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Issue number two




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If you look at it, you may die by Thomas J. Misuraca

The clock struck twelve.

Robyn was thankful he was still alive. Each time the clock struck, he feared his body would stop functioning.

Certain he'd be alive for another hour, Robyn decided to have lunch. It was a choice between eggs and potatoes. Looking around his apartment, he saw nothing but the four walls he often felt were closing in on him. There were no eggs or potatoes here. He would have to go outside.

It was probably raining; Robyn hated rain. But he hated going hungry more.

Maybe he'd die before he got to the door. That would solve all his problems.

"I'm tired of thinking!" Robyn shouted at the ceiling, "I'm going out!"

The clock struck one.

Robyn was thankful he was still alive.

He stepped out into the black day, but it was not raining. The sun was in a total eclipse.

Robyn stared at it.

"Don't look at it," a passing doctor warned him, "You'll die!" "Is it two o'clock already?" Robyn asked.

"I don't know. My watch stopped."

"Thank God," Robyn replied.

"You're welcome," said the doctor.

Robyn turned and walked into a diner.

The waitress approached him. Robyn backed away.

"I won't hurt you," the waitress said, "But the sun will."

Robyn took a seat at the counter.

"Can I help you?" the waitress asked.

"I doubt it. What type of eggs do you have?"

"We have eggs and sawdust pancakes," the waitress told him.

"No," Robyn shook his head.

"Eggs and sunny-side leeches?"

"No. But I still might have potatoes."

"One order of potatoes coming up!"

"But I want eggs," Robyn protested.

"Eggs and what?"

"And eggs."

"Eggs and eggs it is then," the waitress said and ran into the kitchen.

"Eggs are nutritious," a man two stools down said.

"So I've read," Robyn replied.

The waitress brought Robyn a cup of cream.

"Don't look into it," she warned, "You'll go blind."

"Retinas are nutritious," the man two stools down said.

"So I've read," Robyn replied.

The clock struck two.

The man two stools down died.

"Thank God," Robyn replied.

The waitress brought his eggs.

"I wanted potatoes," Robyn protested.

"Eggs won't hurt you."

"Then I'll take them back to my apartment."

"What if your apartment burned down?" the waitress asked.

"I'd eat them in the park."

"What if they built a church in the park?"

"I'd go to confession."

"Would it help?"

"I doubt it. But at least I'll go to heaven."

"Have fun," said the waitress.

Robyn left the diner with his plate of eggs. He bumped into a nurse. His eggs fell to the ground.

"Bitch!" Robyn spat.

He walked back into the diner.

"I'm sorry," the waitress said, "We're closed."

"All I want is potatoes."

"Sorry. I'm off duty."

Robyn left the diner. It began to rain.

"I am unclean!" Robyn shouted at the sky.

He ran across the street to the park. In the middle of the park stood a church. Robyn stepped inside.

"I'm sorry," the priest said, "We're closed."

"All I want is confession."

"You looked at the sun, didn't you!" the priest yelled, "Now you'll go blind. Are you sorry?"

"I don't remember looking at the sun. What if I sinned but don't remember it?"

"You'll still go blind."

Robyn screamed and ran out of the church. He ran back into the diner.

The waitress was stretched out on the counter while the doctor and nurse operated on her eyes.

"What happened?" Robyn asked.

"She looked into the sun," the nurse explained.

The doctor popped something into his mouth.

"What was that?" the nurse asked.

"Retinas are nutritious," the doctor said as he crunched.

"So I've read," the nurse replied.

"Please help me," Robyn begged.

"We can't help everybody," the doctor said.

"What if I die?"

"That would solve all your problems."

The priest entered. When the nurse approached him, he made the sign of the cross and said, "I would like an order of eggs with a double side order of potatoes."

The nurse bowed and ran into the kitchen. "Please help me," Robyn begged the priest.

"Sorry," the priest said as he took a seat at the counter, "I'm off duty."

"Retina?" the doctor offered.

"No thanks."

The nurse brought the priest his eggs with a double side order of potatoes. Robyn stared at him while he ate.

"Potato?" the priest offered.

"Yes, please."

The priest placed a piece of potato on Robyn's tongue. It tasted like egg.

"Now, what is your problem, my son?"

The clock struck three.

"Am I still alive?" Robyn asked.

"Yes," said the priest as he anointed Robyn's head with syrup.

"Yes," said the doctor, "If you want a medical opinion."

"Thank God!" Robyn replied and turned to the nurse, "I'd like an order of eggs with a double side order of potatoes."

"I'm sorry," said the nurse, "I'm off duty."

Thomas J. Misuraca lives in the Los Angeles area where he works as a production manager for a consulting firm. He has had stories published in various places, including Fayrdaw and Entre Nous.

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