Passing Time

“The Devil’s pocket watch had no hands.” Parson Dubois whispers to the pale breeze.

His eyes look for the passage of time or life…Or anything. His wooden bench testament of a barn no longer in use. Much like the rest of the dozen buildings long abandoned that make up Destiny. His world of three dusty rows mistaken for streets.

His mind places people about the store fronts. Ghosts of days gone by. Horses tied to posts. A wagon left half way between coming and going. Sounds of children ring out. Ladies in long dresses meander past lost in conversation about their neighbors.

The church bell clangs behind him. He jumps up to answer. His hands part the brown faded doors. The empty rows of pews lay sleeping. A simple dias with an open book holds service to a lost cause. Yet behind a partial wall there seems to be life.

His stands fast in the middle to gaze out among his missing flock. He knows no-one should have gone past him. His company creates a mystery. Even the ghosts have departed these parts.

From a corner jumps a ten treat old Reggie Whitener. His Amish hat just about swallows his head. His smile lights up the room.

“I waited till I seen Mr Miller..just like you ask of me!” Reggie stands like he is ready to run and chase the wind.

“Well, that’s a good young man.” He speaks faintly while his eyes look upon someone gone to his reward several years earlier. “Now light us a candle and take your place near your momma.”

He gives into the scene. Voices fill a previously empty church. Parson Dubois wipes his eyes of the flow of tears. He is smiling for first time in a long time. His back remains to the church. His pulse kicks up a notch causing a hot flash.

He turns to hear an angel’s voice calling the assembly toward the light. Standing together six and thirty begin to sing. Each face lights up with a soft glow. They all gently sway side to side in rhythm of the hymn. One last beacon of hope from the ashes blown around for a generation.

“You have all come back to me!” he leaves a careless laugh to his words.

The breezes blow past. Through the windows a world grows dark. The faces smile brighter.

“It’s time you came home with us.” They collectively sing.

Parson Dubois falls sidewise on the bench. His pocket watch no longer needs hands either.

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