The Man at 3am

Reads: 167  | Likes: 0  | Shelves: 0  | Comments: 1

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Reddit
  • Pinterest
  • Invite

Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Flash Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic

A woman watches a man come out of her neighbor's house at 3am.

The Man at 3am

There’s a light from the streetlamp. It casts a spotlight on the driveway before it blends into the trees. At 3am the shadows wave along the bushes as I stand at my bedroom window and look down on my neighbor’s house.

A man appears on the driveway. He’s dressed in a long dark overcoat and steps into the lamplight – the same man as every night – with the same hat, the same crease down the middle because he seems to come from the past. From an old movie, or fifty years ago, right onto my neighbor’s driveway.

I gasp and hold back as he steps in the light. Do I imagine him?

He stops. He’s never stopped before.

Not since all this started and we clamped down and stayed home because people were dying. So many were dying in New York, so many were sick and unable to breathe; he always hurried then. Walked fast, turning out of the driveway and onto the street, walking rapidly toward the university and the hospital and the research lab where they’re working night and day to make a vaccine. He walked fast with his head down, so I couldn’t see to his face.

It’s only that my dear old neighbor Ralph had died this past December. Old Ralph who used to work at the research lab for all those years, so that I watch out for his house now, which is empty and vacant and up for sale. Because as the weeks stretch on, the same man comes out of that house at 3am and I stand at my window wanting to think that its Ralph – he’s back in action now. Up there late nights at the laboratory putting a bug in their ears. Try this. Try that! 

I don’t want it to be some homeless man with a garbage hat, but angel Ralph who’s hard at work, still helping us. That all of those who’ve died are still hovering around in the hospitals, holding around the ventilators as the sick ones breathe in and breathe out. That they’re soothing and helping, however they can, whispering kind words in their ears. So that the weary caregivers, who’re risking their own lives, can get some kind of strength from them. Draw in some sort of sap and buoying up in the long dark night – the graveyard shift – now seen in a kinder light.

The man looks up at my window.

I peer down in his face.

He takes his hat and tips it, then walks – with purpose – into the night.

 


Submitted: May 03, 2020

© Copyright 2021 Suzanne Mays. All rights reserved.

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Reddit
  • Pinterest
  • Invite

Add Your Comments:

Comments

Archia

I loved that end, it was so beautiful. I enjoyed the mystery that built around who this man was, and that tip at the end that he's not such a mystery but a man who does amazing work.

Wed, January 6th, 2021 11:48pm

Facebook Comments

More Flash Fiction Short Stories

Other Content by Suzanne Mays

Short Story / Action and Adventure

Book / Romance

Book / Romance