His head dipped with tiredness and his eyes fluttered butterfly-like as he fought to remain awake for just a few minutes longer. It was no use, though.
“I’m getting too old, that’s my problem,” he said to the stuffy room.
Archibald ‘Archie’ Collingwood was a few months short of his eighty-first birthday. A widower of more than twenty years, the loss of his beloved wife still had the power to make his aging heart ache painfully. There were times when he wondered why God had forced him to endure all these years on his own and not sent him another good woman to keep him company.
There was a simple answer, Archie reasoned to himself: God had work for him to complete and He didn’t want Archie becoming distracted by other stuff. That was what the tired old man told himself as he eased himself upright and stretched the low ache out of his spine.
He completed his ablutions and retired for the night, his too-large bed cold and unwelcoming to his tired limbs. He closed his eyes and willed his mind into a state of restfulness. Relaxation and rest would not come to him willingly. It never did.
Archibald Collingwood was a story-teller. He had millions of fans around the world who adored his entertaining stories of animals and amusing people and interesting places. The knowledge that the largest proportion of his readership was children was what drove Archie to keep writing, even when he barely had the strength to raise a tea-cup to his lips.
He knew that his days on earth were numbered now. Archie worried that he still had so many more tales left to tell and may not have the time to tell them, so he pushed himself to his limits every day.
When sleep came to him eventually new characters and new adventures played out on his eyelids, as they did almost every night. In the half-light of another pre-dawn morning Archie sat himself in front of his ancient-looking typewriter and began to tentatively press the keys. As the story developed and took shape so Archie typed more energetically until the tale was completed.
Taking time only to make a cup of tea and a sandwich, a few minutes later he was inserting another sheet of pristine white paper into the typewriter, the same machine that had written his hundreds of tales, to begin another one. He typed with a smile on his haggard face, picturing the pleasure his words would bring to the nameless and faceless children whom he would never meet. It was for them he worked so hard and it was for them he would continue to do so until such time as he became incapable of doing so or until the Good Lord called him to His side.
He typed until his head drooped once again and he made his way to his bed. The teller of tales sighed as he waited for sleep to bring him more new ideas…
Author Notes: Probably not the best thing I've ever written. It was an idea that I could only get out of my head by writing it down...