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an easily forgettable death is best. A death with no heroes or villains – just me and an unfortunate accident. It’s winter. I hate winter. It’s just so damn cold. I’d stay inside for the entire thing if I could, but I’ve got obligations just like everyone else. I walk down the sidewalk smoking winter’s invisible cigarette until I get to a crosswalk. I’d be smoking a real one if Emily hadn’t asked me to quit. She didn’t “tell” me to, like my friend’s girlfriend did; she asked me to, and I really appreciated that. So, I did it. It was hard as hell, but I managed, and now I’m never going to smoke again. Anyway, I’m at the crosswalk. I look left. I look right. All clear. I take a step onto the street. A patch of ice catches my foot and throws it into the air. I guess I should’ve looked down. I lose my balance and fall, my neck hitting the curb with a sickening crunch. I die instantly just like that, and some homeless guy probably takes my wallet or something. Well, that sucks. Sure, no one else got hurt, but what about me? That’s such an emasculating way to die; there’s no way I’d want that. Maybe I’m being selfish here, but I figure I’m allowed to be at least a little selfish when it comes to something this important. I want to die with some dignity. So, this doesn’t work either. Shit. There’s got to be something. There has to be. Maybe I should go in a completely different direction. I lie down on the hospital bed, my adoring family surrounding me. They tell me they love me as they hold my withered, shaking hand. We all know it’s going to happen any minute now. They talk about all the good times we had and how I was always such an inspiration and how they couldn’t ever imagine a better father/grandfather/ uncle/et cetera. Their warmth fills me up, and I begin to drift off, just like a hot air balloon. Farther into the sky I go and, eventually, I’m gone. I guess I’ll get to see Emily now, huh? That’s what everyone wants, right? To grow old and pass away surrounded by a loving family? Then, why doesn’t thinking about it make me feel good? I should be warm and fuzzy by now; that’s what the movies promised me, but I’m still just scared and confused. And, what makes me think I’ll even last that long? Emily didn’t and she was always the lucky one. Where does that leave me? Shit, did I really think all this would help?  Fuck. I just . . . I just don’t want to die like she did. I don’t want to leave people wondering what the hell happened. I don’t want to leave them thinking all of these dark thoughts that’ll just suck them under and never let them out. That “freak accident” shit is just too cruel. I just want a perfect death that leaves everyone satisfied. Is that too much to ask? Does one even exist? How the hell am I supposed to answer these questions? Fuck it. Just fuck it. Death doesn’t care what I want anyway; he’s already proven that. So, starting right this second, I’m immortal, and fuck anyone who says otherwise.


Vortex 39 - April Online  
Vortex 39 - April Online  

The University of Central Arkansas'sVortex Magazine of Literature and Fine Art is an undergraduate run publication, publishing students from...