The Last Sunset


The day had been long, filled with visitors and laughter.  Memories drifted about the normally quiet room and hung against the walls like photographs of old friends and family.  no where was there a quiet moment to think or breathe.  No one wanted to leave and let the day come to a quiet end.

Even the sun shone brightly through the window as if the day were something special.  No clouds drifted across the sky or rain fell, only voices and music filled the air.  Through the open window, the sweet scents of flowers and green trees wafted about the room, brightening some of those forgotten memories hanging in the air and swirled merrily with each puff of soft, warm breezes.  Songs of birds filtered in through the voices, adding to cacophony of sound and love of those who had come to gather.

One by one, the visitors left, leaving behind them a token of their passing, a brief moment in the long train of memories filling the room.  Slowly, the music and the voices faded, leaving behind peaceful thoughts and the warm communion of memory and the touch of the cooling breeze through the window.  As each person left, the sun sank lower in the sky, casting shadows that reached toward the open window to touch the one person who could not leave the room.

Left alone, the elder watched the light fade and listened to the steady tempo of sound from the devices surrounding her resting place.  Beep.  Beep.  Beep.  They kept time with her thoughts and heart as she looked upon the tokens and smiled at the memories as they came to her one by one.  Her eyes drifted up to the ceiling, looking toward to oldest of her memories and smiled at the remembered sunshine and the warm breezes that caressed the face of a much young person so long ago.  Then, looking inward, she found that youth once again and smiled softly.

As the shadows reached the window and slipped inside, the last rays of the sun shimmered against the far wall with particles of dust dancing aimlessly like children in a field of waving grass during the heights of summer.  Reaching toward the youth in her memory, she sought to feel one last time the person she once was and smiled.  Her life had been long and her younger self smiled, approving of the things she had done and accomplished.

Taking her by the hand, the young girl of memory lead the elder to the window to watch the last rays of sunlight fade, the sailed with her deep into the halls of forgotten things past.  Through dangling wishes and heartfelt please, the youth whisked the elder away to catch the last drop of sun before it faded away into the soft shimmer of starlight.

Beep.  Beep… Beep…

The machines slowed, keeping time as the elder slipped into sleep.  A smile still touched the still face of the resting elder no longer held tight by the bonds of memory.

Beep… Beep…  Nothing more but a single tone to say that she had become another memory to hang against the wall of her visitors’ rooms.  The sun had set and with it, she left.  The breezes became still and cold with the passing of another droplet of light.  The sweet scents drifted away to mourn the loss of another maiden.  Only the shadows and the stars could see where the elder had gone with the sun as it set upon the earth.

Only the sun knew where she ran to.  Only the sun knows where the spirits soar when they find their last sunset.

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