The old man of Newtown

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Other  |  House: Booksie Classic
A story about immortality

Submitted: October 10, 2013

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Submitted: October 10, 2013

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Leaves had started to change color. The hill overlooking the town was gold with specks of red. Air was crisp and the residents of Newtown were getting ready to embrace winter. The only thing disrupting the quiet sunny October afternoon was the noise of a giant lawn mower. Like every year, arrangements were being made for the Halloween parade to end at this small downtown park in historic Newtown. There wasn't much left of the downtown. Like every other town in recession, rich people had moved to better neighborhoods, leaving behind the less fortunate ones.
 
She was one of the less fortunate ones in many ways. Her clothes were old and had not been washed in some time. Her little daughter wore shoes that were torn at the toes. I knew her story because she came to the park and sat beside me on two different days. She did not seem to care about me and talked only to her daughter. 
 
The little girl had lost her brother. He was only four months old. He meant the world to his mother. She was twenty one and their father had left them and had moved to another town when she was still pregnant with his son. The baby boy was born in summer. He had shiny eyes and would play with his mother for hours together without getting tired. He had never seen his father, not even when he got sick. Last week he died. She still had his clothes. She had named him Daniel. Daniel’s sister was too young to understand why her mother cried so often and why she always hugged her and kissed her cheek at the end of her crying spell. 
 
The air was beginning to get chilly. Daniel’s mother got up from the bench, gathered her stuff and picked up her daughter. Just when she was leaving, she stopped for a moment and touched my metal torso with her warm hand. She said she wished that she could make a statue of him like that, to make him immortal. The green rust of my copper body became moist by the sweat of her palm and she left. 
 
The park suddenly became empty. The giant lawn mower was gone. I stood there alone, as a tribute to a fallen soldier of the American Philippine war over a hundred years ago. I was a war memorial that had lost its identity as a person. Everybody who ever knew me as a young man, a father or a soldier was dead and their graves were lost. 
 
Through the woods of the golden hill, a freight train passed on its way to Canada and then it became very quiet. Night had fallen on Newtown and another day of my immortality was over, leaving behind darkness. 


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