The Last Word

By way of a change, here is a short piece of prose:

In a writers’ group this morning we were challenged to write a short story in 150 words.  The story below contains exactly that number.

The beach at dusk, photo by me.


The light was starting to fade, and breaking soft waves seemed even quieter.  He stopped collecting pebbles and watched everything beginning to merge, the best time of the day, when eternity was almost a presence, and we were reminded of our brevity.

He was at ease now with time, he had enjoyed its accelerating experience, seemingly ever faster with each decade, but now parts of his body were in denial of their function and the ride was very rough, even on the bystanders.

Enough stones, the E was finished, and the full stop was his wallet.

The wavelets whispered over his shoes, he paused and smiled, thinking, ‘Roger would have called this susurration’, then continued his slow walk. The cold touch at his groin ironically reminded him of the warmth of his long marriage, and strengthened his resolve.

They found his wallet, and the pebbles, spelling out his last word.

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