Last Breath

Kevin Mason

"We have run as only fools can run; fools attempting only to prolong an inevitable end," rasped a gruff voice. "It seems foolish to me that any man should fear death, seeing as an end is not only necessary, but inescapable as well."

Split-second decisions were never quite fast enough, and eternity seemed far too short. With each breath my chest heaved. This lifetime had gone by fast, I had decided. It seemed only yesterday that life had begun, now, days, weeks, months, years, decades later, here I sat, the tight blindfold making my vision as black as my soul, which was now devoid of all hope.

A doomed man's regrets and memories sit firmly at the forefront of his mind as he watches all control of his own destiny being robbed from him. However, my mind seemed empty. All there was to do was wait and then, later, to die.

I had many things I should like to dwell on before I taste of death, and there are many things I should like to do differently, but memories and regrets are like knives that can rip a man apart, especially in his final hour.

And as such, my mind has omitted all thought of the past, and seeing as I have no future, there is only the present. For now, the present will do, but for eternity, I will spend my time on the past, and perhaps on the future, for death is not the end: it is a new section of the ongoing journey of life. Death is not the end of life, just the ascension (or dissension, in some cases) from the finite to infinite, from that which will come to an end to that which lasts forever.

My thoughts were interrupted by the sound of my own name being bellowed. Strong arms hoisted me to my feet and dragged me along. To where? I do not know, but they must have taken me outside, for I could see bits of sunlight pushing itself in between the threads of my blindfold. A cigarette was placed in my mouth, but I let it fall out. I was pushed up against a hard, concrete wall.

My mind was blank as an officer of some kind barked orders. I heard the clattering and clicking of rifles being prepared and imagined the men bumbling about with their weapons. With another order, I heard the swoosh of fabric and imagined the men snapping their weapons into place and taking aim. Then, there was another order followed by a gunshot.

Only death lasts forever.