In Passing a short story

The two old friends walked down the moon lit lane, it was 3am and they’d just left another friend Tom’s house, after a night of reminiscing. They came to a bench and Bill sat down, looking across at the trees that lined the path. Josh sat next to him. Bill leaned forward and spoke, “The mist makes it worse, or at least, it did for me the first time.” Josh looked at his friend curiously, “The first time?” Bill continued, “Yes, the first time I saw him, or should I saw, thought I saw him.” Again, Josh seemed confused, “Saw who?” “Sorry.” Said Bill, “Let me explain. Have you ever been walking at this time of morning and seen what you thought was someone in the distance but when you got there it’s…a tree, or an old coat draped over a fence that you mistook for someone leaning there? Maybe out of the corner of your eye you think someone is standing next to you but when you turn they’ve gone? Josh replied, “Imagination can play tricks on you.” Bill carried on, “True, but what if it isn’t imagination? What if it really is an old man leaning on the fence up ahead? I believe that the closer you are to death, the clearer these people become. They are sent to soften the blow when your time comes.” Josh stood up and stretched, “Surely you can’t believe such nonsense.” Bill didn’t move and then he pointed ahead. “Over there, through the mist, the moonlight is catching the shapes ahead. What do you see?” Josh squinted,” A bush hanging over someone’s fence, a bag of leaves waiting to be burned and a rake propped up by the side of the bag. Why, what do you see?” Bill nodded, as if he was acknowledging someone and his arm dropped, “My passing!”

With that his heart stopped.

The End