A Flicker Of Life

Finalist in the 'Write Along 2018' competition

Through the cold mist of a worn-down veteran limped along the damp and rugged peninsula’s path, the uninterruptable sea battered the ragged rocks below him. Out of the corner of his eye, beyond the shortcut leading down to the water’s edge, he could make out a figure of a young boy sitting emotionless staring at the ocean, fishing.
“Foolish boy!” he muttered to himself and continued his journey to the end of the peninsula.
The old man had been a fisherman in his early life, but it had loss him everything he had. He had never been a wealthy man and had only found his life when he met his wife some fifty-two years ago, but that was all gone now along with his joy, happiness and health. Every day for the past twenty years, the old man had journeyed along this path and reminisced about the life he once had. He had been waiting, waiting for something to happen to change his life.
With no warning he heard a piercing scream. The old man’s eyes lit up, he turned around and ran faster than he had ever run before to the direction of the boy. He had not run this fast in his life. As he reached the site where the boy had been sitting, he saw a bright lantern bobbing at the water’s edge. Without hesitation, he grabbed it.
“Where are you!?” he bellowed louder than he ever had.
Suddenly a hand shot out of the freezing water. The old man took his chance and grasped it, for the first time in his life he felt needed and that gave him more strength than he had ever had before. With this strength, he was able to pull the boy up.
“Thank you!” the boy exclaimed.
“No, thank you!’ the old man said back.
The boy turned around and climbed to higher ground. The old man looked back at the ocean and smiled. As he turned, an enormous wave pulled him into the raging ocean. The boy could do nothing but watch in horror as the old man disappeared and the lantern’s light grew fainter and fainter.
Little did the boy know how much joy he’d brought the old man in the final moments of his life. The man may have gone but he had passed away with a fulfilled soul and a piece of gold in his heart.



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