Sunday, March 24, 2013

Fiction #42: Dan Vierck

Thomas K. Wrigley Immediately Regrets Not Taking His Family to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

Two sharks, sent by God to kill Thomas K. Wrigley’s family, sank from the clouds outside Grand Rapids, Michigan, and dove through the Wrigley front window when they found it. Mrs. Wrigley, their two children, and their Australian shepherd were near the front door, readying for a day at the park. Thomas was in the kitchen, and ducked behind the island when he heard the window break. The window was new, and cost almost two thousand dollars with installation. He crouched against the cake pan cabinet while his family was eaten by the sharks.

He could hear, under the screaming and wet coughing, the sharks’ teeth scrape through flesh, against bone. He could hear their jaws pop, and he could hear – or he imagined he could hear – the sharks lick their lips. When he couldn’t hear anything except the breeze and distant traffic outside, Thomas was sure his family was dead but he didn’t know if the sharks were still there, lingering. Trembling, with his eyes tightly shut and leaking tears, he startled himself to standing and placed both hands on the marble countertop, several fingers landing in drops of warm wet. When he forced himself to open his eyes, the sharks were floating toward him.

Never a conflict, never a fight to avoid in his whole life, he accepted this. He nodded unconsciously, mouth contorting to a fuller, more uninhibited sob face than he had ever known. The instant before the shark on his left would’ve bit into his shaking, planted arm, there was a blinding flash of white light and when Thomas’s eyes re-adjusted the sharks were gone. His family still lay strewn across the living room in abstract pools, lumps, and pieces. The breeze and distant traffic coming in through the broken window goaded him with cold, unimpeachable normalcy.

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Dan Vierck is a graduate of Southwest Minnesota State University, UW Milwaukee, and Vermont College of the Fine Arts. He lives in Madison, WI, with his finance. They are expecting their first baby, a boy, in May.

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