Death Scene Blogfest Today

Here's mine, short and more of a foreshadowing of death. This scene takes place in Constantinople in early spring, 1493, between the protagonist Rose and one of her travelling companions and closest friends, Baha.

***

Baha's breath rattled in and out of his lungs, his chest rising and falling beneath Rose's hand until he raised himself on one elbow to cough into his handkerchief. He lay back, and the rattling resumed. Rose returned her hand to his chest, clasping his fingers where they rested directly below his heart. He looked at her, then away, and she tried not to notice how white his skin had grown, how red his eyes were. The coughing would start again soon; best to ask him while she had the chance.

"Baha? Should I tell your family about – that you –"

"No!" It was only a whisper, but forceful for all that. He opened one eye and narrowed it at her. "They did not wish to see me when I returned to Stamboul, and will certainly not care to see me now that I am leaving again – for good." He held the handkerchief to his mouth with both hands and shut his eye.

"I'm sure that's not true!" She tightened her fingers on his, digging her nails in to make him open his eyes and look at her. "They're bound to feel differently if they find out you're ill."

"I'm not merely ill, Rose." His voice cracked on her name, so that his whisper came out a croak. "They knew I had the consumption when I returned, I told them. I'm sure they must have realised that the disease will have progressed to this point. Anyway, I don't wish to argue with you."

"I’m not trying to argue with you, I just think –"

"Then stop, please. My head feels too heavy for this sort of talk."

Without another word, Rose scraped back her chair and left his side.

***

See all the other posts here, including Tessa's own hilarious take on A Day in the Life of Death.
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