He put his pen down and rubbed his eyes, trying to push out the weariness. A long night, a long day, and another long night lay behind him. Only a few more sentences, he told himself.
He picked up his pen and leaned down. His nose brushed against the paper, causing an oily streak on the parchment. He squinted to see the words he was scratching, trying not to rip through to the desk beneath. I’m sorry, my children, that you would not see me one last time.
One more sentence, he thought. Something meaningful. Shakespearean, perhaps? Yes, that would do.
He dipped the pen once more, and ended with a flourish: Thus, with a stroke, I die.
He dropped the pen and collapsed, his lips smearing the last word, a tear drying on his cheek.
Thanks to Writing Prompt a Day for the opening line!