The Hourglass

By Brandon Alessio

There once was a man, who traveled down the lonely road to nowhere. He traveled with haste because he was being followed. Death followed this man. The man ran down this lonely road because he feared Death more than anything else. He ran from the dark hooded figure, for what seemed like days until his legs grew weary, and he could walk no more. He knelt down on the road, plagued by fatigue, as his body could take him no further. It was at this moment that he began to find his encounter with Death inevitable. He sat there on the road, thinking back upon his life, seeing how he wasted much of his life on the meaningless things of this world. He wept in self-pity, knowing his demise was near. As he wept he looked up to find an old man walking towards him, carrying something glowing. The man could not make out what it was in the other man's hand, but was curious.

As the other man approached the other man realized that it was an hourglass, with nearly all the sand from the top, now running to the bottom. As the old man with the hourglass approached him he fell to the ground. The man noticed that the man carrying the hourglass was an elderly man, and he found the strength to help him. The man limped to the elderly man and helped him to his feet, asking him why he carried the hourglass. The old man explained that the hourglass was a magical hourglass, which told how much longer one had to live. The old man knelt down and picked up the hourglass off of the street to see that it had a large crack. The old man preceded to tell the man that the hourglass lay near empty, and he was going to meet death, and not flee from it. The man could not believe the old man's words. The elderly man then handed the hourglass to the man, telling him to make the last of his time count, and not to take his time for granted. Just as he did so the hooded figure came and took the elderly man away. To the man's surprise Death had not been coming for him, but the elderly man. As he held the hour glass it began to glow and the sands of it began to raise to the top half of the hourglass. The man stood in awe to find that he had so much more time on his life. Disregarding the words that the elderly man had told him he immediately ran to celebrate with his friends and tell them what happened. He began doing things of no worth and for self-pleasure, not living his days to the fullest. He would see opportunities to do good, or to help someone, and he would always tell himself that he had plenty of time left to help those who needed it. Whenever he would look at the hourglass he would always convince himself that he knew exactly how long he had and that he had plenty of time to do good in the future.

But one night he knocked over the hourglass on the table, and the crack increased, the man just put it back on the table and went to sleep. The crack however, had become large enough to let out some of the sand, much more than it had in the past. The man lay asleep in his bed as the sand began to drain out at a rapid pace. Within a few hours nearly all the sand had drained and the man awoke to a knock on his door. He glanced at the hourglass, now empty, realizing that the one knocking on his door was Death. And he sat there, realizing what a fool he had been.