Saul spotted the faint shape in the shadows. “It’s time,” a voice whispered.

“I know,” Saul answered. “I feel weary. Life here has been hard.”

The shape was clarifying. A head tilted. “Then why cling to this life so fiercely?”

Saul sighed. “It’s been too long since you were among people. You’ve forgotten what they’re like.”

There was a face now, frowning. “I’ve watched them interact with you. Small petty things, easily wounded and readily cruel.”

“You misunderstand.”

“Do I? Have they not been cruel to you?”

Saul coughed. “They are brittle, yes. And their broken edges cut deep. But there is more to them.”


Saul looked from the shadowy figure beside him to his family gathered around his hospital bed and now beginning to fade. “Light. They are vessels for it, carrying it inside and shining it into the darkness. Even the broken catch it, glinting radiance like shards of glass. To see a spark of curiosity, to hear music suffused with brilliance, to feel the warmth of a kind touch, these are why I cling to life. Their real tragedy is that they are all so desperate for it, rarely realizing how much they have to give.”

Photo by Jakob Owens on Unsplash

Story by Gregory M. Fox