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Do Not Disturb

Do Not Disturb was a lot more disturbing than I expected before writing the story. 

The original premise was simple but dark. An out of the way motel that specialized in assisted suicide. This short was around twelve years ago, right around the time I was first reading more about the dark web. 

Of all the terrible things available for purchase on a digital silk road, wouldn’t suicide be among the buffet of options? 

A motel made sense. The in-room crematorium came as an immediate afterthought. That’s all I knew going into the story, and back then I treated shorts as a pantsing extravaganza where outlining was almost against the rules. 

So I had no idea who Levi was as he swung his old Cadillac into the Lazy 8 parking lot, and didn’t have a clue about the evil he had committed in his past.  

I definitely didn’t know a thing about Shane going in, though I did have a sense of who he was before Levi left that first scene. 

I like how everything came together in the end of this short, sans outline, but please be warned before you start reading that this one goes to some dark places that are even darker than suicide. 

He’d not been here in ages. If anything, Levi had tried to forget the motel, wishing it never existed — but he couldn’t forget the pain of what he’d done.
When Levi finally found out what the Lazy 8 had become, or at least what they had done with Room No. 9, it was quite by accident, and the shock almost stopped his heart. Yet, it seemed so perfect, the symmetry between what it was then and what it had now become.

Levi was a thoughtful man, and took his life’s exit seriously, toying with the notion for nearly 10 years before he finally felt committed enough to do something about it. At first, Levi had only considered death once a month or so. It was a small seed slowly sprouting in his mind. By the end of that first year, the idea of ending everything had turned into a daily thought. Like a tree growing fatter under many summers of sun, branches from the original idea had now crept into every corner of Levi’s mind.

In the beginning, he had lied to himself, told himself he was just curious — like a man considering hiring a prostitute, driving by without stopping, but growing bolder by the pass.
He wanted to disappear, not leave a body behind. Levi had a hunch that euthanasia — like nearly every other industry from drugs and prostitution to real estate and travel — had been forever altered by the Internet.

Levi was good at finding what he wanted, always had been, and wasn’t too old to bend the Web to his will. Still, it took him nearly three months of looking before he found Aesop’s Stables.

Download your copy of Do Not Disturb here!