Hiking through the woods I find a glistening brain sitting in the grass beside the trail. But the brain is not dead. It quivers and thumps as if it contains a beating heart. It stares at me with its eyeless folds and waits like an expectant child. But I don't know what to do. I have never known what to do. For as long as I can remember, I have always been a ridiculous fool, bumbling from one catastrophic blunder to the next. So I look down at the brain and wince in sorrow and guilt. I'm sorry, I say, but I don't know how to help you. To this the brain does not respond. Instead, it sits in the grass like a toad, condemning my monstrous inadequacy.
Steve Gergley is the author of The Great Atlantic Highway & Other Stories (Malarkey Books '24), Skyscraper (West Vine Press ’23), and A Quick Primer on Wallowing in Despair (Leftover Books ’22). His short fiction has appeared or is forthcoming in X-R-A-Y Literary Magazine, Pithead Chapel, Maudlin House, Gone Lawn, Rejection Letters, New World Writing, and others. In addition to writing fiction, he has composed and recorded five albums of original music. He tweets @GergleySteve. His fiction can be found at: https://stevegergleyauthor.wordpress.com/