A Little Slice​

Matthew David Brown

One late summer evening, the air had finally cooled and a Twain-ish kind of peace was aloft on the breeze.  I decided to go for a walk and clear my mind before retiring.  While & within my steps, I looked up and remembered how beautifully clear heaven can be.  The countless shimmering speckles leaping within the darkened pool of space lulled me to sit down curbside and take a longer look.  Breathtaking. Peaceful.  Infinite.

Soon I realized how hungry I was and decided to break this communion with some pizza. So I got up and walked towards the strip mall, purchased two slices, I went outside to retake my worshipful perch. Within a minute of taking my first bite, I began to hear a distant hum grow into buzz which metastasized into an unbearable whirling groan of grinding and scraping.

Wrenching-round my neck, I saw these hideous sounds emanating in a dervish of dust and billowing smoke both erupting and cascading over the top of a twenty foot wall. Just then a greasy figure appeared wearing a surgical mask and wielding a long proboscis from what looked like a 1950 jet propulsion pack. At his slithering heels was this huge battle-worn street sweeping vacuum wheeling its way around the wall's end choking debris & aerosolized death.

Nearly blinded at the sight, sound, and speed of this freakish behemoth, I lost view of its fore-running master.  With the speed of a striking snake he emerged from around a car blowing gravel, sand, and dust all over me & my freshly baked slices!  I’d been smitten, smote & smoked out.  Blasted with bits, chips, and a shit-load of flots[sic] & and jetsam, I winced my eyes nearly shut. Within this chaotic haze and through the deafening waves his lifeless eyes and mask muttered "Sorry" while never averting his strafe.

Crippled in awe and violation, I fell forward as one who falls into of bed;  my immediate impression was to throw him by that backpack to the ground under that godless impersonal racket he brought with him.  Instead, I found myself flipping, more like arching the defiled pizza toward him as if to assuaging my guilt by leaving God room to vindicate.

Alas it missed him & all of heaven ached.  He looked down at the pieces, then at me, then back at the pieces, then back at me, and this time both his eyes and his mask said the same thing..."Sorry", while he blew the pieces, sausage, cheese and gravel all under the cars and over the wall in front of him.  Within an instant he & the hideous montrocity of sound and fury turned and vanished untwinkling into the dark.

With gaping mind and empty hands I collapsed back to sit on the curb again staring wide-eyed up into heaven.  With the fading bits of pizza still left in my mouth, I realized even more fully how hungry I really was, and just how far away heaven seems at times.

About the Writer

Former Duct Inspector Field Agent for Central Services, M.D. Brown now writes small town symphony reviews for The Patriot out of Burlington, Colorado. Other works can be found in a variety of western wear catalogs, tech booklets for HTC and clinical pamphlets about Vagus Nerve Stimulation Therapy. His book, Evolution and Morbundity of Doctoral Candidacy in Anthropology won the Rhone-Poulenc Prize for Scientific Books. He is also a Podcast Life Coach for Nash Rambler enthusiasts worldwide.