Friday, January 8, 2010

"Untitled 2010"

by Silvan Carson Goodman

Fire leaps from one chair to the next. Rapidly devouring the last memories of checkerboard upholstery. The flames hungrily lick at the ceiling, and I can't think about anything except what's down the hallway. I run, slamming through a door with my shoulder. I run down the hallways faster than when me and him were young, and I would let him win the races.

I kick his door open and I am blasted in the face with a billowing cloud of smoke. I can hear his wheezing, raspy breaths.

"Mike!" I shout. No response. I run to his bed; it's empty. He is on the ground; he was trying to crawl to his wheelchair.

I hoist him into my arms and lurch out of the room. Flashes of doors and fire and smoke go by my eyes. I don't register any of it until I am out on the lawn.

I can't hear or see the flashing chaos around me; I can only see his face. I place the soot-covered hunk of flesh gently in the grass.

He doesn't move. I touch his hair. He doesn't make a sound. I grab his shirt and I shake him. He doesn't breathe... or cough... or do anything. My tears fall on his damned useless legs that finally finished the job.

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