Writing Prompt: A dying character has been knocking things off her bucket list and has reached the last item.
She cradled a scrap of paper ripped from a notebook without care. It was the words on the paper that mattered most. She ran a wrinkled thumb over the letters, scribbled by her own hand not more than two months ago. Hastily scratched lines were drawn through all of the words except one: Mom. The paper began to smear, and she quickly lifted her thumb. She turned it over and stared blankly at the lead smudged on the tip where she had run circles on the words.
She turned her blank stare to the building. There were other colors about, but she was unable to identify what they were connected to. Her mind was not willing to register the bright blue hydrangea bushes in full bloom that lined the left side of the front entrance, nor the scaled greens of the hosta plants that intermingled with annuals of a myriad of colors in front of the ramp providing disability access to the automatic sliding front doors. All she saw was the reddish tint to the brick that lined the building. Brick after brick after brick. Each one lead to the next, and each one had its own flaws and imperfections. Yet, together, they met as one and blended into a force that would hold a building upright.
Her eyes slowly moved to the large sign above the door as her mind began to focus on where she was and what she was about to do. Golden Living it called out to her. She mulled the words over in her head. They say that the end of your life is supposed to be the golden years, but she didn’t see anything in a life so close to death that would be worthy of being referred to as valuable gold. On the same token, she didn’t see anything in the physical space around her that should or could be compared to gold. The facility was relatively kept up, or at least the landscaping was tidy and neat. There were no windows bashed in, no graffiti on the walls. Did the simple lack of being worn down like the body of an eighty year old smoker mean that it was golden?
Her mind was snapped back into focus when the automatic doors slid open and an tall, thin orderly in forest green scrubs wheeled a grey haired, overweight gentleman down the ramp. The orderly attempted to smile at her, a presumably welcome visitor, but it never reached his eyes. It transformed his face into a toothy grimace. She grimaced back, hoping it looked more like a smile than it felt.
The man wheeled his client down the ramp and towards to the bench under the shade of an old oak tree. She stop staring, deciding it was time to go inside. Her feet felt heavy. Time slowed. Her speed was a hesitated walk, but time lapsed making it feel so much longer. The pit of nerves in her stomach fluttered its way through her body. Was her shaking noticeable, or was it all on the inside? Emotions flooded through her entire body with each step, despair, worthlessness, hatred, anger. Some were not attached to conscious memories of events, but some were.
To be continued…