Please enjoy “Windswept,” an early short story of mine that I’ve made available here in its entirety. This piece was originally published in Nib Magazine (now defunct).
A sharp jolt of pain shot from his pinned arm and froze him at the top of a lingering breath, where a flash of his son’s smile, his wife’s face, and the color of the girl’s touch were waiting like a mirage; but they were loath to stay and quickly turned to black as the pain eased its grip on Ernie’s nerves, allowing a final bounty of oxygen to leave his lungs and dissipate into the night air like a quick puff from a cigarette.
Vlad is speaking programming languages at his computer again, aloud. We share an office six hundred feet above sea level. I can’t tell if you’re talking to me when I have my headphones in, dammit.
“Ah, forget it man.”
I turn up the volume for good, gangster rap so loud Easy-E might flinch at the snare.
I can still picture the way the girl looked at me, blurred as her face was by the raindrops on my passenger-side window; the cartoonish silhouette of her voluminous blonde curls; the scowl on her face; the totally square way that she flipped me off with index, ring and pinky finger joined with the thumb behind a fully extended middle digit; the way she mouthed the words “fuck you” with delicate precision before speeding off.
I lost sleep over it that night.
I would have let her over had I seen her coming.
They say that the next one won’t come around until many years into the future.
It’s a celestial timeline that effortlessly dwarfs our own,
so we celebrate this lunar episode with gratitude.
We come together under the blue moon.