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by Richard Baldasty

The disturbing thing was not so much that he heard the voice of God but that he said the voice of God was coming from the biggest lobster.

We’d walked down to the dock, boats of the day’s catch coming in. Haddock, herring, cod, scallops. And the lobsters.

The biggest lobster was tearing uselessly at the net. Rory took out his pocket knife, knelt down, determined to help, frantic to set God free. Crazy kid!

“What the hell you think you’re doing?” Lobstermen, even pious, not easily persuaded.

Rory insisted: the voice of God, God begging for release.

Maureen said it was time to take the boy home, that our outings have a bent for ending too soon, nothing else to do.

I looked to the sky. The overcast showed signs of parting for the first time in weeks. A pale reminder of the sun’s power to return happiness to the meanest life, to the lowest man on earth, to the woman with ten thousand woes and two hundred begging children.

Who are we to complain? As if our one familiar grief placed somewhere big on the archipelago of sorrow.

“Rory,” I said, “Jump up on my back. We’ll race with no stop to the top of the hill.”

Richard Baldasty is a frequent contributor to online journals, with recent work posted at Unbroken Journal, Foliate Oak, Angry Old Man, and Brilliant Flash Fiction. On Twitter @2kurtryder.