(The opening sentence for this story was suggested by Alex of Alex Raphael. If you want to join in the fun of suggesting a future opening sentence for these stories, click here for a peek as to what’s what.)
It was the last thing he expected to see when he looked out the window. In fact, a cruel Fate would suggest it was the last thing he saw. Period. But it wasn’t the last thing he saw. Instead, after seeing it, he writhed in agony for a good month before succumbing. Basically, to call a spade a spade, to say it as it is, to shoot from the hip, Buster died of pain. His death certificate stated otherwise, as death certificates sometimes do, but the cause of death was pain, pure and simple.
It had all started out as a normal sort of day. Buster had got up early, while it was still dark, because he had to take Francine to the train station. She was off to see her sister who lived in Thrushton-on-Beau. It was when he came back home that he drew apart the bedroom curtains and looked out the window. Oh God! Who would’ve thought? Buster lay on the laminate bedroom flooring for three days in intense pain before Francine returned wondering why he had not picked her up at the train station. She called an ambulance.
The ambulance people said they’d never seen anything like it. It wasn’t just the sight of Buster that was hard to take; it was the sounds he uttered. It sounded like a cross between a screech and a groan, a scream and a gasp. And then in the hospital things became so bad that they had to get Leila, an old nurse who was stone-deaf, to look after him. A visiting surgeon from the Netherlands was tempted to fill a syringe with some stuff to help Buster shuffle off his mortal coil.
Quite frankly, it was a relief when Buster died. It didn’t put just Buster out of his misery; it put everyone else out of misery, especially Francine who had suffered throughout the final month with sterling fortitude.
Of course, what no one realized was that the cause of all this was still lurking outside the bedroom window.