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by Mark Budman

I. Now, 280 characters

A girl rides shotgun in the car next to me with her feet on the dashboard. Her window is down.

“Don’t let your socks suck up all the sun,” I say. “Leave some for me.”

She takes out her shotgun and shoots me dead.

I rise toward the sun. I’ve never been there. I’m a sucker for fun.

II. Then, 140 characters

She shot me 18 times. 18 is the Hebrew letter Chi. Its numerical equivalent is “alive.” I rise toward the sun. I’ll never be pale again.


Mark Budman was born in the former Soviet Union, and he speaks English with an accent. He is the publisher of the flash fiction magazine Vestal Review. His novel My Life at First Try was published by Counterpoint Press. He has co-edited flash fiction anthologies from Ooligan Press and Persea Books/Norton. 

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