Golden Hour

Many things can inspire stories––words, pictures, and music, to name a few. This song––”Stand Still” by Mia Buckley––inspired me to write a story.

I hope you enjoy “Golden Hour,” my look at loss and letting go.


The tip of my brush dips into the paint, then hovers over the canvas propped up on my knees. The bench wood presses against my back as I close one eye and mark the painting with a golden streak.

It had been a beautiful hour––an hour I thought would lead into the rest of our lives. But life is strange that way.

Footsteps pound against the concrete. A man jogs along the park pathway, backlit by trees and a cheery blue sky. I turn back to my painting. Then I hear the wheezing. His footsteps slow, and his ragged breaths quicken. I look up.

“Sorry, can I sit here?” The redness of his face highlights the pale stubble clinging to his chin, sparse in some areas, thick in others. “I’m dying.”

“Don’t apologize for dying.” I pick up my palette to clear room on the park bench.

“Sorry,” he says again, plopping next to me. The bench rattles. He holds his head between his knees and inhales, exhales, inhales, exhales.

I balance the palette on my lap and resume. Another stroke of gold. Another spark of memory imbued in color.

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