C. Adán Cabrera, 2011 Writers Retreat Fellow in Fiction

C. Adán Cabrera, 2011 Writers Retreat Fellow in Fiction



it's my pleasure to introduce 2011 lender fellow in fiction see comedy good evening everyone I am I'm gonna read from a short story called the end of the world I like dramatic titles and it's about the complexities of ending a relationship about what happens when you fall out of or you try to convince yourself that you've fallen out of love with someone and the only thing they need to know about this is that the narrator still lives with his ex-boyfriend even though they've broken up nothing any of us have been over the world was going to end on Sunday at least that's what the preacher man said on television the king of everything the Alpha and Omega himself would ride down from heaven and from a sacred white horse punished every wicked man woman and child exactly seven minutes after the Sun set over Jerusalem the cherub chick thought man paste in front of a bronze-colored podium pausing only long enough to dab his glistening forehead with a limp pink handkerchief that gave us I figured three days to repent and thus avoid the divine wrath that passed Morales declared to be imminent three days was also long enough to take that drive up north for a river rafting trip our second time we'd had fun last year two days of breath stealing skinny dips in the American River kisses swap the nearest are scattered sky tickled of toes in the moonlight then we put down a deposit and signed into the contract while swimming trunks still drip with river water plus it was another chance to escape Los Angeles in the summer July in LA was hotter than Satan's backside and hot enough to make the big JC unhinge ahead and fare themselves come Monday come Monday I don't come Monday I'd rather be broiling with the rest of the sinners refined myself back at work pushing in another cart of books on the library's errand Nyles the only thing I done dust thus far on my week-long vacation was guests at paternity results along with Maury Povich a studio audience and smoke close on the balcony blowing sweet smoke into a cloud of the summer sky our trip was the one thing I was looking forward to all year I told Tomas we should start packing he was dozing on the recliner digesting a slice of leftover pizza and a handful of tortilla chips the afternoon heat had melted off his clothes leaving him in a pair of white briefs and a tight black tank top a half-finished bottle of beer was pinned between his hair a thought is oh I'm glad that's this week at the most tilting back farther in his seat the recliner squeaked and protest I could use some of that cool arctic water before I start work on my new demas closed his eyes stretched his arms above his head and let them fall again with a sigh Wow I said turning off the television with lines as original as that one you'll finish your novel in no time especially if it's Arctic not Arctic water I reached down I reached out to grab my jacket lemonade it was a little tart but I drank it anyway you make fun of me now he said I stood close but we'll see who's laughing when I win the Pulitzer I'll drink to that I said I held up my glass and smart Tomas opened one green eye he smiled and reached for his beer but tipped it over instead Nick first it fizzled on the recliners leg rested on to the carpet god damn it he muttered he peeled off his tank top and folding it into thirds tossed it onto the lake of beer his tanned hairy abdomen was glistening to sweat so when do we leave the mustard stopping on the spill with one foot I took a long sip of my lemonade tonight I said and we'll stay to the apocalypse cool he said it Tomas bent forward to pick up his tank top and I'll start packing and sorry man you know about the carpet if you try to charge it free charging for what I leave let me know it's cool I said I'm over it I finished my lemonade in two sour gulps I switched the television back on pastor Morales is still pontificating becoming evermore exhausted while he spoke furiously parting his hairline as if the sky had opened up and could already feel the fire and brimstone raining down from heaven itself thank you

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