Just before dawn, the voice in my ears tells me to hike to the decaying Gothic cathedral in the middle of the woods. I obey. These days I’m always obeying the various voices in my ears. Inside the cathedral, a vicious fire belches leaves of orange flame into my soft and unassuming face. Though I know I should do something to save myself from this terrible situation, the voice in my ears commands me to stand still. It tells me to gaze into the fire and to draw a deep breath. It tells me that the heat scorching my flesh is the sacred breath of God.
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/