THE DAY WE ATE MUSHROOMS AND THOUGHT WE COULD FLY - MATTHEW MCBRIDE
I dropped the bag on the kitchen table and Jerry Springfield came to life. His eyes became silver dollars in an instant. His mouth began to water.
That’s what I expected. Good quality mushrooms tend to have that effect on a guy. Especially a guy like Jerry. A guy who doesn’t work, but makes his living sucking the lifeblood from good people like it was a fine Chardonnay.
I divided the bag into equal parts, but Jerry complained he wasn’t getting his share. Even though they were mine, Jerry still tried to fuck me.
“You’ll get your half.”
Jerry rubbed his hands together like a child. He licked his lips and said, “Hurry up.”
That’s the kind of guy Jerry is. Thinks everybody owes him something.
I pressed a couple of stems and two full caps into his hand.
“Have a nice trip, Jerry.”
An hour passed and just about the time we thought we got burned Jerry started feeling something. A lone strand of drool traveled over his lip and hung for a full minute. I didn’t say anything, I just smiled. Then he smiled. We both began to laugh.
“What’s...this...thing...” Jerry asked me something, but what? He was pointing at the wall.
“Wanna go outside?” I asked. Didn’t want Jerry to ralph in my kitchen.
“What’s that?” He was fascinated by something. His cheeks seemed rounder than they should have been and his face was as red as a summer tomato.
“Who’s that?” he asked wildly. I didn’t know what the fuck he was talking about.
Jerry was laughing uncontrollably now. He pointed to the roof.
“You think you can fly?” I asked.
Jerry said yes.
We climbed through the upstairs window onto the addition, then climbed up to the highest part.
It was a beautiful spring day, the birds were chirping. The tiger lillies in full bloom as we came to the edge of the roof. The house stood on a step hill. We were a good sixty feet up and nothing below us, but air and concrete.
My palms began to sweat.
“Don’t look down,” I said. Jerry’s beard was full of spit.
“I know!” He screamed. His hair was a mess. His eyes were like deep pools of water. He was on another level.
I warned him one more time. Be careful.
“I know,” he screamed again. I watched his body sway as he caught his balance.
Jerry was a man who thought he knew everything. But here’s what Jerry didn’t know. I was fucking his wife. Once or twice a week for the last three months. I was deeper inside her than he’d ever been. Licking her. Eating her. Doing things to her that Jerry hadn’t done in years. Doing them better than he ever had.
I loved her, she loved me, and we both hated Jerry Springfield.
“Wish he was dead,” she whispered.
She was thinking out loud, but she said it like she meant it.
We had passionate sex in the morning and her lips tasted like flowers smelled. I could feel with my heart what she could only say with a kiss.
I bought a bag of mushrooms.
The sky was an ocean of soft blue and it was melting in our face. I asked Jerry Springfield if he could fly. Then I pushed him off the roof before he could answer. The only sound I heard was when his head broke open on the concrete. Sixty feet below.
I pulled the bag of shrooms from my pocket. My half was untouched. Now we could be together. I thought about Mrs. Springfield.
BIO: Matthew McBride lives on a farm along the river and one day he will own his own machine gun. He’s been published at A Twist Of Noir, Powder Burn Flash, The Flash Fiction Offensive and the most recent issue of Plots With Guns. He is currently reworking a novel that this editor has seen and thinks is pretty genius. His blog is Got Pulp?
ON THE FRINGES OF THE FRINGE
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