The long shadows stretch out, carving a swath into the close of the day. This day is more than the end of one more day, one more 24 hour period fading into the dusk of life and lingering in darkness before easing into the next. This day is his last day, the end, the final fading of life into that moment when the last step has been taken and the final period is written on the page – and so now, as the shadows creep into threads of night so long that they reach from horizon to horizon, he simply moves on… completing the task of washing the dishes, and letting out the cat. 

Would he do anything differently in these last hours if he knew? Would his mind bother worrying about the loss of his retirement plans, or spend any energy concerned about the uniqueness his most recent proposal at work – hoping by it to attract the attention of his boss who happens to be a very attractive young and single woman? If he knew that even now each breath was moving him closer to the measurable possibility of counting his last breaths, even knowing the number of beats left for his heart, would he bother with anything at all? 

He finds his way to bed, turning out the lamp and shifting to his right side as he always does, nestling his head into his too soft pillow, and curling his legs up to feel more completely the cat now nestled next to his stomach. His mind wanders about, replaying the events of the day as slowly his thoughts become less his own and a more independent, creative array of images begin molding their dream shapes, and fantasies for him as he slowly gives way to sleep. 

Sometime during that night his heart stops its rhythm. He ceases everything, resting eternally beneath the long shadows, the pall of his end.