Real Deal

(by Simon Petrie, September 2010)

.

This is it.

Gun to my head. I feel the barrel. It burns against my scalp. He’ll pull the trigger, any moment.

And I don’t know why. Must have done wrong—

I was outside, and something happened. Now this.

I should feel fear. I should plead, or try to flee. But my limbs are useless lumps, my tongue a chunk of wood stuck in my mouth. I can’t even sweat, though the gun is so hot. So hot against my—

—my wound.

Where is my fear? What’s wrong with me? He’ll pull the trigger—

It hurts so bad. What is he waiting for?

His finger squeezes. I don’t see it, don’t feel it, but I know. The gun fires. The side of my head becomes a liquid, sticky mess.

And I remember, as he pushes my severed ear into the hot glue beside my cheek. It still hurts. But it will be better, once the glue has set. He will, I hope, paint over the crack of the repair.

My thoughts a jumbled mess, in a lump of wood. They are not always easy to carry. But I pick them up, now.

I was outside, I fell. I broke. He has fixed me.

And I will, someday I will, somehow, become a real boy.

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