- No feedback this week because of site issues!
- Next week… don’t drink the water.
A Taste of Time
By Abby Goldsmith
On the night she turned twenty-nine, Jane sat on her narrow bed, watching TV and drinking alone. She’d gone through a bottle of wine and was mostly through a second bottle. Tomorrow morning would be painful.
Or she could stop worrying about tomorrow. The ibuprofen in her cabinet kept popping into her mind. Jane wasn’t sure if all those pills chased by alcohol would be enough to end her life, but the idea of looking up how to commit suicide online seemed just too pathetic.
The front door of her tiny apartment creaked open.
Jane leaned forward, peering through her bedroom doorway. A black wine bottle stood on the floor, with a placard dangling from its silver ribbon.
Her gaze immediately went to the deadbolt. It was in place, as she’d left it.
Jane shut the TV off and listened for noises from the hallway. All she heard were the sounds of Boston traffic outside. Several weeks ago, after she’d come home to find her boyfriend screwing a fat chick on her couch, she’d had the locks changed. No one could have gotten in.
Yet the bottle sat mysteriously on the wooden floor.
At last, Jane crossed her apartment, checking every shadow for an intruder.
She picked up the bottle. The placard had gilded letters, making it a potentially expensive gift.
Warning: There Is No Return
Jane flipped the placard over twice, but nothing else was written on it.
She listened, alert for any noise. Mystery had never been much a part of her adult life, and it gave her a strangely excited feeling. If the warning label meant something like poison, it seemed like a more dignified way to go than pills and alcohol.
Her reflection on the black surface of the bottle was disturbingly clear. There she was: Plain Jane, a frumpy woman with a double-chin and acne scars.
She unscrewed the cap and popped the foil underneath. A stringent smell wafted up, making her wrinkle her nose and salivate at the same time.
“Happy birthday, Jane,” she told herself, and swallowed a mouthful. (Continue Reading…)