by Jon Catron
I stare out the slowing frosting window at the dimly lit street that stretched out into the night like a long line of bad choices. Truth is, choice is a lie, a fable written to ease guilty consciences as they gaze back at the missed opportunities of the past. Choice is an illusion created by the lightning forks of What If, the ragged branches of Could Have Been. The truth was that I never had a choice, that if different choices had been made, it wouldn't be me staring down that street wondering... What If. I cringe, a hot knife of need stabbing through my guts. I swallow hard, lick my lips and rub the soft flesh of the inside of my elbow, my veins pulsing up at me like lightning forks, like ragged branches of Could Have Been...
Jon Catron, author of Dust, sometimes likes to hum show tunes to himself.