THE SAVING BREATH • by Michael Seese

Gas hissed from the valve under the unmistakable sign: FLAMMABLE. Sydney struck another match, only to watch it go out.

“Damn it! Why won’t any of you light?”

Alone, more alone than ever, she tried again. And again. Luck still would not even blow a kiss her way.

She fell back, crying. So much had gone wrong lately, beginning with that night. She had ignored her parents and the weather alert, and decided to drive to Cameron’s. She always drove carefully, more so in the snow. She remembered missing the curve just in front of his house… The pond… Her car sinking… Gasping for air… Cameron’s arms around her… His heroic push…

Then watching him slip beneath the ice.

“I miss you, Cameron,” she managed between sobs. “I miss you so much.”

“I miss you too, Syd. But it’s not your time,” he whispered, blowing out yet another match.

Michael Seese is an information security professional by day. Or, as his son could say even at age three, “Daddy keeps people’s money safe.” He has published three books: Haunting Valley, Scrappy Business Contingency Planning, and Scrappy Information Security, not to mention a lot of flash fiction, short stories, and poems. Other than that, he spends his spare time rasslin’ with three young’uns. Visit or follow @MSeeseTweets to laugh with him or at him.

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