World Traveler

by Eric Payne

His tie is sky blue. He bought it at the Hermès store two years ago while vacationing in Paris. While propped against a streetlight, he flicks away an annoying speck of gray lint from the lapel of his cotton summer suit. He notices the sapphires in his cuff links have captured the sun and are glowing blue like the Atlantic Ocean off the south coast of Barbados, where from summer to fall the water is a bit choppy, but warm thanks to the sunlight that rests on its surface daily from dawn until nightfall. The taste of flying fish and pumpkin fritters fills his mouth as he reminisces about his last visit to the island when suddenly the alarm on his watch sounds, telling him it's 1:06 pm. He double checks the time, begins walking toward the bank across the street and just as he passes through the doors, withdraws a nine-millimeter Baby Glock pistol from a brown leather satchel he's carrying in his left hand.


Eric Payne was born and raised in Chicago, but moved to Jamaica, Queens after grad school a little more than a decade ago to "make it" in NYC. No longer sure what "making it" means, he now lives just outside the city with his wife and kids — his nightly retreat from his marketing job in Manhattan. Having become a bit jaded from dashed youthful enthusiasm, he no longer remembers which literary magazines published his earlier writings. He is the author of a barely edited book of poetry and short stories entitled "I See Through Eyes," and his work has appeared in Spindle Magazine and DiddleDog. Visit Eric's blog!