Friday Fictioneers – Dilemma


The dialysis machine clicked and hummed. Nurses came and went. Days passed, weeks.

Then there was a doctor. “I’m afraid there’s still no suitable donor. The wait might take years.”

“I don’t want to die,” I said. “And I can’t live like this.”

The doctor stroked his chin. It made a rasping sound. He looked around him and lowered his voice. “Have you considered going abroad? In China you could get this done in weeks.”

“How can they do that?”

“I’ve heard they harvest the organs of executed prisoners, but no-one is sure.”

For a long time, I pondered.


Friday fictioneers is a weekly challenge set by Rochelle Wisoff Fields to write a 100-word story in response to a photo prompt. You can find other stories here

75 thoughts on “Friday Fictioneers – Dilemma

      1. Wonderful story Neil! This is so true – Mike and I and my entire family before I married, donated until they wouldn’t accept us anymore – guess were too old. This story is a Dilemma! I wouldn’t want the organs if the Chinese took them “EARLY”.

        Liked by 1 person

  1. I don’t think I could do that. You never know what goes on in some places. People might be killed by those who want money for their organs. The poor, especially poor children, are susceptible to those practices. A good story and well written, Neil. —- Suzanne

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Whoa! This was fabulous, Neil. I think when one is at one’s last option, even an idea so odious would be considered, even if only briefly.
    Rock and a hard place for sure.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. This reminds me of the twilight zone episode: someone shows up at your door with a button, if you push the button they make you rich but also somewhere someone you don’t know dies.

    The stakes are different in your story, of course. It’d be hard not to take that “prisoner’s” kidney if it came down to your own life or death.

    Very interesting and thought-provoking!! Well done!

    -Rachel 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Shhhh, I’ve heard that rumor, too. Mind boggling scary thought. What would you be willing to do just to live… something else to ponder in those long sleepless hours of night…. Great writing.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. This line beautifully captures his ambivalence:

    “I don’t want to die,” I said. “And I can’t live like this.”

    His dilemma of going to China or not just exchanges his initial ambivalence for more morally questionable one.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Hmm. That’s a decision and a half. Rendered more so by the worrying thought that maybe they’re not from executed prisoners at all, just people serving as commodities. Good one.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I’ve heard the same thing, and I’m pretty sure it’s not a rumor. A highly debated issue with China. Your character has a huge dilemma for sure. No one knows what they would do until they step into those shoes. Great thought-provoking story.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. You summarise the dilemma skilfully, and also give it a human face. Nice work, Neil. His response to the dilemma might hinge on his religious faith or otherwise. Decisions look different in the light of eternity. It would always be a tough call, though.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. A grim story indeed. Harvesting organs of excited prisoners is still better than exciting prisoners to harvest organs. Smell of money can make people do strange things.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s