The Atomic Clock

The latest fiction offering from Spelk…


by Michael Grant Smith

I rode on the shoulders of clouds, the way my father carried me closer to the sky. My mother, a barn swallow, forced sustenance into my throat. A child’s only obligation is to believe in immortality and limitless second chances. Those would have been the salad years, if salad came in a can.

My family organized a backyard BBQ in celebration of my uncle going twelve months without a diabetic amputation. Left on their own to decide, every guest brought seven-layer dip. Plastic tubs, glass bowls, ceramic casseroles, foil pans; all of it contaminated with e coli. Odds were against the dish’s duplication and the accompanying threat to health and goodwill, but in hindsight I’ll tell you I’ve had worse meals.

Long after my uncle’s farewell surgery, a bottle containing a dead mouse rolled unseen beneath the stove in my mother’s kitchen. How could something…

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