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Deathbed Realizations

Words by Aron Simkins
mockinbird K_1.png
Art by Ian Greenwood

 (Beep… Beep…)


I see a light at the end of the tunnel. It’s beautiful, and surprisingly warm. Not warm like a summer day in Tucson. That place is a blistering hellscape. No, this is a different kind of warm, like a hug from Aunt Lenora. Ah, Aunt Lenora. She always did have remarkable body heat. It was one of her most endearing qualities. That and nitpicking dad’s every move. She was merciless to him. Probably because of how vocal he was about her horrid cooking. But Aunt Lenora wasn’t known for her cooking. She was known for her body heat. Everyone knew that. Dad was always one to focus on the wrong qualities in people. It was his worst quality, really. Like when he would say Peyton Manning is terrible at pizza. I think that’s the main reason mom didn’t listen when he talked. Which was ironic, considering she was an amazing listener. Probably her best quality. I could tell mom absolutely anything and she would sit and nod her head in an approving way—never interjecting or inserting her opinion, except about how fabulous the Fabulous Thunderbirds were. Or to ask loudly if I was “tuff enuff”—which rarely made sense. But not in the same sense as Grandpa Gus’s nonsense. He was quite the mumble-bum. Probably because he didn’t have teeth. But, oh could that old fart garble a gripping yarn. Easily his most eccentric quality. Of course, we could barely make out a word because of the way he gummed his tongue. But that’s what made him so entertaining, and also why we’d hide his dentures every morning.




Now I see several lights at the end of several tunnels. This can’t be right. Aunt Lenora said there would only be one light to go toward. Ugh, Aunt Lenora. She always did have a way of fudging the truth. It was her most despised quality. Not unlike dad. That guy’s pants were constantly on fire. Probably why mom wore headphones all the...



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