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James LePore: Project 52/2015: Hector

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14814_1865321lImage: Remembering Hector, © James LePore

When Hector fell off the scaffolding, I was dreaming. I had worked my own shift and then a graveyard shift for a friend and I had fallen, exhausted, into a dead sleep. In my dream a man was falling from a very high place. He wasn’t falling fast, more in slow motion, a dreamy kind of fall. I could hear his heart beating, thump-thump, thump-thump, thump-thump. A bird flying overhead flew to him and whispered in his ear, Do not be afraid, God loves you. The bird stayed with him for a while, and then flew off. A few feet before hitting the ground, the man disappeared, poof, into thin air. The ringing of my phone woke me. It was Hector’s boss.

At the cemetery, a little gray bird landed on Hector’s casket while the priest was talking. Then he flew up to a tree and perched on a branch, looking at me with one eye. Before getting in the limousine, I turned and looked at the bird. Do not be afraid, he said, God loves you. I looked around to see if anyone else had heard him, but no one had. He was speaking to me only, the little bird.

Hector, I thought, is that you?

No, the bird answered, but Hector’s fine. He did not suffer. He misses you. Do you want to say anything to him?

Tell him I miss him very much.

I will.

Was that you in my dream?

No, that was you.

james

About Project 52/2015: I like to take pictures and I like to write fiction. This Blog will combine the two in what I am calling Project 52/2015, one of my images mated with a piece of very short fiction each week in 2015. Enjoy.

James LePore is the national bestselling author of numerous novels, most recently, God’s Formula, which he wrote with Carlos Davis. Visit his website.

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On September 25, 2015
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