Better To Be The Wolf Than The Pig

Contributor: Jim Buck

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This is the last version. I commit it to light. This version, unlike any that preceded it, will be definitive. It may not be as scholarly, or flow as instantly as those other versions. The writer may use fewer words, which will allow room for pseudo semantics, when before, he just wrote and wrote, as though he knew everything and said nothing. This might not mean anything to anyone. This version may be criticized for being perfunctory, or for lacking sagaciousness; it may lack a hell of a lot of things. This version may be criticized for wasting the time of the critic. The critic may be right, his time may be wasted, but I hardly held a gun to his head and demanded he read it. If I had a gun, I would’ve held it to the head of the critic, but not to demand he read it. What does he want from me, anyway?
The teacher may decline from adding it to the syllabus. This could split parents both ways, but generally, the teacher will be applauded for burning this book.
The politician may have a copy hid under the luxurious mattress of his super king sized edge to edge sleeping palace 5000; he may read it by candlelight, with God beaming down on him; he may masturbate to it in the stall, with God beaming down on him; and though he may never concede to having read at least the dirty bits, he will force a bill through the Houses that ensures it never enters any of the schools in the western world, or the little heads of all the children that hibernate within.
This version might highlight just how sick a creature the politician has become, and it might ignite enough hatred in the assassin to take the man out of existence.
There have been many versions, but there’s only one version from now on. Maybe this isn’t the version that your kid read when he was bothered with reading, when you were thinking he was doing his needlework, or playing on his Station. Rather, he was plotting a litany of possible evils, and taking enough non-invasive hip drugs to enable him to deal with you and your misconceptions of what he was, and what he did to get through his childhood unscathed.
I don’t know which version’s my favourite, I don’t know if I have a favourite, or whether I care enough to decide; I know that you shouldn’t care either. I wonder why I wrote it, and I wonder if I’ll ever write anything else like it again.
I tell myself I should sober up. I hand out copies on street corners to anyone who wants to pay me for the pleasure of reading at least the title. Maybe I can do something with the money, like decorate my room, or eat better, or take up smoking for a week. Maybe I should slip it in between copies of an Edward Klein and a Janet Evanovich, and hope that someone might get all the way home with it and, instead of trolling or quick scoping, write some meaningless shit of their own, because they know they can do better.
I wanted to include everyone, but knew that kind of thing was impossible; some people would definitely have to be left out. Even the arc wasn’t all inclusive. There were those who drowned while others sipped pink lemonade and gazed over the bulwark at their sounding fists.
Choosing who went in became a chore. Indeed, there were more people I would have rather left out than invited in. But then, the people I would have rather left out were more interesting than the ones included. They had more chutzpah. They were dangerous, prepared to kill. They alarmed and rattled their good neighbour. Everything deteriorated into a kind of perversion when they were around, a demoralization of nerves. They knocked on the door so loudly, it became impossible to exclude the ones you loved to hate.
And I learnt that you can’t please everyone anyhow. It was better to be the wolf than it was to be the pig. You feel a sense of deliverance, of the river finally opening out into the ocean when you’re allowed to determine another’s fate. There ahead, the world. And cruelty, in the eyes of some, is the captain. Let there be no regrets, no cherry-cheeked suspicions that this was no more than men of straw blowing over the fields of Nebraska. Perfection was for pigs and their keepers. I was the keeper of wolves, and this was their story.


- - -
To me writing is an exit door from the day-to-day of ‘keeping a roof over my head’. It is even better than playing GTA5. I live in one of England's forgotten fishing towns, its heritage now resides in a museum, and we all dream of leaving.
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The Perils of Online Dating

Contributor: Dan Slaten

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Tim looked at the message one last time before clicking send. He’d read and reread the words so many times that they no longer made sense, but he still wanted to give it one more look before sending it to CrazyHotCoolGirl29. You could never be too careful or too thorough in matters of the heart, even when those matters were as trivial as an introductory message on an internet dating site.

Deciding he was as satisfied by the message as he was ever going to be, Tim clicked “send.”

Minutes later, Tim heard a girl laughing hysterically one table over. “Karen, you have to check this out,” said the girl. “Look at this message I just got from TimTime2000. Check out his profile – and his pictures. What a loser!”

“You sound really interesting,” said the girl Tim assumed must be Karen. She seemed to be mimicking the deep voice of an imaginary, generic man as she read Tim’s words from just a few feet away. “Like you I am a big baseball fan . . .”

The message he’d just sent out, the one he’d written and rewritten more times than he cared to think about, was nothing more than a joke to Karen and CrazyHotCoolGirl29. Tim wanted to reach into the internet and somehow retrieve the message, delete it, and eliminate its very existence from the face of the Earth and all corresponding digital realms in which it might exist. Of course, that wasn’t possible. Deleting his dating profile right now wouldn’t do him any immediate good either, although it might spare him from being the butt of more jokes in other restaurants around town.

Worse still, Tim was finished eating, and Karen and CrazyHotCoolGirl29 were sitting at a table between him and the exit. If he got up from his booth they would see him, and they would laugh some more at his expense. It would be a lot like all of his high school dating experiences from a pre-internet world.

Tim spotted his waitress and waved her over. “I’d like to order dessert,” he said. “Preferably something so large I might never finish it.”


- - -
Dan Slaten writes short stories and poetry in small notebooks and on sticky notes.
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Off to Work

Contributor: RD Wood

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There is a man who leaves for work each day, or so his wife and children think. He lost his job as a salesman at the insurance company on October 19th 1987 and has sat in the park ever since. The most painful hour of his day is the one before the park opens when he must wait in line with men he considers inelegant and gruff, ‘uncouth’ if he knew the word. His wife sometimes comments that his clothes never seem to grow old but he does not tell her that this is because he folds them away and does not work, that he sits all but naked in the park all day, always at the same place, which is a five minute walk from his old office and between the forgotten general who sits atop his horse with sword drawn and the poet with a frown and a book opened out.

After several years of this routine while on a school excursion with her youngest daughter his wife sees him and seemingly mistakes him for just another homeless man, though a fairly clean one, and hurries by with her head down ignoring the coins in his paper cup. The man just looks away.

They continue to live with this lie until the repossession company comes looking for them one afternoon. In her stress at the thought of being declared bankrupt and without her husband having heard of her extravagant shopping sprees, the wife is finally caught fucking the milkman the next day, as she had carefully done for years, by her youngest daughter who notices a resemblance to this naked man. The daughter tells the father, and relieved, he leaves them, free to get on with life and not compelled to pay child support.

He becomes a host on a cable show and bit by bit, day by day reveals all, reveals the sordid details of his double life. Everyone is disgusted by his demeanour on air. Yet, somehow this self-loathing performance works and he is a runaway success.


- - -
RD Wood lives in Melbourne. He has had work published in Southerly, Jacket2 and Best Australian Poems 2013. At present he is working on a chapbook of concrete nature poems.
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Caddy Cornered

Contributor: Ava Wilson

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“You think he’ll be mad, Chris?”
“Course he will. We didn’t mean to be late though. Couldn’t be helped.”
“Yeah, he’s upset alright. Just washed the Caddy this morning, now it’s raining,” said Carl.
Chris pushed his matted hair off his forehead. Carl hunched further down behind a thorny rosebush.
“Why do you think he parked on this side of the street and not the driveway?”
“Don’t know,” said Chris.
“He whipped us something fierce last time we were late, the Caddy wasn’t even wet that night.”
“Yeah. I know numb nuts, I was there, too.”
“Think he loves that old car more than us, Chris?”
“Yep. Now shut your pie hole so we can sneak in.”
Chris looked from side to side. His clothes drenched, shoes squishing rain.
“If we stay low,” said Chris, “we can dodge the streetlights and sneak by the neighbor lady. She doesn’t like rain, so she might not be looking out this time.”
“Chris?”
“Hush up and come on.”
“Chris,” said Carl.
Carl smacked a puddle hard with his right hand. Mud splashed.
“Hey, what did you go and do that for?”
“I’m not ready, Chris. Can’t move yet. My legs won’t move. Think they’re nervous.”
Carl’s hand trembled in the mud puddle, his eyes as big and wet as the Caddy’s headlights.
“You have to be ready, Carl, or it’ll be worse. You know it will.”
Carl lowered his eyes. Touched his arm where the day-old cigar burn stung.
“Yeah, I know. Let’s go. Still don’t know why he parked there.”
“It doesn’t matter where he parked,” said Chris,. “All that matters is we haul ass in there somehow.”
“What if he already checked our room? Then what?”
“We say we were in the basement, you know, playing that hiding game like we do. Besides, we’re not real late. He just got in. I figure he’s in the kitchen talking to Ma. Eating shepherd’s pie or something. We can slip in the side door, he doesn’t pay attention to the side door.”
“What if he looked down there first?”
“Down where first?”
“The dang basement.”
“He didn’t. And— and I just said he’s talking, and eating pie, and— and not minding the side door remember? Weren’t you listening squirt? You never listen. Now pipe down, and stop asking questions. We have to go.”
Chris inched forward, crouched like a cricket. Carl followed close behind.
“You never listen, Chris. Told you we shouldn’t have gone across town, I told you.”
Carl smacked his forehead two times.
“Stop doing that. And now you got mud on your forehead. Good job Carl, if he catches us he’ll really know now.”
“How are we supposed to sneak in these wet clothes? Think nobody will notice we look like a couple-a seals?”
“There are dry clothes in the basement, genius.”
“But, but won’t Mom notice we changed? Chris, won’t she?”
“She never notices anything about us. Especially when he’s home.”
“But…”
Oh, just shut-up, Carl and come on. It’s getting later and later. You’re cutting our chances to zero, Carl, zero.’”
“Wish we could turn into that old Caddy, Chris. Wish we could. He’d love us then, you know?”
“What would you want that for? You see how he does Ma right after he says he loves her, don’t you? Not so good I think,” said Chris.
“But he’s nice to that old car. Maybe, maybe we could all turn into it. You, me… Ma. He takes real good care of it. Washes it every time the sun comes out, Chris. Every. Time. And he whistles when he does it, he whistles. When it snows, he covers it. And you see that smile while he cleans the inside, see how he is after it’s all shined up?”
“Yeah. I’ve seen it. If it wasn’t for that, I wouldn’t know the old man had teeth or a sense of humor.”
“That’s why, Chris. Why I wish we could turn into the old Caddy. It gets treated real nice like. He’d never put a burn on that.”
“Alright, I get it, squirt. But we’ve got to get going now.


- - -
Ava Wilson is currently acquiring her BFA in Creative Writing for Entertainment at Full Sail University. She is also a published author and illustrator of the children’s book entitled, Crunky McBunky, a published poet and playwright, her plays include, For the Love of Friends, and Feathery Heights. Ava is a professional spoken-word artist, and actor of stage and film under her stage name, Nailah Blu.
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Lost my Fairlane

Contributor: Kenzie Cluster

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I arrived a few hours ago while it was raining. We came all the way from Las Vegas, and drove for two days straight to get back to Portland. The gaslight had come on six times: all remaining change was scraped from the ashtray and the sticky floorboards until there was no way to keep going. My driver punched my dashboard three times before exiting and slamming my door. I had watched him walk into the darkness, cursing loudly, without a second glance behind him to reassure me he would be back soon. Since the rain stopped, my engine is cold and I am lonely. I miss my driver.
I remember when we first met: it was a summer morning, and he came running toward me saying, “That’s her! I saw her in my dream, that Gunship Gray 1969 Ford Fairlane. She’s beautiful.”
He’d waited for my last driver to get out of the grocery store to offer him a large sum of cash to take me home right then and there. He quickly agreed, knowing that his angry lady would be happy I was gone. He would have given me up for any amount thanks to the angry lady.
My driver and I went everywhere together for a long time. He took me on trips just to show me off. He waxed me weekly and always polished away his fingerprints when the day was over. In time, he started letting people come and ride with him more often, but not as a treat to them, as a treat for him. We went to many trashed houses and ill kept neighborhoods.
He and his most frequent passenger decided to go on a long ride last weekend. He drove me very badly for the first few hours; he almost ran us right into a pole. Then we got to the bright city he frequently spoke of: there were lights in every direction, and people pointed at me and called out in admiration and jealousy. I felt like a golden woman, until he parked me in an alley and left for days.
Soon enough, a shifty couple came and tried to take me away, but my driver was smart: when the doors were unlocked and the key was in, my motor wouldn’t start. He always did this trick when we went fancy places. The man cursed but dare not hit me, and the woman cried silently as they snuck away. I was glad they left.
My driver and his passenger came back angry. He fumbled putting my engine back together and burnt his hand. We left the bright city in a rush, and I grew tired quickly. We didn’t stop for breaks this time. My engine sputtered to a halt twice on the way back, and my driver had filled me with the stored gas.
I’m here now with an empty fuel tank, and I don’t know when I will get a drink. I’m thirsty and tired, and as hard as I search, I can’t find my driver. The rain is falling lightly now, making me cold. Maybe this time my driver won’t come back, and I’ll be left here alone.


- - -
Kenzie Cluster lives in Tooele, Utah with her husband and daughter, and is working on her Bachelor's degree at Full Sail University.
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Some Day Soon

Contributor: Donal Mahoney

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Dexter Dalrymple had no idea why anyone would want to interview him. Who would care at this point what he'd have to say. Maybe his family and a few old friends, in deference to his age and wealth, hoping to find themselves in his will some day soon. But he had agreed to this interview and there he was now, at 82, sitting across from this financial reporter, a young lady, perhaps 22, the age of his granddaughter who had just graduated from college.

His granddaughter was the light of his life. He would leave all of his money to her if it wouldn't make everyone mad.

Dexter knew the only reason this young lady wanted to interview him was that he's worth roughly $5 million, the harvest of over 50 years of investing in the stock market, all on his own, with no advisor. A remarkable achievement, he realized, for a man who had dropped out of high school with more than a little shove from the principal.

"Investing in the stock market is easy," Dexter had once told a financial advisor who had sought his business, "provided you have the brains and the balls to do it right. It's no place for the chicken-hearted."

The advisor went back to the office without a new client but he had met someone he--and many other people over the years--would never forget whether they bought and sold stocks or not. Dexter was a character, right up there with W.C. Fields whose old films he loved to watch in his home theater.

Many times Dexter had told Penelope, his wife of 60 years, that the smartest thing he had ever done was to marry her and the second smartest thing he had done was to quit drinking and smoking.

"I may have had too many milkshakes since then but that's why someone invented statins--to keep my cholesterol down," Dexter would tell anyone in earshot, sometimes more than once a day.

Every man has at least one weakness or maybe two, and a daily milkshake at 3 p.m. was the last one Dexter would admit to in a long life of making big money, collecting cars and admiring women, not always from afar.

"What was the greatest moment in your life?" the young reporter asked in her opening question, pushing back the waterfall of auburn hair falling over her left shoulder.

Nice hair, Dexter thought, but not a very good opening question for a young financial reporter interviewing a millionaire. She was supposed to find out how he made all that money. He didn't plan to tell her everything--maybe a few things because she seemed like a nice person--but at least she could ask the right questions.

Dexter coughed and said, "I'll tell you the truth as long as you keep it between the two of us. The greatest moment in my life was the day I realized I was finally old enough that one woman was enough, that I could be faithful to one woman, my wife, and go back to the Church, and worship God the way I did when I was a kid in school and women weren't a distraction."

The young reporter looked befuddled because she had expected Dexter to tell her about some big deal he had made in the stock market. She knew he was one of the wealthiest men in America. He was a little odd, she knew, but in her young life she had already discovered that many successful men were a little odd in one way or another. But Dexter was on a roll now so she stayed silent and decided to let him finish.

"When I went back to the Church, " he said, "it was truly the greatest moment in my life. Better than making money or anything. To know that I could finally be faithful to my wife was a great satisfaction. I felt better doing that than making money. It's easy to make money. Not so easy being faithful. Not even with a milkshake every day.

"Remember now, this is just between the two of us. Don't put that in the paper and don't tell a soul. People will think I'm nuts. I know I'm nuts but why confirm it for the public."

The young reporter said there would be no need to include that information in her article. She simply wanted to know what Dexter had done to make millions of dollars without any formal education and without any financial advice.

"Most millionaires rely on a financial advisor to keep up with the stock market," she told Dexter. "What makes you different? Is it that you never give up?"

Dexter thought for a moment and then said that not giving up was very important because the stock market is the roller coaster the cliche would have it to be. One has to be in it for the long haul, know when to buy and when to sell. Never lose interest. Never stop, except maybe for a milkshake every day. And always keep an eye out for the next big opportunity.

"By the way, young lady, do you have any plans for lunch? I have a table over at the Mark IV," Dexter said, rolling his wheel chair toward the door.

"Years ago I owned that restaurant and sold it for a nice profit to a gentleman who said he would have a reserved table waiting for me for the rest of my life.

"Scallops are the special of the day on Friday. Or if you like steak, theirs is well marbled. Marbling is important, on steak or on a woman. But don't quote me on that.

"We can finish the interview over there. I hope you have a big notebook. I think I'll have quite a bit to say.

"My driver is waiting downstairs."


- - -
Donal Mahoney lives in St. Louis, Missouri.
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Lavender

Contributor: Lyla Sommersby

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I watch the lavender blossoms drift in wind like soft brushes wet with paint, and I remember my knight. Tall, his jaw set strong, holding a smile beneath sky-blue eyes. I remember his voice, his touch, the press of his lips against my skin-- all strong, so strong. I remember the shine of his armor, the red of his crest, the gold edges of noble filigree vining across steel.

I remember it all, and as I remember, the tears bud and run from my eyes. The lavender blossoms that grow over his grave wave like pennants, like lances, and as I hold my heavy belly, quiet my heavy heart, I close my eyes.

I close my eyes, and in the caresses of the wind, I can almost feel him, almost feel his touch, his arms, his hands moving slowly over mine.


- - -
I am a student in Miami, Florida. Painting is my other love.
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Knowing Home

Contributor: E.S. Wynn


- -
The moment I slip into the ocean, I know that I am home.

I wasn't born here, on Nereid IV-b. The colony is only a few years old, and most of the settlers are early-gen spacers, migrants who've seen a thousand worlds, elected for sterilization centuries ago. It's something else, something I can feel in my blood-- about the planet, the ocean, something I feel like I've been searching for my entire life, trying to get back to.

Something about the gravity, the planet's proximity to the three stars that hold it suspended in the most elegant orbit I've ever seen on an inter-system approach, gives it the most placid, most serene seas I've ever seen. Clean and clear, there are no tides or currents in the wide oceans of Nereid IV-b, nothing to wear down the smooth, gray-glassy stone that sprawls on across the bottom as far as the eye can see. No life-- nothing beyond a few simple mineral constructions that might become bacteria before the planet's three suns burn out.

All of my life, I've been afraid of oceans, but not the oceans here. Earth's oceans are dark and deadly, oppressive and thick with horrors both real and imagined. Some planets I've seen are worse, have thick, sludgy seas teeming with tiny, violent carnivores eager to seek out human flesh-- others are better, their seas more serene and silent.

But none of them have seas like Nereid IV-b.

There are no monsters here, nothing lurking or hunting in the darkness, no danger, no unseen movements of water waiting to pull you under. Open your eyes under the surface and you can see for miles, know that there is nothing but the seafloor, the shore and you, you floating there in the middle of it all. With the right gill-breather you can float there for hours, close your eyes, meditate, drop away into the pleasantly cool embrace of pure water held together by the most minimal gravity field you've ever felt. There is nothing like falling asleep in the oceans of Nereid IV-b, waking up again a few hours later and knowing that you are safe, that the sea has supported you softly while you've slept. It's an incredible feeling, trusting your existence to an ocean, to an entire planet's stretching seas, knowing that no matter how deep you go, no matter how far from shore you swim, you will always be safe, always be home.

The moment I slip into the ocean, I know that I am home, and for a while, at least, I know I can forget everything but the sea, the endless ocean I love, the silver, serene waters that seem to accept all that I am, man-- flawed and imperfect. Shore leave never lasts for more than a few days, but some day, some day, I'll come back to Nereid IV-b. I'll come back and I'll stay.

And I'll never leave the ocean again.


- - -
E.S. Wynn is the author of more than 50 books.
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UPGRADE

Contributor: MJRAFFERTY

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I was rolling along through my life living my dream with my love, and the children of our love beside me. Work seemed like play; all systems clicking in order as they should. Life was good.
Then from outside something intervened, insidious and unknown it came undetected, creating a shadow on my soul.
Defenses were drawn around me and the strategies of professionals were tested, but to no avail. My tears, and the tears of others flowed. Hope was gone and the taste of fear was like acid in my mouth. The medicine of science took me and all that was left was desperation. Life had dimmed but love swelled, flooding in and over from all sides.
The weeks and months passed, but to me there was nothing but light or dark, sleep and not sleep. My speech became a jargon to others; no matter, because the desire to communicate had withered, even though there were times of lucid intervention. Did I respond…say the things so needed to be said?
I’m so sorry I failed! I fought so hard not to leave you!
Thoughts were inward now, food and drink had mostly disappeared. How did I live? This for a man only forty-three? There were times I was weightless, floating off my bed for moments, then down. The voices of familiar people spoke to me. Was I even in the room? What in hell is this. . .?
I remember that day in June, wrenching myself from my place of pain, going outside of the house I so loved to stand alone in the sunlight--and finally, my moment came. I was lifted from the ground and pulled skyward past rooftops, then faster through thin clouds. Airliner to my left, do they see me? The earth fell rapidly away and I was so afraid of dying.
Did anyone see me leave? Did I even say goodbye?
I felt myself grow colder but something amazing was going on around my head and body. It became a shroud of translucent wonder that shielded my ascent through the atmospheres of near space into perfect vacuum. I began a slow rotation bathed in a mode of exquisite feeling; all fear had fallen away.
Encapsulated, I orbited my world in the silence of my thoughts. Surely this could not be death, for those I loved and left behind could only, if they knew, have wished this for me. If not death, then a dream of unimaginable splendor--
--And then I was away, streaking in uncomprehending speed outward, past my childhood moon and sun, safe in my envelope of self. I morphed as I moved toward a faraway whatever. Arms and legs, my humanity dissolved, reshaping itself to some unknown purpose.
Ahead was ill-defined. I moved through time and space, but memory was clear and absolute. Strange to relive so sharply that so far behind. As my destination neared, my life from conception to that moment was put in exact definition and details were acutely drawn. Complex problems that I had faced in my life became simple; hunger for knowledge so far unfulfilled was satisfied; all unquiet made calm. My evolution was nearing completion.
I arrived at a place that neither had, nor required explanation and where time escaped meaning. I had been made whole and had become what I was forever meant to be.
I was returned to my world and those I love the most, so I am here among you again.
All is good.


- - -
RETIRED. HAVE NOVEL TITLED "HEADSHOT" ON AMAZON AND B/N.
DOING SHORT FICTION, MOSTLY SCI/FI FOR PUB.
HAVE NOVEL "CATHEDRAL" FINISHED, READY TO SHOT AROUND.
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TWENTY ONE CUPCAKES

Contributor: Clive Aaron Gill

- -
“Base to Lola,” called the San Diego High School Dispatcher on the radio.
“Go ahead.”
“Lola, please pick up Reuben on Balboa Avenue this morning. Rudy’s bus is down.”
“Ten-four. Will do.”
“You’ll be half an hour late. His grandmother called him and told him to wait.”
“Ten-four.”
A look of satisfaction crept into Lola’s blue, penetrating eyes as she thought about the likeable Reuben. Blue jeans hugged her sturdy thighs and a white band drew back her black hair, as smooth as polished ebony, from her forehead.
She drove her bus past waves of wild mustard, blossoming vibrant yellow, before she stopped to pick up Reuben, a six-foot, muscular, special needs student.
“Good morning, Reuben.”
“Morning, Lola. Today’s my birthday,” said Reuben, as he stepped into the bus and gave her a high five. He sat three rows back.
“Happy birthday, Reuben,” she said and drove on. “You’ve grown a lot since I first took you to school.”
“I’m…I’m eighteen today.”
“Congratulations! How are you feeling?”
“Good,” he said, although his pale face gleamed with sweat.
Using the rear view mirror, Lola studied Reuben with narrowed eyes. “Are you sure?”
Reuben nodded as his face turned red. He blinked hard repeatedly and hunched his shoulders.
“Reuben, do you want me to stop?”
He leaned into the aisle and vomited white chunks with enormous heaves.
“Oh, my God!” she screamed, crinkling her nose.
When Lola arrived at the Transitional School, an aide met her.
Lola said, “Reuben threw up on the bus.”
“He did what?” asked Sharon.
“I didn’t have time to get the trash can to him. And the mess went into the wheelchair tie-down tracks,” she said, running her fingers through her hair.
Sharon shook her head. “Where are the twenty one cupcakes his grandmother made?”
“Reuben, where are Gran'ma's cupcakes?” inquired Lola.
He remained silent.
“Reuben, did you eat the cupcakes while you were waiting for me?”
He nodded slowly and held his hand to his forehead.

“We can’t accept him at school if he’s sick,” said Sharon.
Lola covered her face with her hands as she drew a long breath. “And I thought this was gonna be a good day.”


- - -
Clive's short stories have appeared in Pens on Fire, Every Day Fiction, espresso stories, Short Humour, Postcard Shorts, The Screech Owl, Wilderness House Literary Review, Gravel Literary Journal, Shark Reef literary magazine, Larks Fiction Magazine and in 6 Tales magazine.
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