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Across The Road
by Louis Sisto


Larry twisted his emaciated body in his bed and glanced weakly out of the window towards the cemetery across the road. His chest lifted slightly with another strained, uninspired breath as his bony hands gripped the top of the bed sheet. The rancid smell of phantom cigarette smoke infiltrated his nostrils. That was impossible; he hadn’t smoked in months.

The cancer had announced itself like an unwelcome in-law back in February, peeling away at his exterior in a matter of weeks, to the point where looking into a mirror revealed a stranger’s glare in return. It held him hostage, eating away at his strength, laugh, and even his pride.

He studied the tombstones, standing in perfectly aligned rows like unforgiving sentries. They said that a person’s life flashes across the mind in the last few moments, sort of like an old, worn videotape that plays over and over again.

Larry’s mind was blank. There wasn’t much he cared to remember about his life anyway. From a distant chamber somewhere in his mind he could hear his father’s voice lecturing him about gratitude. Larry fought back a tear; not one of sadness, but of rage. He felt he still had a score to settle with the world, even in his current state. He felt something strange happening in his chest as he watched the freshly cut grass in the cemetery blow cheerily in the summer wind.

His eyes closed for the final time as he prepared for the trip across the road.



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