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A Dead Sleep...


The old man just stood there in silence. His life flashing before his eyes like a Fourth of July parade. Everyone he loved in the past floated by with wonderful smiles. His first crush, his his first love, his first child, everyone that was dear to him or touched him in a positive way one way or another.

It was the emptiness that surrounded his reality. Darkness invading his soul. The child that lingered in his seventy year old body wanted to scream and shout. Wanted to find his mother and run to her arms.

Despairing and defeated. He felt like that all over and he simply had no control over it. Even in such a turmoil state his fear seethed causing his nose to run and tears to fall.

He could run away, but his tired old legs would cause him to collapse. He knew there wasn't anything he could do, but face what was coming. He could stop caring, stop crying and expect to stop feeling the pain that was about to consume him. He could write a suicide note, but he couldn't think of any words to say. Even good-bye would have been even more painful than what was coming.

He slumped back up against the wall and rubbed his wet, tired, weary eyes. It was probably the last time he would feel the warmth in his tears.

A cold breeze brushed past his face probably reminding him of how death would feel. He could almost see the darkness opening up the floor directly in front of him and inviting him in. Daring him to step closer and join the dead.

The hurt of leaving his family and friends was strong, but not as strong as the ache in his heart. It wanted to explode so death could come quicker. Waiting for death had a horrible smothering sensation. He couldn't breathe and he couldn't feel his body. He felt like an empty shell of a man.

If death came unexpected, none of what he was going through would matter. He would be living and then seconds later he'd be dead. That's how it should, he thought.

The pain that death promised was something he wasn't familiar with. It was like an enemy ready to pounce. Ready to take control of his fears and increase the volume.

He sat in his emotionally spent stupor weighing the difference of life and death. He kept wondering if he did enough in life that would satisfy the Heavens. Would he be able to enter the Golden Gates?

He shook momentarily when he felt the gun pressing against his forehead. It was an odd cold that pressed against his skin.

No more tears, no more pain after the trigger is pressed. He wanted it over as quickly as possible. He looked up at the gunman and whispered, “Do it.”

“I'm so sorry,” whispered the gunman. “There can be no witnesses.”

One single shot rang out and finally he drifted without effort into a dead sleep...

© 2018 Frank Atanacio

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