Tequila, orange juice, and grenadine. Holding the drink up to the rays of the two suns made it look like an illuminated work of art. If someone had just walked out onto the deck where Gerald was standing, they might have been led to believe that he had just reached up into the sky and plucked out a freshly made Tequila Sunrise.
Looking down into the backyard, he nodded to his wife’s gravestone. “Be patient honey, we’ll soon be starting the new year together,” he tipped the glass back and didn’t lower it until every last drop was gone. Funny how he still had all the stuff to make his favorite drink, but antibiotics had become rarer than unicorns. If the fever hadn’t taken Bonnie, she would have been drinking a rum and coke with him right now. But that’s just the way things had gone.
This was going to be his last Tequila Sunrise before the last sunset, although you wouldn’t know it from the second sun lighting up the sky overtop of the real sun sinking into the horizon. It wasn’t actually a second sun, it just looked like one. Planet X is what most people liked to call it. But it wasn’t really a planet either; it was a comet, a bright burning torch of flame coming to bring the apocalypse.
Redemption by fire is what he had heard a lot of people say; especially the religious ones. He doubted whether people were going to feel very redeemed once that lava ball hit the Earth. One thing was for sure, this was going to be the worst Christmas ever. It didn’t matter how good you had been this year, everyone was getting coal.
Without a doubt, this winter solstice was going to be the warmest moment in history. Yes sir, we’ve got record highs of one hundred thousand degrees, ninety thousand in the shade folks. Pulling the revolver from the back of his waist band, he took careful aim at the comet, lining up his sights at the center of its awful fiery mass. He squeezed the trigger, careful not to pull it like his Papa had always reminded him, and sent six gray slugs off into the thick hot atmosphere. He paused for a moment, waiting for the comet to shatter like a light bulb, and then he screamed out a hysterical hyena laugh.
“Well I guess there’s just no stopping you is there?” Spinning the revolver, he tucked it back into his waistband. Those were all the bullets he had left. He never would have the courage to us it on himself anyways. No more bullets to take away the pain, but there was plenty of alcohol. If he got started now, he would never feel the heat.
Lugging an orange milk crate loaded with Jack Daniels, Smirnoff, and Jose Cuervo, he sat down next to his wife’s crudely fashioned gravestone.
“Here’s to oblivion,” he said, uncapping a bottle of Jack Daniels and drinking deeply.
@ R.A. Malek