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Evening Letter

“There’ll be time enough for sleep when you’re dead, old man.” Marshall stared at the tired, red eyes looking back at him from the mirror, hooded with thick, heavy lids.

He grunted. A rueful smile creased his cheeks.

Marshall had always thought that line about sleeping when you’re dead was cute when his daddy used it against his granddaddy, but it didn’t seem so funny now.

Of course, Marshall never thought he himself would look so old … be so old.

Truth was, he really did need to get some sleep. The world had been building up on him of late, and he was coming apart. He felt it. Doc Simmons confirmed it. In the end, it wouldn’t matter whether he slept, but he sure would appreciate the respite.

Problem was, he had a letter to write. A very important letter.

Marshall took one last look at his face and shuffled toward the desk in front of the window. He plopped down on the hard oak chair, glanced at the candlestick telephone.

Sure would be a might easier if he could just call the fella, but then Marshall didn’t reckon they had phones where Michael was at that moment.

Marshall sighed and cracked his knuckles, picked up the fountain pen, ran his other hand over the paper as if to wave the words into creation.

Why had he ever hooked up with such a young woman? He knew it could only lead to heartache for her, but he’d never even considered what he might be missing out on.

He caught his breath and gritted his teeth. The pain in his belly was hotter than ever. He had to hurry.

He leaned over the paper and began to write …

“Dear Son … I’m awful sorry we never got to meet …”

Published inFlash Fiction

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