Death heard the newborn’s cry and began his inevitable journey.
Sometimes he can save them early, but too often the path is arduous and slow. He weeps when he reaches them in old age: by then they have suffered a life too long, in all its illusion and false hope.
Tom O’Brien is an Irishman living in London. He’s been published in numerous places across the web and has been anthologised in Blood & Bourbon, Blink-Ink, DEFY! and twice in the Uncommon print collections. He’s on Twitter at @tomwrote and his website is tomobrien.co.uk.
The titanium cylinder arrived battered, but JonX571 recognized the Intergalactic Express logo and the date 2021. Inside were three squirming humans: male, female, intersex.
His own archived memory chips retrieved data on world leaders and nuclear war, and an electronic screen with instructions.
What he found perplexing was “Love them.”
Kim Favors chases falling stars from California.
In their fresh, early days together, hope like tiny birds fluttered in her chest.
Years fly by. The birds grow silent and still, becoming tiny feathered bodies, stiff and cold, nesting below her heart.
She turns to him with eyes flat and hard like dull brown coins. She feels nothing.
Amy Rogers is an aspiring writer who lives in Tampa.
“The train arriving at Platform Five is the London Express.”
My heartrate spikes at the automated announcement. I step forward, feet crossing the yellow safety line. Horn blares; the column of air pushed ahead of the train ruffles my hair, dries my tears.
Timing is everything.
Born in Dublin, Ireland, Kerry spent most of his life in the UK, and now lives in Brittany with his long-suffering wife of thirty-six years. Three children, three grandchildren, no pets. Contact him on Facebook.
Editor’s Note: A topic like suicide is something I am very, very careful about. I didn’t want this story to contribute to any reader’s feelings of depression or despair. The beauty of this story is in the last four words, which carry an incredible depth of emotion and range of interpretation. I hope these words inspire you to reflection and discussion. What is your “perhaps tomorrow”?
Crankfurt the Crocodile was a very good wallower. Sometimes he wallowed in the mud. Sometimes he wallowed in the swamp. Sometimes he even wallowed in the dust.
At the Mammal Wallowing Championships, Crankfurt was disqualified because of his decidedly non-mammalian crocodility. That was where he learned to wallow in despair.