681 words (2 minute read)

Excerpt 3


The sun was up but not out as I stepped out of the hospital, its face hidden behind a gloomy haze and offering no warmth to take the chill from me.

I made my way to my car, dropped into the driver’s seat and started the engine. I shifted into reverse, foot still on the brake and just sat…unsure of where to go.

What next?






Nothing, there’s nothing.

Last time I sat in this seat I had a daughter.

No I didn’t, she was probably already dead.

Dead…that can’t be, she just started living.

I never even held her.

Never kissed her.

I never will.

What now?


My stomach growled, interrupting the loop my mind was slowly spiraling into. It rumbled again.

Food, I should do that. Get food.

Yeah, I needed to eat. Eat to live.

Why though? What’s the point? You don’t have any reason to live.

Don’t think like that.

You know it’s true.

I took my foot off the break and pulled out of the space…

…then I was parking again in front of a cookie cutter coffee shop.

How did I get…

It doesn’t matter.

A line snakes through the shop, filled with people getting ready for their day. Fueling up to live their lives.

Looking forward to what’s coming next.

There is no next.

“Good morning!” an aggressively cheerful voice called out. I look up to see an aproned teen beaming at me. “How’s your morning going?”

How’s my morning…?

Great aside from my daughter dying. My life is over and my little girl is being cut up on a steel table somewhere. How the hell do you think it’s going?

“Large coffee,” I finally manage to mutter.

“I’m sorry?”

“Large coffee.”

“Sounds super,” she answers enthusiastically. I want to punch her, what does she have to be so happy about? She’s serving burnt coffee for minimum wage.

“Room for cream?” she continues.


“Can I get you something to eat?”

“Yeah, sure, whatever.”

Her smile falters but only for a moment.

“Well what sounds good? We’ve got breakfast sandwiches, muffins, scones.”

“That’s fine.”

“So a scone?” she asks, having a harder and harder time keeping her caffeinated mask of helpfulness in place.


I pay. I wait. I’m rewarded with a cardboard cup and a paper bag.

I sit outside in the gloom. Sipping coffee and chewing mechanically while I watch the world speed past. I finish, crumpling the paper bag and stuffing it into the cup. Ready to be recycled and used again. Reborn.

Will I be reborn? Is it over?

What next?






Nothing, there’s nothing.