Pulse by Betty Louis

These were her final seconds. Her last chance. All she has to do is accept it and help me out. I need her to work with me and come back. She could hear me, right? She has a pulse, she just needs to wake up.

"Mom! Mom, its me your son Mason! Please, wake up mom! I need you..."

Burying my face into the sundress she wore I cried. I cried because I prepped myself for this moment and I failed. She had been sick for a year and I knew her death would come soon. But, now I couldn't bare the thought of actually losing her. I worked so hard in fighting fate, when I should have just accepted and faced it. She was gone and not even the artificial heart and animare cells could keep her alive.

I wiped away my tears and walked over to the monitor. As usual everything looked fine and the monitor showed signs of a pulse, but she didn't move an inch.

“I guess you can’t beat death, huh mom?”

Silence was her reply. I slowly pressed the off button on the monitor and sat next to her in silence. I closed my eyes and rested my head by her arms. Memories of her rocking me to bed when I was young faded into my mind. Songs that she sang to to me with her soft whistle like voice came to mind and soon the tune hummed through my lips. Like it was happening all over again. Doing this my heart beat slowly and I regained some peace. I felt a cool rush to wind blow in from the only small window in my mother’s room, but I ignored the goosebumps that crept onto my skin and stayed comfortable in my mother’s possession. Since this would be the last time. But the suddenly I felt small faint movements within the bed. Knowing how my mind can play tricks on me I ignored it. Assuring myself that it was a figment of my imagination. But, then pokes of  dry crusty fingertips prickled along side of my arm and then my hair. I lifted my hair quickly as possible in shocked of what could be happening.

“Mom!” I shouted to her as I looked into her deep brown hazel eyes hoping she'll reply like “My baby or pudding,”

and a bright chocolate smile would appear upon her face. But all I got from her was

“Who’s Mason? And why do you keep calling me mom?”

Stunned by this reply I sat there and watched as she slowly sat up, caressing her head in her withered hands.

“She wants to see you now. She’s in room 306.”  Doctor Heath said with sorrowful and heavy eyes.

“Thanks.” I replied. I didn’t know what else I could say. Walking down the hospital halls, each step I took felt heavier to the point where I felt like I couldn’t lift my feet anymore. So I stopped, turned to my left and saw a family surrounded by an old women who appeared to be smiling at me. Her bright smile seemed to bounce off the chrome walls of her room and touched on me. I was smiling too. But once her smile had a ripple effect on me, her heartbeat had slowly left her and it was announced to all her family members as soon as she slowly closed her eyes with the monitor making that dreadful sound and that beautiful smile still on her face. Hoping none of her family members saw me staring, I quickly turned aways and began to walk again forget about the illusion of my heavy feet. Two rooms away and I heard urgent worried voices. No. One voice. It was Doctor Heath's voice and he was talking to someone I had never seen in the hospital and usually never forget a face. But he look familiar. For some reason I stopped to eavesdrop on their conversation.

“Is it true? Can it really bring back the de--” Doctor Heath said

“Shhh.. there’s cameras.” said the other guy. Then, he took Doctor Heath's arm and pulled him aside to a corner where a camera wasn’t monitoring.

“Listen, it took 3 -4 days but so far the ape has responded to the animare cells and  has a pulse. We need to do further research on how he responds to our test of fully ---” said the man before he heard my almost crushing a gum wrapper. Stupid robotic janitors must have missed a spot. Before he could move to see where I saw I made it to my mothers room. She was staring at the ceiling holding onto yellow sunflowers with a goofy smile on her face.

“Mom? What are you doing?” I chuckled,

“Oh hi my darling. I was practicing my pose for my funeral. With the flowers or without? What do you think?”

Mother always did have a way with serious situations. She liked to think of the bright side of even the worst case scenarios.

“I think that you have plenty of other important things to worry about then the pose you make when you're dead. Besides it wouldn't exactly be up to you, it would be up to the people who prepare you.” I’d always be the one to bring her back to reality.

“Not if I write it in my will,” she argued

“Oh mother,” I chuckled as I sat beside her and held her hand. “I love you.”

With her free hand against my cheek, “I love you too sweetheart,”

“Alright, how is my favorite patient doing?” interrupted Doctor Heath,

“You should know,” I replied back. Mother squeezed my hand as a hint to be nice. Doctor Heath always spoke nicely and respectfully but I had a bad feeling in the pit of my stomach about him. To me at least he always showed signs of being robotic. As if he had no true feelings and did what he was ‘programed’ to do.

“Well we all know. Her heart is getting weaker and bigger by the second and her body isn’t strong enough to continue on with the state that she is in. What’s even worse that we’re seeing is that the chambers are having trouble filling with blood. So what we can do now is simply hope for the best and pray.“ he said, as if he ever prayed.

Mother looked away at what he said, trying to fight back tears. His phone rang before I could insult him on his incompetence, once he saw the caller he rushed to get out and said

"I need to take this. I’ll be back with your blood test results."

While rushing out the door a piece of paper that loosely hung outside of his back pocket fell to the ground. I picked it up and opened it. While going back to the seat next to my mother and caressing her back with on hand I read what was in there paper in another. It was the researchers inquiry.

'DNA animare cells give life' under the heading was a picture of an ape. So that was what Mr. Heath and that strange man was talking about.

“Mason,” startled by this I hid the paper.

“Yes mom,”

“Can you do me favor?”

“Of course mother,”

“Take this,” she pulled out an envelope and handed it to me.


“Take it,” She said interrupting me. “One day you’ll need it. And one more thing?”

“Anything,” I looked into her eyes.

“Can you remember me and tell your kids stories about when I die?”

“Mom, you can never be forgotten and thats a promise and I’ll make sure your grand babies don’t forget about you either.” I gave her a smile

She chuckled.

“Little tiny Mason’s running around,” she said as she closed her eyes and went to sleep.

As much as I wanted to stay as close to my mother as possible I had to find out more about those cells. Since they could possible help her. Although the thought of putting random cells into my mother’s body sounded creepy and untrusting with her being in her condition I had nothing left. She was going to leave me soon and we both knew it. But with these cells she could possible could stay just a little bit longer.  I went to the basement to find the old macbook pro my father gave to my mother when they were dating. I always tried to avoid looking at this thing. It was dusty and had a couple cracks but it was the memory of my father. He liked to do things the old-fashioned way. Inside of the front screen I see sticky notes covering everything, but the mid-center. No one ever touched his laptop because well it reminded us too much about him and his death almost destroyed my mother. After he left I put it in the basement so she wouldn’t have to remember. No one ever knew his password but my mother and I. My father was old, but he was smart. His password was a series of numbers and letters. I was surprised I remembered it all. As soon as I opened it there was a typed letter on display.

‘Dear Mason,

My darling Mason. If you are reading this then you are on the right track and your father and I have taught you well. In the envelope I should have already given you, there is a key. Your father, as smart as he is has been saving up since the day I told him I was pregnant. Now darling don’t get too excited but this money is for you to continue your studies in college. The key opens a safe that is in the back on the closet where we use to put all of our old shoes. If you pick up some of those old shoes and feel your way through you’ll feel a hole. That hole is really an opening to a small door. Open it. Once you do, you’ll find the safe. In that safe there should be about 3 million dollars. I know you’ll put it to good use. You father and I raised you beautifully. Baby boy, if and when you read this I should be in the hospital because you know my condition doesn’t allow me to live long. Please don’t cry or even feel sorrow. God will build a way for you and for me. I shall meet you father once again and we’ll be watching over waiting for you to join us. Please live a long and fulfilled live and continue to make us proud my love. I know you will do and discover brilliant things just like your father. If only he could see was wonderfully you have grown into an eighteen year old man. Our little Mason, a man. I love you and I know with all my heart your father does too. Bye now my darling.’

I looked inside of the envelope and it was a key. In the key was engraved my father’s password. That probably was the hint from my mom. 3 million dollars? Why save it when she could have used it to get new organs or even better treatment? As tempted as I was to take the money and rush to the hospital so they could help I knew it’d be too late and my mother wouldn’t accept it. For her condition a heart-lung transplant for her would be almost one fourth of that sum. So I continued on with my search about the animare cells. My father use to work for NASA and I’d always be around whenever he did his research. I use to always be so fascinated about how he conducted his experiments. I started by searching anything about animare cell in different search engines. I saw many articles that popped up like the one that Doctor Heath dropped. But they all said the same thing and I needed more than what those articles covered. Then, I started reading my father’s stickies around the laptop. One that really caught my eye. “DNA cells reanimate brain?” I quickly went to the search bar of the macbook and typed in “cells”. Many different searches came up. But I chose the one that said ‘DNA Cells’. In that was a word document. In that document seemed to be a journal in which my father wrote all of his thoughts down about what he knew about cells reanimating the brain. It would be a serum filled with micro highly advanced brain cells, blood cells and organisms that stimulates the human brain and heart. It turns out my father was the one trying to create this new technology, but because he died he was unable to finish it. But, who did? My father only had only one partner in NASA that he actually trusted. Rubert. Rubert was his high school buddy that my father entered into NASA with. My father always thought it to be  blessing that they both go in. I call it a conspiracy. I could have sworn I saw Rupert trying to make a move on my mother and since that day I never trusted the man. He could have been the one to take credit for my dad’s work and have tried to finish the process my dad started. I’d believe it and I’d find a way to make hims pay for it too. No wonder Rupert came by the house asking for my father’s laptop. It’s a good thing I lied about not having it. There was another sticky note that said “DNA cells prt 2…” I searched it up and found another file but this one happened to be cut off. The basement was my dad’s own personal laboratory. According to the journal he had created his own serum and wanted to try it on a dead animal out on the street before trashbots got to it. I guess he never got the chance. It says that he placed the serum in the mini fridge to preserve it. There was two.

The next day mother wanted to be let got from the hospitals care. She knew that she wouldn’t survive so she wanted to spend her last days home. I didn’t mind. I told her everything that I found and my plans. I still didn’t get the chance to look at the 3 million dollars, but she knew I’d find it and find out about father’s old plans. She too went snooping around his laptop. Though she didn’t want me to try it on her.  I tried to respect her decisions but she didn’t try to respect or understand how much I needed her by my side. She was all I had left, yet she still believed I could make it without her. I couldn't see that happening so I continued on with my research. Every since I got a job mother made me a bank account to manage my own money in my own way. That afternoon I took 1.5 million dollars from the safe and put it into my bank account. Then I spent the rest of the day with her. I cooked for her, laughed with her, and watched movies with her, lying that I finished all my work in school just so I could spend her last moments with me. Together. Just like how it use to be. That night when she went to sleep coughing I tucked her into bed and gave her a kiss goodnight. Then, I went online to amazone in search of the perfect artificial heart and surgobot to perform on mother. WIth the right amount of in the year 2043 you can find just about anything. Once I found right functioning heart with mother’s blood type, a 4 starred surgobot, and asked for express shipping the total cost rounded up to about 1.5 million. This is my mother’s life on the line here. I pressed accept without a doubt in my mind. I went to bed and looked at the article that I saw come out of Dr. Heath’s pocket. I’ve read the article a million times now at school, but for some reason I wanted to read it again.

The next morning mother grew even more ill. Each time she continued to cough blood would usually be the product of it. Whenever I tried to call an ambulance for her she’d just stop me and say “No. Just hold me hand.” And so I did. But I couldn’t bare to see her in this condition. I want to remember her as they way we were yesterday. Beautiful and happy. Now she is weak and exhausted. I closed my eyes and prayed for God to find another way for her. But it didn’t seemed to be working. She just just kept coughing out blood. When she finally stopped she looked me in my eyes and said

“You always did look just like your father. My darling, remember that I love you,”

My first tears in all of this began to fall from my eyes because I knew these would be her final moments alive. Thought my plan could work it there was still that chance that it wouldn’t and it crushed my soul to lose her.

“I love you too mamma,”

“Forever and ever?” she said hoarsely

“Forever and ever,” I replied

Then she closed eyes to what seemed like she fell asleep, but she lost her grasp in my hand. I knew she was gone.  I sat there in silence and a minute later the doorbell rang. I went downstair from her room to get it and saw it was a man with a clipboard, a high definition robot holding a large package.

“Are you Mason Smith?” he said looking up from the clipboard.

“Yes,” I said.

“Sign here,” he said as he handed me the clipboard to sign. I signed it and handed it back to him.

“Here is the manual for the surgobot. He is already programed as you asked and ready to perform. That is the organ,”

“Thanks,” I told him.

“Here’s the number of the seller if you need any help. You have a good day sir,” he said as he walked away.

“Alright. Let’s get to work surgobot,”

“Surgobot 5000 is ready to go,”

“Surgobot carefully take the box all the way upstairs and then go to the first room to your right. Wait for me there,”

Then surgobot proceeded up the stairs. I ran straight to the basement and took one of the serum. My father wrote that too much could possible cause brain damage. I went back upstairs to my mother’s room and found surgobot standing there, waiting.


“Yes master,” it responded

“Please. Do as you were programed to my mother,” breathlessly I pointed to my mother’s dead body and surgobot got to work. I watched it all. I sat down and watched as surgobot 5000 opened up his chest and display of all different types of surgery utensils came out on a tray and took some things from the package and hooked my mother to a monitor. I watched as surgobot cut open my mother’s chest, took out her weak and enlarged heart, put back in the heart I bought, and sew her back up. All the while, all I thought about was my father. I thought about what was he planning to do with this serum. Did he already know about mom’s condition before she even did? Why did he pursue to do such a thing? Maybe , it was because we worked in NASA and he mind just wondered to those things. Maybe he just wanted to discover or create something new. Maybe he knew something. I was wondered and could never figured out what was would go on in my father’s mind, but my mother could. It was like she was a psychic. Which is probably why he loved her so much. Mother understood father like no other. Mother understood me also. I wonder if she knew what I’d be doing. Oh God, please let this work. I can’t loose all I have, not now when I need it the most.

“Master?” surgobot said interrupting my thoughts.

“Yes,” I replied. Within 5 hours of constant nail biting and piercing thoughts rattling in and out of my head surgobot 5000 was finished.

“I am finished what I was programed to do. Is there anything else you would like me to do master?”

“No. Thank you surgobot,”

“Have I done a good job?”

“Yes, you may now go to sleep if you please.”

“Thank you master,”

Surgobot found a corner and put himself to sleep. The monitor now had a beating sound which meant a pulse, but she needed more than just that. she needed the serum. I opened up the top and poured the serum into her mouth and watched as it went down her mouth. Then, I sat down beside her and waited.