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๐—ง๐—ต๐—ฒ ๐—–๐—ผ๐˜ƒ๐—ฒ๐—ป๐—ฎ๐—ป๐˜

๐˜ฃ๐˜บ ๐˜ˆ๐˜ข๐˜ณ๐˜ฐ๐˜ฏ ๐˜š๐˜ข๐˜ฏ๐˜ฅ๐˜ฃ๐˜ฆ๐˜ณ๐˜จ



They came back.


"I'm not ready," he said. "I haven't finished. You said you'd come back when I was ready." The light seemed to grow brighterโ€”an unblinking eye. The shape of the humming ship was barely perceptible above the soft street lights, glow from the houses, and the telephone pole wires transporting communique.


The hum increased and Donny noticed his feet were now dangling above the pavementโ€”not to take him away, but to show him that they were in control. They put him down. The only harm done was to his ego and the wanton soup spilled in the takeout box. "I just need three more days. Then it'll be done. Then you can have all you want. Just three days."


His wife looked out the front window, but only saw him staring into a dark and empty sky. She couldn't make out the words she thought she heard him speaking, but it sounded like a pleaโ€”a prayer to a God unseen. For what, she did not know. She made her way to the front door and opening it carefully, reached out her timid voice that said, "Donny?" But Donny did not answerโ€”just kept up his quiet incantation at the end of the driveway.


Then he stopped.


"Just three more days," Donny whispered to the invisible. He arched his back, shook violently, and collapsed into a pile on the curb. The neighbors heard him weeping. Some closed their shutters. Some stood on their stoops folding robes over their chests to protect themselves from the night.


And Donny, sobbing, lay knowing that three more daysโ€”that a month, that a lifetimeโ€”would never be enough. โœฆ




Aaron Sandberg needs like four or five days. His writing has appeared or is forthcoming in No Contact, I-70 Review, Space and Time, West Trade Review, Asimovโ€™s, The Offing, Sporklet, Right Hand Pointing, Monday Night, Unstamatic, and elsewhere. A Pushcart-nominated teacher from the US, you can see himโ€”if he doesnโ€™t see you firstโ€”on Instagram @aarondsandberg.



Speculative fiction & POETRY ZINE
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