After Dinner Conversation

Volume 4, Issue 8, August 2023

Kelly Piner
Pages 15-26


Do desperate times justify desperate measures, or are some measures always off the table? In this work of philosophical short story fiction, Hank is the inheritor of House of Hope, a farm facility where elderly or unwanted pets are shipped to be euthanized. This has become increasingly common because of severe global shortages that have pushed the world into near chaos. Each day, wooden crates arrive with dogs, cats, rabbits, and a menagerie of pets to be euthanized. To simplify the process, the government no longer allows families to drop off pets personally or to be with them as they are euthanized. Furthermore, due to resource scarcity it is against the law for House of Hope to take in, or adopt out, the pets that come in. Hank hates the situation, but justifies his role in it by saying, at least, he treats the animals with dignity in their final moments. Things take a turn for the strange when we learn that the unwanted elderly are also shipped in boxes to House of Hope to be euthanized as well.