The Last to Know

Marion turned slowly, hands in the air. The handgun Jack pointed at her was large, chromed, and gaudy, but even an ugly gun can kill. “You can’t know that I’m the last person who knows about you.” She kept her voice even.

“No,” he said, “but if there’s anyone left I’ll find them. You saw how obscure I am now. Nothing we found on me had been referenced for decades. If there’s anyone else, they’ll be easy to finish.” He gestured with the gun.

She didn’t like the way he seemed to be talking himself into thinking it was easy. “Jack, it’s me. You know I won’t tell. Just… let me go. When I die, that’ll be it. You’ve been around so long. What’s another few decades?”

Jack grated his teeth. “Imagine being eaten alive by cancer, in daily agony with no hope of recovery. Would you want to stay alive another year? Another day?” His hand tightened on the gun.

“No, I… no. But I wouldn’t pull the plug if I knew I’d just live on in worse agony.”


Marion put her hands down. “I have an insurance policy. I thought you might get… antsy, so I stashed away a couple things.”

“I would know.” But Jack shivered.

“It doesn’t properly exist,” she said. “But if I die, a clever program writes your story from scratch… and distributes it worldwide.” Jack dropped his arm. “I’m sorry, Jack. I had to.”

And, she thought, I’m glad you bought it.

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