That Orifice

Jack’s wife was standing over him, the smoking gun still in her hand. The roar of gunshot still sharp in his ears. The pain in his chest getting stronger.

When she first fired, Jack thought she missed and wanted to smack the gun out of her hands, but realized that he was not strong enough. She must have hit something important. He collapsed slowly, feeling annoyed more than afraid. Now he was getting angry. Thanks to her display of independence, he will have to spend a fortune on hospital bills.

The little boy ran to her from outside the field of vision. Jack was a little sorry the boy did not like him more than her, kind of like you are sorry your dog likes your neighbor. He used to play with the boy, but the boy was too scared lately. She was looking at the boy with tears in her eyes. She said: “He won’t be hurting us anymore, Sam.”

Jack suddenly realized that he might not have to pay the medical bills after all. That he will be dead soon. He imagined a number. Three hundred. That was how many heartbeats he thought he had left. That sounded like a lot.

She was not going to call the ambulance. nor was she leaving. She would stay to see him off, stay to the end of it. Jack suddenly became more aware of the hole in his chest. The shape of it, the depth, the possible location of the bullet. He felt penetrated and humiliated, lying open to the world, his sticky pink insides accessible to anyone who desired them. He tried to lift a hand and cover it, but darkness took him.

Leave a Reply