NO TIME LIKE THE PRESENT • by Justin Crockett

Matching forty-fives. Great minds think alike, I guess. I always knew our relationship would end this way. Just the two of us, waves lapping on the beach, a bottle of wine, the briefcase, and of course a handgun pressed to each other’s face.

How we came to this juncture is inconsequential. What comes after is equally unimportant. When you’re staring down the barrel of a gun the only time that matters is the present.

Our eyes are locked, our hands steady, each of us waiting for the other to blink. In a way it’s romantic, the waves, the sunset, what a perfect ending.

He’s so focused. It’s what I love about him, all the time so serious. The concentration is making him sweat. I never sweat. A little drop is crawling down his forehead.

The fading rays of tropical sun glint off the chrome of our pistols. The drop of sweat crosses his eyebrow. I watch patiently as it plants itself on top of his left eyelid. He can’t help it. He blinks.

Justin Crockett lives in Columbus with his wife and dog. He fights fire for money and writes for fun.

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