Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay 



The alarm didn’t sound. The power had gone out in the night because of the storm. He’d meant to replace the batteries for a situation like this. Another oversight.

Shelly was upset. Some meeting. Some officials. Something important. He meant to take more interest, kept thinking at some point there’d be more time. They could relax, chat, drink a beer on the deck.

“You’re going to have to fix the kids breakfast and lunch. I’ve got to go,” she said.

“Since when did your job get more important than mine?”

“About $37,000 ago. And, really, Ray, are we gonna do this now?”

She was gone with a roll of her eyes. The instant the door closed he realized they hadn’t kissed goodbye. They always kissed goodbye. He almost ran out to her car before she drove off, but, hell, the roll of her eyes hurt.

He was staring at numbers on a spreadsheet when his cell buzzed. Shelly. “Ray…I’ve been shot.”


Silence answered.

Hours later with certainty his world disintegrated. He wished he’d dropped his pride.


Sascha Darlington

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