Monday, 10 June 2019


by John Xero

Languid sunlight oozed like honey through stained glass panels, coating the hallway, preserving lives in amber.

An oak-mounted barometer, fascinating, useless. A grandfather clock, pendulum still swinging when all other life had ceased. A painting: old troubled skies over a churning sea, one small vessel, two indistinct figures aboard.

Arthur imagined his grandparents still in the kitchen, pottering around, preparing tea and biscuits.

Saltwater spray kissed him. Wild currents dragged him under.

Cold drenched him, stole his breath. Weathered hands anchored him, pulled him from the convulsing sea, held him close as his grandparents’ voices wrapped him like a blanket.

Author bio: John Xero believes all sorts of worlds and possibilities lie a simple sidestep away, if only you learn to step between the warp and weft of reality. After all, what are pictures if not windows, or perhaps doorways?

Afterlife is part of 101 Fiction issue 23.

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