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Pass It On



“Mrs. Morgan, I’d like to know everything that happened. Did my grandfather say anything before he died?”

“He didn’t say a word, Mr. Nelson. He just laid there…but it seemed that he was sort of smiling. I’d like to think he was at peace with himself.”

“So, he just laid there, without a word, with a smile on his face. That it? Nothing else happened?”

“Yes…well no, not quite.”

“What do you mean?…Not quite, Mrs. Morgan?”

“Forgive me, but you said you wanted to know everything that had happened. Well, just before he passed … he passed gas. That was the last thing he did, Mr. Nelson.”

“Hmm…I hope you don’t mind my asking, Mrs. Morgan, but do you recall if it was a little pip or did it go on for a while?”

“That’s what startled me, Mr. Nelson. It went on for what seemed like forever. For a moment, I thought a miracle might had happened. It lasted so long, I thought maybe your grandfather had regained control of his faculties. But, that thought was short lived. The gas had finally passed, followed by your grandfather.”

“That, along with your telling me about his smiling tells me a lot, Mrs. Morgan, thank you.”

“I’m not sure what you were able to gain from that, but you’re welcome, Mr. Nelson.”

“Mrs. Morgan?"

 "What is it, Mr. Nelson?”

“This may seem strange, but when he was lying in bed, at any time did he have his right index finger pointed in your direction?”

“Come to think of it, he did. Why do you ask?”

“What did you do when you saw his finger pointed at you?”

“I grabbed it and held onto it…to the end.”

“Did you squeeze it?”

“I guess so. Isn’t that a way to console when words aren’t necessary? Did I do something wrong?”

“No, no, Mrs. Morgan. You did nothing wrong, but you did fall into what we kids used to call, and, please excuse me for this,…Grandpa’s fart-trap.”

‘His… fart? trap?”

“That’s what he always did with us kids, especially on family gatherings like Thanksgiving and Christmas, and he needed to pass gas. He’d point his finger at one of us and tell us to squeeze his finger. We all knew what was about to happen. When we did, he’d let it all out, and we’d all laugh. Mrs. Morgan, I’m afraid you were his last finger squeezer. I hope you don’t mind the prank. In fact, you should see it as a compliment. He must have felt very comfortable with you nearby.”

“A compliment, Mr. Nelson?”

“Yes, Mrs. Morgan. My grandpa would have never purposely pass gas in front of a stranger. That would have been rude and embarrassing. You must have been like family to him. It’s comforting to know that someone like you was with him when he passed.”

“Thank you Mr. Nelson…Mr. Nelson?”

“Yes, Mrs. Morgan.”

“Would you squeeze my finger?”

This story was written by Dan Allen. Dan Allen lives in Oswego, NY with his wife and two dogs. His first story published here is titled Corners of Opportunity.
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