Please feel free to download this story in PDF … Passing On
Passing On … A very short story (Flash Fiction)… by Russell Perry.
The old man lay on the ground looking up at the clear blue sky through the fluttering canopy of a large, spreading mango tree. He was lying on his back and could feel the coolness of the lush grass through his damp shirt. He had been playing bocce with friends just before he fell, and although his strength had left him and he was unable to move, he was fully aware of his surroundings and the reactions that his fall had caused.
There was action all around him; excited people with raised voices. Someone was asking him to stay with them as they opened the top buttons on his shirt, another was asking everyone to stand back and give him space while worried faces peered down at him anxiously offering advice.
He could hear a siren wailing in the back ground and becoming louder as it got closer; he knew it was an ambulance coming for him, however now through all of this chaos, he was calm.
He felt no pain now, he was at peace; he remembered a blow slamming him like a sledge hammer in the chest and then the pain in his left arm. He remembered the dizziness taking the strength from his limbs and causing him to fall to the ground, but all of that seemed unimportant now, it had passed, and all of the excitement around him faded to the back ground.
He thought of his beloved wife of many years and his beautiful daughter who bought him so much joy, and how much he loved them both. It made him sad to think that he wouldn’t see them again just once more to say goodbye before he left, then his thoughts were of his son and the love and the pride that he felt for him. He reflected on their close relationship and on what an outstanding young man he had become, respected by his family and his community for his many qualities.
He hoped that his children’s lives would be as rich and wonder filled as his had been, and that his wife would spend many more years in the comfort of their love.
His thoughts were very clear now as he took stock of this life he was about to leave.
The year was 1965, and he was in his 70th year. There was no doubt that he would like to live longer, but if someone had offered him 70 years when he was a young man, fighting for his life and the lives of his comrades during the war in Europe, he would have taken it gladly and been well pleased with the deal.
The old man was happy in the knowledge that when he was gone, his family would be secure financially, and he knew that each of them was more than capable of contributing to the improvement of his legacy.
He felt little sorrow for himself at his leaving, except that he would never know the joy of grandchildren. His children had come late in his life and they were yet to have children of their own, but he was sure that they would come, his children would see to that in good time, and through them they would know him.
He thought of his life-long friend who knelt beside him now with tears in his eyes, holding his hand as he died.
He couldn’t speak now, but as he looked into his old friend’s eyes, he wanted to tell him how much he had treasured his friendship over the many years that they had known each other, and he wanted to tell him not to be sad, that everything was as it should be. He thought of the achievements that they had known together in their lives, and he had no regrets.
They had come a long way in the many years that they had been friends; they had crossed continents together and fought their enemies together; they had toiled and laughed together, and they had raised their families together. As he smiled up at him through welling tears, he hoped that his brother at arms and close friend would have many more years to enjoy his family and that his children would give him many grandchildren.
Finally, he thought of the family that had come before, his first family that he had left behind those many years ago when he was yet a young man in Lari, the village of his birth in Italy; the family that he had seen but a handful of times since.
He thought of his mother, his father and his older brother. They were all gone now, but he could see their faces clearly, as if it were yesterday. His plan had always been to bring them out to his new country and have them share his wonderful new life, but it wasn’t to be. When the time came they were old and wished to stay in their old country, in their home.
He had loved them dearly and had always hoped that when this moment came for him, he would see them again and would be able to hold them to him once more and rejoice in the comfort of their presence as he had when he was a child.
It seemed to him that his life, a very good and rewarding life, had gone by in just a blink and he wondered what would come next. He wasn’t nervous or frightened, he was just curious.
He was leaving now, suddenly finding himself above the confusion on the ground. He could see the paramedics lifting his body into the van, and the press of people trying to help.
As he watched them, he reflected on how many good friends he had, and as he started to rush away from the scene, he turned toward a gentle, white light, looking for his family.
Suddenly he was in a hospital room, and he wasn’t himself, he was a baby again. For a fraction of a second he saw a young man’s face staring at him, and then, just as suddenly, he was back in the white light, and his mother and brother were there, arms outstretched to welcome him home.
He searched around expectantly, then saw his father walking towards him with a gentle smile on his face, and he knew that he was loved and in a safe place. He looked around for the baby, but couldn’t find him, yet he knew that he was with him and that this would always be so.
At the very moment that the old man past on, Pamela Dyson gave birth to a healthy, robust boy, his head covered in a shock of curly auburn-red hair. Her husband, Richard, was present at the birth and said afterwards that he was certain, that at the moment the baby was born, his son opened his eyes and stared directly up at him, and for a split second had a very adult frown and expression of curiosity on his face, but then the child closed his eyes and, crying loudly, became a baby again.
This very short story (Flash Fiction), also doubles as the first chapter of “The Returning” the first book in The Returning Series
If you wish to purchase this complete story of reincarnation please click here.