Bio Note: I resumed writing after forty odd years in foreign intelligence and international sales. There've been over three hundred stories and poems published so far, and six books. I work the other side of writing at Bewildering Stories, where I sit on the review board and manage a posse of six review editors.
The Engagement Present
A half century ago I bought my engagement present. Not the one I gave her, but the one she gave me. I don’t recall ever asking her to pay for it. The gold plated Bulova Acutron watch lasted through several watch straps but finally, despite a couple of new batteries, declined to run. There are only two places in North America that are willing to repair it, and both charge five times its purchase price to do so. And if I paid for the repair it would be worth less than half of the cost to fix it The watch is coffined in my jewelry case since I cannot let myself discard it, and I wonder if I should put it back on simply as male wrist ornamentation for I cannot remember the last occasion someone has asked me for the time.
It’s always struck me as peculiar that invoking a demon by spellcasting is cause for corruption and damnation, while praying to a saint in similar tone is seen as redemptive and uplifting even if I’m asking for the same things. Give me love, give me luck, give me looks. Maybe I can safely accomplish the gimmies by simultaneously appealing to both sides and letting them figure out who should take the call.
The last true cold of winter Carries the dampness of its decay. Frigid gusts push against sunlight, And the night settles later and softer. Those immersed in this changeling time Feel the dead body shrug beneath them, The ground yielding beneath their feet, And are able to stretch without shivering. The death heaves come in frigid rain And open, frost-wracked sores the colors shading from white to black and into a death rattle of fertile rot.
©2021 Ed Ahern
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