The conversation lulls and as if the quiet forces Gerard to break the silence he says, “I tried donating my stepson to Goodwill, shoved that little fuck right into the donation box. Not sure what we expected, but like a cockroach he crawled out and came home contaminated with bedbugs. Now we have two problems thanks to him.”

The red haired convenience store manager lifts the shot of Wild Turkey. Its been sitting idle in front of him on the bar. His arm flab jiggles like a pendulum on an old clock. He holds the whiskey high up in the air as if offering a salute before continuing, “To a dead body and a burned down home.”

He pauses after downing the volatile bourbon and shakes his head.

We all hoped for laughter and a ‘just kidding,’ but it never came, but the cops did and the soft wafting scent of a wood fire burning somewhere.

Gerard is doing 20 to life up at singsing.

Somebody said he is happy finally.

“This is the best thing that has ever happened to me,” he is rumored to have told the judge at sentencing, “thank you very much.”



Author: Bryan Aiello

I call NYC home and wish the subway went everywhere and Times Square didn't suck. I saw John Turturro once. Maybe it was him. He was wearing a yellow shirt and smiled at me like he knew I knew. I am an Army vet who writes. I like characters who want more then they deserve. I like genre fiction. I love space. I love paladins. One day I might write a paladin in space story. Just you wait. The university of South Florida spit me out with a degree in creative writing and I find myself questioning the sanity of going to a school that advertises a fake beach on its brochure ever since. I intuit grammar. I Got married in 2012 We had twins in 2015. I do a lot of cooking and dog walking and ranting about the unfairness of sentience. You can follow me on Twitter: @bryaiello Wattpad: My Subreddit: My Reddit profile: Like my work? Become a patron at:

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