THE OLD MAN PASSES

Old Fred shuffles down the hall, his slippers scuffing audibly.
He’d been in bed, but like most nights, he liked to get up and walk.  He’d head away from the nurses’ station.  If he didn’t find them first, they’d hear his distinctive shuffle and arrive to guide him back to his bed, tucking him in.
Both nurses arrived outside his room from opposite directions. They’d expect to find him ready for their usual cajoling.  Looking worried, they’d searched the hall and adjoining rooms.  Finally one looked in on his room, finding him still in bed.  His chest still.  No pulse.

__________________

Friday 28-June-2013 7:47 pm
I wrote the following notes after drafting and finalizing the above story as a 100-word drabble. Driving home tonight from Tweed Heads in some heavy rain, I got to thinking about a story my sister told me last Thursday evening, about a man who had passed on from the dementia wing in the aged care residential facility she works in. Both she and the other nurse on duty heard him walking down the hall, but when they found him – in his bed – he’d already died…. So who had they heard?

I forgot the name of the gentleman as she mentioned it, so I used my maternal grandfather’s name instead. I think he would approve.

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