Leaving (Flash Fiction)

Bob never heard him step through the door. He really was as silent as death. Bob hung his head with heavy understanding.

“Are you ready?” he asked.

“I don’t know,” Bob said. “I guess so. Does it take long?”

He shrugged. It was unbearably casual. “It depends on if you’re ready. Some people aren’t, so it takes longer.”

Bob nodded, sipping down the last of his beer. It occurred to him how much the taste had faded. Beer used to taste better.

“I have regrets,” Bob said, shaking his head.

“Everyone does.”

“What if-”

“It’s worse if you resist. Believe me.” He held out his hand. It looked terribly cold.

Bob slumped off the stool and made his way to the door. The downtown street was glowing from the soft rain. Bob hesitated. “Can I ask you a question before we go?”

“Sure.”

“What’s with the scythe? Is it true, the whole ‘harvester of souls’ thing?”

“Just between you and me?”

Bob nodded.

“It’s just because it looks cool.”

Bob smiled. It was a smile that faded quickly.

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