He raised a pox-riddled hand, smiled
a smile that bled, spoke words
too small to overcome the winds
that snarled across the crumbled
flagstone square. Then his laugh,
clear as a thought: I tell Death
do what you will, but he never comes.
Black drool stripes his neck. My palm
upon his peeling scalp. I'm here now.
Mike Allen's short story collection, The Button Bin and Other Horrors, is scheduled for an early fall release from Apex Publications. He's a Nebula Award finalist for short fiction, a multiple Rhysling Award winner, and is the editor of Mythic Delirium and the acclaimed anthology series Clockwork Phoenix. He lives in Roanoke, VA with his wife Anita, a goofy dog, and two psychotic cats.