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by Ernest Gordon Taulbee

When their baby died, the corpse was cremated. They split the ashes and separated.

Soon he found himself in an acceptable hotel room.

He held the gun his father used to teach him to shoot. He could remember his father’s hands cradling him, as he did the urn now. He thought about the infant girl and the wife he still loved.

He wasn’t sure if it was enough or too much.

The bourbon was warm and made him sweat despite the cool room. It gave him courage and acquiescence. He stayed awake through the night before deciding it wasn’t worth it.

Ernest Gordon Taulbee’s fiction has appeared in such journals as Molotov Cocktail, Litbreak, and Plumb Journal. He holds an MA in English from Eastern Kentucky University and lives in Louisville, Kentucky, with his family. His Facebook is ernestgordontaulbee and his Twitter is @gordtaul.