By william price
Their wrinkled hands held each other tight as their jet plummeted towards earth.
"I love you, Sweetie." Harold's voice quivered as he spoke.
"I love you too, Pickle Breath." Gertrude tried to smile.
"We're about to die, and the last thing you're going to call me is pickle breath?"
"I'm sorry, Harold. I was just remembering our first meeting at the church picnic."
"Shouldn't we be praying or something, and not talking about some goofy picnic?"
"It wasn't goofy to me. I still can smell your breath. It was so sweet and tart. You're smile just melted my heart. I knew I was in love."
Harold closed his eyes and gave his wife a kiss on the cheek.
"That was a special moment. I knew I loved you too. But, I wished I wouldn't have just eaten those darn pickles. They had too much garlic or something."
"Those were my pickles, Harold. And they didn't have too much garlic. They won the blue ribbon, remember?"
"Not really. I just remember your eyes, freckles and how white your teeth were."
"Are you afraid, Harold?"
"Not of dying, I'm just going to miss the warmth of your hand and your gentle touch."
"We'll still be holding hands in Heaven, Harold."
As their jet began to level off the couple began to loosen their grip on each other's hands.
"What do you suppose just happened, Gert?"
"I think God felt it wasn't time for us to be holding hands in Heaven yet."
"Yes, Pickle Breath."
"My chest hurts a little."
"What do you mean, Harold?" Gertrude's voice began to shake.
"Stewardess, quick, my husband."
Harold slumped over in his seat. His wife leaned him back and found he was still breathing. A doctor on board the jet began to check on Gertrude's husband.
"Harold, you cannot die, you hear me man-of-mine. You cannot die."
Gertrude bowed her head and began to pray.
Harold's eyes opened and he looked over at his wife. His voice was weak, but clear.
"What are you doing, Gert. When we both were dying you were being funny, now when it's just me, you go to praying."
"I don't mind dying with you, husband. But I'm not going to live without you."
"I want one of your pickles."
"Well, I have some waiting at the house, old man. You just keep breathing and I'll feed you the whole jar."
"It's a deal. Hey, and guess what?"
"I love you."
"I love you too, Pickle Breath."
William Price, aka sirwilliam, was born and raised in Beloit, WI, and has lived in the Florida panhandle since 1983. During the day he is a lieutenant with his county's department of corrections; at night he writes for the Lord. His creativity, endearing characters and crisp, intelligent dialogue are what make "sirwilliam" a favorite writer for many who read his work. William has been a Christian since 1984, and loves prayer, Bible study and praise. When he isn't writing, William enjoys fishing, golfing and spending time with his grandchildren. If you would like to write to William, you can do so through the Letters page of this magazine.