Prompt: An elderly man in hospice, his cell phone dies, and he’s in the middle of a forest untouched by man

We did this assignment in class where we drew cards for character, setting and conflict. This is what I came up with-

 

As usual, the rhythmic beeping of the heart monitor and hum of various other medical devices constantly attached to Albert lulled him to sleep this afternoon. The sun poured in through his windows and warmed his room just enough for him to be comfortable. Alberts long, thin legs stuck off the end of the bed he was confined to. He came here at this time every day to avoid the world, for just a little while. Albert was a quiet, determined, and self sufficient man; once he had an idea in his head, that was it, there was no use for discussion. It was that way with everything for him, just like the idiotic chair aerobics he refused to partake in here at Sunrise Hospice Care. Where, ironically, the residents never got to actually see the sunrise. That had to one of the things Albert missed most, he was an early riser his whole life. Now being confined to a too small room and a too small bed, he missed the air and the feeling of sunlight on your skin.

Today was the first day of spring, his favorite day. This was the day he would typically set out his camping gear and pack it all into his small trail hiking backpack and then drive until he found a new mountain to climb. This year was different though, especially with a recently broken arm and a slew of other health complications, plus the recent death of his wife. His son no longer believed Albert could take care of himself and moved him to Sunrise. It had been a really rough year without his wife, Sarah. His health declined along with hers, and when she died so did his spirit.

In the tiny, white, sterile bed Alberts body twitched and squirmed until he finally relaxed into a dream. He was suddenly emerged in luscious greens, surrounded by nothing but vegetation. He grasped a damp branch form the ground and tested its strength,

“Perfect” he told himself. A wide and true smile spread from ear to wrinkled ear. Placing one leg over the log in front of him, stabilizing himself with his branch, he began scaling the mountain. There were no paths, just him and nature. Just like the last trip he took with Sarah. Untouched nature, just the way they had liked.

Climbing further up the lush green mountain, Albert never tired. He paused periodically to take photos of the views on his old flip phone. He couldn’t wait to send them to his son, he would never believe his eyes. Too soon, the red light began blinking in the top right corner of the screen, telling him he used up most of the battery. Albert zipped the phone into the chest pocket on his vest and continued climbing, he would save the last shot for the very top of the mountain. Passing tree after tree, his hike began to look more and more like his last trip with Sarah. Memories flashed before his eyes, times he wished he could relive. His heart felt weak with want for times that had passed.

“I wonder” He said and began pushing away the brush to his left. Quickening his pace, he began jogging through the thick woods, his heart beating faster and harder with every step. Finally, he was immersed in a meadow, identical to the one he and Sarah had found long ago.

Looking around in amazement, he saw a figure emerge from the across the opening. The figure raised their head to the light and Albert couldn’t believe his eyes.

“Sarah?” And he was running to her, with his heart beating faster than ever. He just barely heard the two quick beeps and the long tone his phone made to tell him it was out of battery. But as he enveloped Sarah in his arms, nothing else in the world mattered.

The young nurse had been with Albert from the beginning of his time at Sunrise. With a tear in her eye, she turned the flat lined monitor off. She dragged the white sheet of the bed over Alberts head, giving him the last bit of peace he would ever have.

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