by mikesteeden

The sheer edge of the disintegrating cliff that the ocean’s hectic waves, long since, had tired of would be a classic venue, or as an alternative exit from this lonely globe perhaps, albeit self-effacing, lost to this world while in deepest terminal slumber. Maybe a sneaky poisoned leg of roast spiced duck with plums? Even better, the unemployed of late hangman’s virgin twisted rope tied tight around his neck. Choices, choices, choices…endless bloody choices to the one who gave up counting his pennies as well as calculating pointless possibilities, let alone random chance.  A pity Amazon didn’t sell ‘next day delivery’ self-destruction kits. He’d rather like that…cheap and simple, done and done with his curse of persistent ailing. No more battling with his already victorious, annoyingly invisible yet sick to one’s stomach vile rival. 

“Don’t do anything stupid while I’m out,” the demand of the girl who loved more than just his lost smile.

Nought but a poker face nod, his insufficient…nay insulting…riposte.

Later than usual she returned from her hailstone wanderings carrying both a newspaper and a giant silver foil-covered chocolate coin, she announced, “They, whoever ‘they’ are, say that the sun shall shine at last come tomorrow…‘they’ promise that that is so…so do cheer up.”

Having not spoken a single word since the night the clocks rolled back, this time curiosity took hold, “Why the illusionary coin?”

“I’ve had enough. Heads you live, tails you top yourself. There, ‘tis simple as that…a mere flip a coin.”

Readying herself to ‘flip’ confectioneries edible coin he, out of character, intervened. He’d just that moment, obscurely, reminisced over the wicked undraped games she and he once played in those miraculous days gone by, whereupon a flood of enraptured tears overwhelmed him. 

At that she pointed out, “You knew all along that ‘love’…no matter how out of sorts you are… is the only ‘miracle’ there’s ever been.”

By and by together they scoffed the giant chocolate coin after which she added, “The staircase, the kitchen floor, the new carpet or the boring bed? Your call.” 

Ever the gentleman despite his deadly depression; his incurable sickness, “No. Your call. I don’t deserve that right. Not this time. I’ll follow your lead.”

As if a dream come true, Wonderland superseded life’s joyless abyss…at least for now.

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