The Open Book


The Open Book

The professor placed his glasses on the open book, rose solemnly from the comfortable chair, and took the stairway to the roof level of the old building, circa 1900.

He walked slowly the seven floors to the top. The door to the roof was seldom opened, so he tugged with some effort to get it open, the scraping sounds echoing eerily down the stairwell.

He stepped through the door onto the gritty and stained rubberized roof flooring, his feet giving slightly on the softened surface.

He looked all around, knew he was the only person on the roof, and walked to the far NE corner and stood at the short wall barrier, looked and found some blocks away his brick home with its old iron fence and gates. Clara was there now with all the memories of the past forty years.

His face carried his sixty-nine years in craggy lines and sorrow, his three-day old whiskers a mix of gray and white.

His mind was in no hurry in presenting him with the pivotal points in his life…the summa cum laude graduation and notable milestone accomplishments from this very university upon which one of its many roofs he now stood…marriage to his lovely Clara, an awe-struck young lady who found it so easy to fall in love with him…the happy years of noted achievements and awards…the unhappy day when the doctor declared there could be no children because of his lack of fertility…all the happy days with Clara, their talks about  adoption, and their decisions to travel, see the world, enjoy their lives…the awful day when the doctor announced that Clara had stage 4 cancer.

The thoughts continued as he stood, hands in his pockets, staring at the only home he and Clara ever lived in. His six-foot frame began to tremble with his tears as last night came vividly to him.

He suddenly felt used up, all those moments that mattered were no longer there…

Then he heard the police sirens, saw the cars with flashing lights. The cars were stopping at his house those few blocks away…

They would be finding Clara at any moment now…he could not let her suffer any longer.

Then, he stepped up to the short wall, tears flooding his face, and jumped to his death on the hard earth below.

Flash Fiction by Billy Ray Chitwood

April 19, 2016

(I write fiction and non-fiction- mystery, suspense, thriller, romance, memoir… Please preview my 13 books at my website –


my Amazon Author site.)

 LINKS: (website)

Proud member of #ASMSG – #IAN – #AHA

Proud recipient of eleven blog award nominations.



4 thoughts on “The Open Book

  1. I felt a great deal of sympathy for the professor and for his wife naturally. I can picture the need to end the suffering and because it can’t be done legally as euthenasia, his need to end his life.
    Hugs Billy Ray

    Liked by 1 person

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