Last Sunset

“The Sun make break out before it sets”  Father sits in his his back chair looking across the aged apartments and warehouses.

“You’ll get a good view of it yet.”  I’m not even looking at the scene.   The clock is stuck on 4:44.  I’m due down the street for a different setting.

“Come! Hurry with that scotch…  It won’t do me any good, if I’m dead before I get it!   Hell, doctor says it’ll kill me if I don’t stop drinking.  But I’ve only got months to live anyway.   You gonna make it over here before then.”  Father’s old bony hands grip both curved wood arm of the chair.  He pulls himself a few inches up to see what I’m doing. 

“Can I make myself one too ?   Really, I’ll be right there.   You’ll have a heart attack acting that way.   I put down the phone as I see him move. 

“She must be important.” He snatches the drink from my hands with remarkable speed.  In a flash it’s gone. “Another, I’m thirsty and my pain pills need help.”

I smile and go make the third drink for the suddenly lively dying man.

“You know they all come back to bite you in the ass.  Those women of yours.   It’s a shame.  I think your Mother and I raised you to be a door mat.  It was important to be respectful but I think you need a back bone.  Tell her the old man will die quickly.   Then she can have these two hours everyday too.” He stares out at the glowing orange ball diving toward the edge of the world.

“You know there’s no way I could ever be as ornery as the old man!  I told her I have slivers from you spitting glass at me. Here’s the next one.” I rush back.  I need to be there at the exact moment the Sun sets.

“I think this is the best one in awhile.” His voice fades quickly.  He raised the glass to toast the Sun. “My last one. l’m going now.  The world is best suited for those who can still get around.  I trust you’ll be alright finding the door.  I’ll be here in the chair tomorrow.  Can’t say I’ll be breathing.”

“Father, every night you say that, and tomorrow you are just as feisty.  Can I get you anything? Besides the glass of water.”  I turn to complete the daily ritual.  Walking in circles it seems.  I check the phone.  She’s waiting and sending a picture to hurry me along.

I carry the glass of water over to him.   His eyes are closed.   The scotch is gone.  I pry the glass from his hand.  He’s cold.  I shake him a bit.  I shake him a lot.  Both arms grab him and with a rush to see him wake up.  

It was the last sunset.  I’ve been going through motions.  I lost track of things.   I call 911.  They won’t do anything. He made sure noone would make him suffer longer. 
Written as part of a challenge called Sunday Photo Fiction, details at available https://sundayphotofictioner.wordpress.com/2016/11/27/sunday-photo-fiction-november-27th-2016/

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13 thoughts on “Last Sunset

  1. Every day he says it, and one day it will happen. Today was the day. A good story.

    One of the challenges of Sunday Photo Fiction is careful editing, keeping the story going along whilst it remains in the confines of 200 words. One of the reasons I extended it from 150 words to 200 within the first year. It can be difficult, but that is half the fun of it.

    Liked by 1 person

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