Updated date:

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


Frank Atanacio (author) from Shelton on April 11, 2018:

thank you Ann for the foot prints today.. bless you..:)

Ann Carr from SW England on April 11, 2018:

Chilling but beautiful at the same time - the man's thoughts about his life and loved ones, so beautifully expressed.


Frank Atanacio (author) from Shelton on March 28, 2018:

thank you Lisa for reading my dead sleep

Lisa Chronister from Florida on March 28, 2018:

This was really beautiful! I Love the twist at the end, it never occurred to me that he wouldn't be the one pulling the trigger. I love it!

Frank Atanacio (author) from Shelton on March 27, 2018:

Peggy thank you so much

Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on March 27, 2018:

Like others I thought that he was contemplating suicide. Your stories are always interesting and I should have known that there would be a twist and/or surprise ending.

Frank Atanacio (author) from Shelton on March 27, 2018:

thank you Li-Jen

Li-Jen Hew on March 27, 2018:

I see...that's how inner child is in an old man's body..Nice story by the way. Thriller movies are exciting but it's nice to be able to describe them in words like you did...I can feel the cold gun pressed against my forehead.

Frank Atanacio (author) from Shelton on March 25, 2018:

thanks MsDora Bless you

Dora Weithers from The Caribbean on March 25, 2018:

Surprise and sadness in a kind of mix that only a Frank Atanacio story could produce! One-of-a-kind good.

Frank Atanacio (author) from Shelton on March 25, 2018:

thanks Flourishanyway :)

FlourishAnyway from USA on March 25, 2018:

Just when I thought it was his own (un)doing, you throw a surprise at the end. Sad and terrifying.

Frank Atanacio (author) from Shelton on March 24, 2018:

thank you so much John

John M McNally on March 24, 2018:

A really good story Frank. I had to read it twice: once to see what happened and a second time to think about it and appreciate the writing.

Frank Atanacio (author) from Shelton on March 24, 2018:

thanks Eric, for your comment

Eric Boyd on March 23, 2018:

Amazing how I thought there was going to be a suicide.. clever my good buddy clever

Frank Atanacio (author) from Shelton on March 23, 2018:

Oh Gee I Hope these things don't happen..thanks for stopping by manatita

manatita44 from london on March 22, 2018:

A super excellent piece Frank. These things do happen unfortunately. You have woven or crafted it quite well. Have a great evening.

Frank Atanacio (author) from Shelton on March 22, 2018:

thanks so much Jack and Bill for stopping by and visiting my dead sleep

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on March 22, 2018:

Titles are so important to the success of a story...this title is perfect in its simplicity!

jgshorebird on March 22, 2018:

Well, I'm glad that he wasn't going to off himself. That would have felt really bad. The twist wasn't expected at the end. At first I wondered if he was losing his mind. It is also interesting how the picture in this one, helps set the mood -- at least for me.

Related Articles