A Gun in the First Act by Scott Garson

I saw him working on his bicycle, and I watched from the window above. Just for no reason. Not because I was worried about him. Not because I was a person who might be sensitive to the parts of a moment for which there was no direct gaugethe parts, for example, which might have opened some door to premonition. I just happened to be there. In the window. I happened to see. He was doing some work on his bike, as I’ve said. The bike was upside-down. A wheel of the bike spun free in the air near his hand, tickety-tick. I don’t know if he didn’t know how to proceed or if there was something he lacked, but progress had ceased. He was out of solutions, for now. He circled the problem of the bike. I watched as he made of his thumb and two fingers a weaponhammer and barrel. I watched as he raised it. Steadied it, fired it into his temple. He made the hand jerk and recoil with the force of what it had accomplished. He made his mouth gape. It was like the mouth was the hole, and the sound coming outI knew there was soundwas just air, the gentle, hushing sound of air when it flows in new spaces.


Scott Garson’s work has appeared or is forthcoming in The Best of Small Fictions annual, The Three Penny Review, Conjunctions, The Kenyon Review, American Short Fiction, and others.

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