by Jason Gurley

Bryan leaves Rachel’s apartment at two-thirty in the morning and drives to Laguna Beach, parks in a Safeway lot and hoofs across two dead lanes of traffic to the shop that never closes, a fact that it proudly advertises in buzzing, flickering neon. There are two cars in the small lot, a Neon and a Rambler, and he enters, dropping his sunglasses over his eyes. He lays down a hundred bucks on back issues of low-rent porn and a vintage Debbie Does VHS, looks nonchalantly away as the tattooed clerk bags them up, and he feels like a teenager buying his first Playboy in a Barnes & Noble while his Sunday School teacher hovers behind him in line. Brown bag in hand, Bryan steps into the sultry summer night and crosses the road in tandem with a Hyundai with no headlights, and he tumbles and the magazines fly and in the Safeway lot his Datsun waits and miles away Rachel wakes and mumbles, “Bryan?” and the world just kind of stops.

Jason Gurley‘s work has appeared in the Adirondack ReviewPalimpsest magazine, the Paumanok ReviewAmarillo BayLittoral WestInkspotVOiCE magazine, Outsider InkMorella, Progress, the White Shoe Irregular, and the Shallow End, among others. He edits and publishes Deeply Shallow and is writing his third novel. Jason lives in Nevada with his wife and can be contacted at This is his Web Page.