by Michael Brooks

Miller hit the icy walkway with a sickening slap; his head rebounded from the concrete, leaving a deep crimson smear of arterial blood behind. The rocks glass landed nearby, sweet brown liquor carving a deranged inkblot into the fresh snow. Scooping the bourbon slush back into the glass, he struggled into a sitting position. "Maybe next year," he mumbled, putting the glass to lips once again. Miller battled his prematurely aged frame and lurched to a semi-standing form, feeling the still angry glare of his younger brother on the porch from whence he came. "Merry Christmas, Bobby," he called over his shoulder, then shuffled down the walk and into the glittering nightscape of snowflakes and headlights.


Michael Brooks lives in Durham, North Carolina, with his wife, dog, and two cats, and maintains the world's largest collection of handwritten poetry by Benito Mussolini. He also acknowledges the redundancy of the phrase "from whence," but thinks the hoi polloi won't catch it. (Or that.)