Old and Golden

Once a handsome, dashing man; Charlie Turner was now old and frail. Gone were the days when he could dance all night at the Officer’s Ball… now all that remained were his arthritic limbs. Gone were the days when his crooked grin would make the hearts of even the most gorgeous ladies flutter… all that remained now were a few crooked teeth. He was once a war hero, was awarded numerous medals; a few by the Queen herself! But now he was just another pensioner, a burden on the Royal Treasury; his name was forgotten, just like the hundred other war heroes who were forgotten. His beautiful wife had passed away a few years ago; all he had to remember her with was an old, sepia-toned wedding album and a whole bunch of sons and daughters and grandsons and granddaughters. A great grandchild was on the way too! Sometimes he used to think about her, Margaret was her name. She was the most beautiful woman he had ever met. His children seldom visited him, mostly during the Holiday season. He would dress up as Santa for his grand children and then tell them stories about his years in the Twelfth Regiment of the Royal Artillery. His grand children were his only source of strength, they were the sole reason he woke up in the morning and the sole reason he actually waited for the Holidays to approach. Sometimes, at weddings or funerals, he used to take out his neatly packed Royal Artillery uniform and wear it, along with all his medals of Honour… a reminiscence of his glorious past. Every few days the news of the death another one of his old mates would reach him, but by now he had gotten used to this. Years of service on the Front Line had made him no stranger to Death. He himself knew that someday soon it would be his turn too and he was looking forward to that day. He would embrace death as an old friend just as how he had embraced life. He had no regrets.

– Alaska

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