Monday, June 23, 2008

It is Time

The weather vane, shaped like a cow, glowed bronze in the evening light. The cow's horns faced north, and no wind was blowing. Slowly, the post squeaking in its axis, the cow's head turned south, even though the air was still. The movement caught the eye of the old man in the overalls and red plaid shirt, rocking back and forth in the chair on the front porch. The rails on the chair rubbed against the wood on the porch floor, making a lower pitched squeak than the metal post of the weather vane.

The old man took one last puff of his pipe, and blew the smoke out of his nostrils. Moving slowly, he tapped the tobacco out of the pipe onto the floor, and raised himself out of the chair. His limbs creaked almost as loudly as the old rocking chair. He looked up at the weather vane again. The cow slowly made her way back to facing north, as she had done when he first sat down.

Making his way to the barn, the old man shook his head. He was hoping for more time. But his entire life was enough, he supposed. He'd been waiting for this sign since the day he brought his wife over the threshold of their farmhouse for the first time. She was light as a feather then, and light as a feather now. And though his face showed the wrinkles of his age, she still looked the same as she did forty-seven years ago.

A bright light emerged from between the cracks in the barn door. He pushed the door along its sliding tracks and the light engulfed him with warmth. The old man could feel a presence in the air, though he did not see anything through the amber glow. Without a sound, the presence spoke to him.

"You know why I'm here."

The old man nodded.

"She has already been taken."

He nodded again.

"Thank you."

Gradually, the amber light began to fade. As it disappeared, the old man whispered,
"Thank you for the time that I had with her."

Just before the light completely disappeared, it reflected off of a tear tracing it's way down the old man's weathered cheek.

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