I thought it time to offer you another longer fiction piece. It’s taken from my home site, Gay Authors and will post in three parts. Enjoy.
Will Carmichael visits his father who lives in a nursing home. One word which the older man keeps repeating, holds the power to change Will’s life. During his journey to uncover the word’s meaning, Will makes discoveries that affect both them both deeply.
“Sau…” The man sitting in the institutional armchair drooled slightly, his jaw slack. He tried to speak again. “Sau…”
“What’s he trying to say?” A sharp, demanding female voice. “He’s sore? How much are we paying this place to look after him properly? … William! Call a nurse. It’s not good enough.”
Will Carmichael’s nostrils flared. Visits to his father were always difficult; doubly so with his mother in tow. She spent so much time making a fuss and very little actually interacting with her husband. A sour thought occurred to him – maybe all the noise disguised the fact that she’d abandoned him to this place. As soon as they confirmed the diagnosis, she invoked the power of attorney, and had him put away. Yes, looking after someone with dementia – Alzheimer’s disease, in his case – was hard, demanding, upsetting work. Plenty of people did it, wanted to do it, with love and determination; not his mother, though. She could afford to pay for twenty-four hour home care if she wanted. She obviously didn’t. And his money paid for it, for fuck’s sake.
“Mother, if you want to make a complaint, you know the way to the matron’s office. And the manager’s as well. I came to talk to Dad. How often do I get to visit? I want to spend all the time with him.”
His mother stared at him, outraged. “William! Right, well, I suppose I’ll have to do it for myself then.” She snatched up her ever-present phone, pulled her handbag off the arm of the chair she’d been sitting in, and stalked out of the room, her high heels clacking on the institutional flooring.
Will sighed. Good – peace and quiet for a few minutes. Hopefully longer, if his mother stopped for a vaping session as well. She would try to create problems for the staff, but generally, they were efficient, if soulless. It was unlikely his father suffered any real discomfort. He’d seen that before, and his father got agitated when anything bothered him. The few times he’d visited the nursing home, Will noticed they spent little time stimulating the residents, treating them as individuals with value beyond the mere financial. His father needed that, and exercise, and social interaction. The Alzheimer’s wasn’t that far advanced; yet, there he sat, slumped in his armchair. Was he asleep, or just comatose? Will bent down and tenderly stroked his father’s cheek.
The older man surfaced briefly. “Sau …”