Harry stepped out into the winter’s evening to take his regular constitutional up the garden path.

“Ay, but ‘tis a beautiful night,” he said, taking a deep breath and smelling the frost in the air. He paused to glance up into the cloudless sky, abundant with brilliant stars and sickle moon.

He remembered the story on the news. That bloke that played Captain Kirk had really gone into space. “I’m surprised ‘e didn’t snuff it,” he muttered, “Only ‘bout three year younger ‘n me. Lucky beggar.”

Harry had dreamt of going into space. Instead he’d ended up in the ground. He carefully shambled back towards the house, noticing a glint of evening frost on the path. He wasn’t ready to go back in yet, so perched down on the doorstep, feeling the chill as he leaned back against the door jamb.

With a rustle, the familiar black and white face of the neighbour’s collie poked through the privet hedge.

“Ay up, Bob.” The dog trotted over to him. “Mebbe if I’d been an actor, ‘stead of going down pit all them years, I coulda gone t’ moon.” 

He looked wistfully into the beautiful night sky, sighed, and closed his eyes, Bob settling into his side.

Harry thought he’d dropped off to sleep and was dreaming when he found himself drifting up towards the moon. He stopped, a surreal moment, when he turned back towards the ground and saw himself sitting on the step with Bob.

“Oh,” he said, “Is this what ‘tis t’ die?” 

He felt as though he was poised on a pinnacle and had a choice to make. He could go back to his body and his life, but those stars were just so beautiful. He smiled when he imagined himself swinging his legs from that crescent moon. And he’d been so lonely since his Mable died six years ago.

His choice made, he continued to drift towards those breathtaking stars and, as he passed through Earth’s atmosphere and saw the universe in its truest glory, Harry knew that he’d finally come home to the place he belonged.

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Lotchie Carmelo
Lotchie Carmelo(@lotchie-carmelo)
7 months ago

Hello, Carrie. I burst into tears while reading your story. Maybe I was affected by Harry’s decision to choose to move on towards that beautiful star and moon rather than return to his body. How easily he accepted his death. While me, I have not yet fully accepted the death of my father last 2017 until now from a vehicular accident. I am wondering if my dad was also given the opportunity to choose to go back to his body or not? I keep asking now why my father did not choose to return to his body, to return to the world, to return to us. Anyway, it is a great story, Carrie. 

Lotchie Carmelo
Lotchie Carmelo(@lotchie-carmelo)
Reply to  Carrie OLeary
7 months ago

Hello, Carrie. Do not worry. I can handle the pain, but sometimes I feel emotional when I remember him. Take care of yourself too. 

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Linda Rock
Linda Rock(@linda-rock)
7 months ago

There is such a wonderful sense of peace in the last paragraph of your story Carrie. Harry definitely made the right choice and I feel sure Mable was waiting for him. Heartwarming and well written, as always, Carrie.

Christer Norrlof
Christer Norrlof(@christer-norrlof)
7 months ago

A nice and well written story about the last day in an old man’s life, Carrie. Being a widower, he is probably agreeing to go after a long life, and in the company of the nice neighbor dog during a peaceful and starry night. It seems as a smooth transition. You have a great, realistic way to express the old man’s inner dialogue.

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Marianna Pieterse
Marianna Pieterse(@marianna-pieterse)
7 months ago

This is such a beautiful, heartwarming story, Carrie. I think Harry made the right choice. I enjoyed reading this.

Last edited 7 months ago by Marianna Pieterse
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Marianna Pieterse
Marianna Pieterse(@marianna-pieterse)
Reply to  Carrie OLeary
7 months ago

Thank you, Carrie!  

Orlando Sanchez
Orlando Sanchez(@orlando-sanchez)
7 months ago

For this brief moment, I was able to sit with Harry as he moved on to his final home. Profound story, thank you Carrie!

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