Alan Mock, 1951-2016

“What the hell?” I grumbled, rolling over to look at my alarm clock.

Something had awakened me from a deep sleep. Though I had another 40-minutes before my alarm went off, reluctantly I crawled from bed and stumbled to the toilet.

As I stood there I thought about what it was that had woke me up – a noise, maybe. But I couldn’t even begin to identify what sort of sound it had been – if there had been one at all.

Still half asleep. I returned to bed, flopping amid the tangle of covers and sheets, hoping to will myself back into the ‘land of dreams.’ More than half an hour later and several false starts I surrendered with the complaint of, “Screw it!”

Slipping off the edge of the bed and heading to the bathroom once again, I turned on the shower. As per my ritual I started at the top, wetting and rubbing soap into my hair.

“Dad!” came Kyle’s voice as he poked his head in the bathroom, “You’re gonna have to cut it short. Gary’s here. He says Alan’s dead.”

Having forgotten my son had spent the night, I jump at the sound of his voice. Quickly recovering, I responded “Okay. Pour him a cup of coffee and I’ll be right out.”

Once dressed, I walked out into the living room where Kyle was listening to how my next door neighbor Alan had died of a heart attack earlier that morning. Gary said he had to get back next door and asked if we’d watch his three-year-old son for him.

Hours later Gary, his wife Autumn (who is Alan’s daughter) and I sat on my front porch talking about the days events. Gary, looking at his cell phone commented, “Yeah, Autumn’s mother called me at 7:49 this morning.”

“Really? I woke up at 7:50 to a strange sound or something.” I replied. “Weird, huh?”

That’s when I decided to check something. Since my alarm clock is battery operated, I brought it outside and after comparing the two devices we learned my alarm clock was running a minute faster than Gary’s phone.

It was a moment of goose bumps.

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About Tom Darby

French-born, American-raised, U.S. citizen, husband, father, friend, veteran, and writer.
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