Great Idea by Niles Reddick

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“Wilford passed this morning. They said one minute he was here and the next he was gone.”

“Isn’t that the way it is? We’re like water in a bathtub, moving closer to the drain and tunnel. After all, we are mostly water. “

“That is a horrible way to look at life.”

“No, not at all. It’s realistic. Every once in a while, something comes along, throws something in the tub, molecules go everywhere. Kind of like a meteor.”

“Whatever. You smoked too much pot when you were younger. They aren’t having a funeral for Wilford. Just a graveside.”

“Cheaper. That’s what he would’ve wanted. Nothing fancy. He wasn’t religious.”

“No, but he would’ve given you the shirt of his back.”

“He would have, especially if it wasn’t new.”

“How old was he?”

“I guess around eighty.”

“Looked eighty twenty years ago.”

“Chain smoking Marlboros and eating raisins soaked in gin for thirty days will do that for you.”

“Why did he do that?”

“Told me once it helped with arthritis.”

“You think it did?”

“It didn’t matter if it did or didn’t. He stayed so buzzed he wasn’t bothered by arthritis.”

“Remember when we worked at the Bi-Rite store with him when we were in high school and how obsessed he was with the O.J. story?”

“What I remember was that he was right about the outcome of that trial from the get-go. Even before the glove didn’t fit.”

“You think his wife will sell that old truck he had?”

“Let’s take a bowl of pinto beans to the house and mention we’d like to consider it if she wants to get rid of it. Need to make sure it’s the last thing we say, so she don’t think it’s the only reason we came.”

“Great idea.”


Niles Reddick

Niles Reddick is author of the novel Drifting too far from the Shore, two collections Reading the Coffee Grounds and Road Kill Art and Other Oddities, and a novella Lead Me Home. His work has been featured in thirteen anthologies, twenty-one countries, and in over three hundred publications including The Saturday Evening Post, PIF, New Reader Magazine, Forth Magazine, The Boston Literary Magazine, Flash Fiction Magazine, and With Painted Words. His books are available at Amazon:

Twitter: @niles_reddick
Instagram: nilesreddick@memphisedu

Cover image by Semevent


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