Winner of the 2010 Short Fiction contest in ABQ the Mag

EXCERPT  |  You watch the fire chew through the ashes at the tip of the cigarette. They watch you watch the ashes. Vermilion-hot ashes, perforated, like your brain, riddled with holes of memories they stole from you.

Your mother doesn’t say it, but she wants forgiveness for bringing you here. You heard her ask the doctor in the hallway, “Can he be saved?”

You have done this for 7,780 days in a row.

At night the cancer races through your body with a fervor, leaving gaping black-encrusted holes.

You die from the inside out.

–Published in ABQ the Mag