“Hey Ed, you ready to go to the big game?” John called out the open window of the bright red S U V, to the old man sitting in the rocking chair on the front porch, an afghan across his lap tucked around his frail body. Very much the picture of an aged man except for the baseball cap pulled down tight over his white hair.
“Yes, I’m ready!” was Ed’s weak attempt at shouting.
“You got your ticket?” Said John.
The old man patted his chest, “I’ve got it, right here.”
“I thought you’d never get here.” Ed placed a wrinkled hand on each arm of the chair and grunted as he tried to raise his creaking frame.
“Wait there, Ed.” John yelled. “Bill and Carl will help you.”
Two young men jumped out of the S U V and loped up the walk. One on each side of Ed, they half lifted, half walked the old body toward the vehicle. The closer Ed got the stronger he got. The two helped him into the back seat and closed the door, then went around getting in the other side.
John turned to look at Ed who was fast becoming a thirty-year-old man like the rest of them in the S U V. He smiled. “Everything cool, Ed?”
“Everything’s cool.” Ed gave him a thumbs up and peered out the window at the shell of a man in the rocking chair on the porch. Ed’s daughter, Brenda, came out the front door saying something as she went over to the chair. She nudged the still form, once, then twice. Then she was crying. She cradled the old body in her arms and rocked back and forth. Ron, her husband, came out of the house and went over and put his strong arms around both of them.
“I’ve taught them all I know.” Ed said. “They’re going to be just fine.” He smiled.
“Then let us go,” John said, “to the last, and the best . . . ”
“And the longest, as in eternal,” Carl interjected.
John laughed. “That’s right, the last, and the best, and the longest . . . Game of Life.”
“Go! Go!” The four men waved a hand in the air and shouted their excitement as they rolled along the interstate and onto the Milky Way in the bright red S U V.
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