Deathwish 043: James

Editor Matty Byloos, Editor's Choice, July 21st, 2016

"Maybe I should cut her hair while she’s sleeping."

Deathwish 043: James


A girl with long blonde hair and dark eyes.

A sundress.

A pier jutting into the ocean.

These are the images that stick with me after waking. The guide posts to my own death.

In dreams we know things. The why and the how. My death will be quick or at least there won’t be any feelings of regret. Only acceptance and relief that she is safe.

The pier breaks away below me.

She’s reaching for me.

My hand outstretched toward her as I fall, weightless.

Dark eyes watching.

That’s a lie. The girl doesn’t reach for me. Her hair frames her face, just touches her shoulders. She stands, smiling, with her hands at her sides.

There are two things I’ve known – that I will have a daughter, and when my death comes, that blonde haired, dark eyed girl will be with me.

My daughter was born in 2009. She has blond hair and dark eyes.

Her hair won’t stay blond long; every year it seems to get a bit darker. By the time she’s a teenager it will probably be light brown.

Maybe I should cut her hair while she’s sleeping.

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To read the previous installment, “Deathwish 042: Jason,” go here. To participate in Deathwish, find details here.

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James was born in Glen Cove, New York, and currently lives in Altamont, New York.


Matty Byloos

Matty Byloos is Co-Publisher and a Contributing Editor for NAILED. He was born 7 days after his older twin brother, Kevin Byloos. He is the author of 2 books, including the novel in stories, ROPE ('14 SDP), and the collection of short stories, Don't Smell the Floss ('09 Write Bloody Books).