The Death Sentence

The Death Sentence

Leigh Smith was a happily married man, He lived with his wife Mandy and their two year old son who was called Jack in a two up two down town house in Mansfield.

     Leigh worked long hours in a transport depot, loading large lorries but he always made sure that he was home to put Jack to bed at 7.30. After reading him a story, they went through the same ritual.

     “God bless Mummy, God bless Daddy, God bless Grandma and God bless Grandpa”

     One night Jack went through the God Bless list but finished it off with

     “Good bye Grandpa”.

     Leigh was slightly bemused by this but dismissed it as a slip of the tongue by a very tired little boy. The next morning there was an early telephone call from Leigh’s mother tearfully telling him that his Dad had suddenly passed away in the night. Shocked and stunned he recalled Jack’s words of the night before but with all the arrangements to be made they faded in their significance.

     After the funeral, his heart broken mum was very down and her health began to decline. Some months later Leigh was tucking Jack up in bed and the lad clasped his hands together.

    “God Bless Mummy and God Bless Daddy, Good Bye Grandma”.  

      Going back downstairs the words were ringing in his ears picking up the telephone he dialled his Mothers number after what seemed an age a female voice answered.

    “Mum are you all right?”

    “Is that you Leigh? This is Mrs Hoskins your Mum’s neighbour” Leigh sat down.

    “Is Mum O.K.?”

    “No Leigh I’m afraid she isn’t. She collapsed and has been taken to Hospital. I was just looking up your number to tell you to go and see her, they fear the worst”.

      Leigh’s Mum passed away that night.

      Life went on and little Jack didn’t have any premonitions about anything else and Leigh put it down to coincidence eventually the whole thing faded from his memory. About eighteen months later the bedtime routine was being enacted, when Jack uttered the words.

     “God Bless Mummy and Good Bye Daddy”

     Leigh was fit and well but he was in a daze and afraid to close his eyes, he never slept a wink that night. It must be an accident, how was he going to cheat death? Jack’s predictions had been spot on up to now. Driving to work next morning he was extra vigilant at every junction, every set of traffic lights and every roundabout. At work the fork lift trucks were potentially life threatening demonic devices and reversing trucks large or small were carefully avoided. Come lunch time he inspected his sandwiches carefully, even though he had made them himself. The drive home was equally traumatic and he was relieved when he parked the car outside his house. Checking his mirrors before opening the door he briskly went to the front step. Inserting his key he opened the door. His wife Mandy was standing in the hallway, flinging his arms around her he gave her a kiss tears of relief streamed down his face.

     “What a day I’ve had I’m absolutely shattered, I don’t ever want to go through a day like that again.”

    “You think YOU’VE had a day” she said “I opened the front door this morning and Bob the milkman had collapsed and died on our doorstep!!”


565words Michael White 2020

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