Undignified Exit

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Flash Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic

It’s raining as I think this story. The first rain of Autumn. There are specks of rain on the glass.

bridge of sighs - by HJ Furl

Undignified Exit

“It’s raining, it’s pouring, the Old Man is snoring,

He went to bed, bumped his head, and couldn’t get up in the morning.”

Child’s Nursery Rhyme

It’s raining as I think this story. The first rain of Autumn. There are specks of rain on the glass. I stand behind the kitchen door and stare out at our garden, as the rain falls steadily on the patio, watering Annabel’s tomato plants. She’s left me this morning, to snatch a few sets of tennis at the Club, in the fervent hope that the rain stops, the sun comes out, and the puddles dry out on court. This year has been our best year ever for tomatoes. We have six more going ripe-red, hordes of tanned butternut squash, curing on the allotment. I put our success down to the hot summer sun. And now it’s raining. The first rain of Autumn.

Rain always makes me sad. I feel like crying. Instead, I make myself a mug of instant coffee. retire to the dining room, sit at the oak table, open my laptop, and stare over it at the dark skies: dreary, miserable, and unpredictable: like me this morning. I’m in a strange, indecisive, mood. Have I become seasonally-affected, mentally-disordered, by the challenging world we live in? I feel hot, overdressed, in my thick blue winter shirt, and chinos. I push back my orthopaedic chair, stretch my stiff arms, neck and back, open the window. An ambulance tears along the high street, its siren wailing for the ill, the dead and dying. Rain makes me sad, feel like crying.

I am having difficulty starting my day: the oppressive effect of the dull weather on my mind. I keep a to-do-list next to my PC. Sit down, and consult. The rain spatters against my window. As I begin to read, I’m distracted by the smooth swish of tyres on freshly-laid tarmac. Can this be her, drenched and despondent, returning from her abandoned, socially-distanced doubles? I look up and see William and Violin’s black 4x4, pulling into the parking bay opposite. Its brake lights extinguish. A light goes out in my brain. I close my eyes, try to focus on a story. Of when I was a boy. I honestly don’t know how to begin to tell you this. Perhaps I’ll leave it. No, wait!

I open my eyes and check the list. Jesus, where do I start?

When I die, I hope I die in a dignified manner. Hope someone comes to my funeral. Above all else, I hope I don’t die alone. The sun breaks through my dark clouds of death and despair. My mood brightens. I sip my cold cup of coffee. Close my eyes, and dream of when I was a boy of nine, without a care in the world. Sighing, I peer at the screen with my good eye, then I start to type:

It was raining when I wrote this story, the first rains of Autumn. When I died, I hoped, I wouldn’t have an undignified exit. Hoped, I didn’t die alone. Hoped, she came to my funeral.

 

 

 


Submitted: November 19, 2020

© Copyright 2020 HJFURL. All rights reserved.

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