This story was composed live on Twitter as a sort of “flash fiction” test. I think it turned out well.


He shrugged off his black overcoat and turned to peer at himself in the looking glass. “This is what I have become,” he mutters, “dead.”

He pushes back his thinning black hair, the high dome of his forehead glinting under gas-light. He looks at his fingers and sees the dirt.

“These were once beautiful fingers, long and white; the only stains to be seen were from my ink!” His voice is slurred from too much drink.

Edgar Allan Poe stands in the drawing room of his small cottage in the Bronx. The air is better here he told Virginia, her pale face wane. He remembered…remembered her smiling, angelic face. Such a lovely young girl. So alive! “Goddamn it!” He throws up his arms and drops to his knees and begins to pound his fists on the hard wood of the floor.

Pounding, pounding until splinters pierce his flesh and small drops of blood splash in ringlets with each bounding hit. He stops to look.

And beholds the minute craters of impacted darkness, filled with a tiny sea of corpuscles, jetsam of memory there where she once walked.

“I’m going back to Baltimore” he says to no one in particular. Grabbing his valise and his other boots he leaves a story unfinished on the writing desk, some gibberish about a lighthouse. His mind is twisting with drunken deliriums, he thinks he can see the beginning of space and the convoluted rivers of time unfold before him. The cosmos sprung into being and stars exploded to life in instants infinitesimal; stopping in the horseshit strewn road to the city he closes his eyes, sweating under the sun and whispers “I know it all, eureka – eureka!”

He then clutches his stomach and pitches over to vomit; frothy and pungent it lies at his feet, a maelstrom of his inner soul revealed in nonsense and spiral galaxies, in Fibonacci numbers and cryptic codes flashed from dark towers lost in mist. “Wall me up Montresor!” he screams, wiping the filth from his mustache.

“I come to you, I come to you!”