limes. :)

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  13. Interesting subject for the A-Z and a good story too. :) I'm intrigued with what else you'll do for the Challenge.

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    1. Thank you! Let's see. There's an historical poisoning case which was actually the result of a mix-up, an ailment with mysterious symptoms which puzzle doctors but not musicians, and an artist who's possible poisoning may have had an enormous influence on his works. Just a sample of what else I'm doing for the challenge. :)

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  14. so Michelle had not overcome her hatred, she was trying to be cunning, rather grim

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  15. Ohh I like this a lot, almost getting away with it but not quite. I've heard these stories in the news before. Cheated women poisoning their husbands dinners and what not!

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    1. Plenty of kings and politicians as well. In fact, I have enough information to do a second round of A to Z, covering famous poisoning cases in the past. If there's interest I might do that during the month of June.

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    2. Um, yes. I like to learn about poisons. I be here in June.

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  16. Wow. Harsh much. I know dogs would eat it, but why anyone would do it on purpose.

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