The Other Side
Each day at five to twelve, the elderly widower, who lived in the small dilapidated cottage at the far end of the village, would walk slowly down to the centre of the little hamlet, and stand at the pedestrian crossing, expectantly.
The few cars that passed through the village at this time would slow down and stop, to allow the old man to cross.
But he wouldn't. He would frown, scowl at the car, and wave his arms about in frustration to indicate that the car should proceed.
After standing there for a few minutes, the old man would turn around and slowly make his way home again, shoulders hunched.
Several of the villagers had noticed this odd behaviour, and the butcher had one day even asked the old man whether he could help, but had received nothing more than a shake of the head and cursory dismissal. It was generally assumed that the old man was a harmless eccentric, and that the best thing would be to let him be.
One day, however, at twelve noon exactly, the villagers saw the old man had actually crossed the street, and was hopping up and down with glee shouting about something!
"What is he shouting?! I can't hear him properly," said the butcher to his wife.
A lorry was coming down the hill into the village. Its brakes had failed and the driver had lost control of the vehicle. It skidded across the pedestrian crossing and into the old man, killing him instantly.
submitted at 15.19am
15 November 2007