morning in the highrises
by C.C. Russell
It was half past eight in the morning when the first bullets bit through the windows on our floor. We had spent the night in relative quiet up there and had foolishly begun to feel that maybe we were safe, that just maybe they wouldn’t find us after all. Someone whispered that it could have been a mistake, maybe someone firing into the air. Someone else whispered for them to shut up. Silence for a few seconds—sweet silence. And then the world opened up, the windows shattering inwards, our air filled with shards of glass and bullets like an angry swarm of bees. I tell you that in that moment of morning sun, it was inescapably beautiful, the way the light caught the deadly edges of all of that glass, the way it framed all of us together in that languorous last moment.
C.C. Russell has published his poetry and prose in such journals as The Meadow, New York Quarterly, The Colorado Review, and Whiskey Island among others. He has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and for Best of the Net and is included in Best Microfiction 2020. He lives in Wyoming with a couple of humans and several cats. You can find more of his work at ccrussell.net or follow him on Twitter @c_c_russell
— Sarah Rose Cadorette
“Oh, so NO ONE has ever gotten DRUNK at a WEDDING before?” I asked, flinging my arms out to indicate that I was a very, very big presence.
The EMT sighed, pushed the stretcher up against a wall, and came around to face me. “Do you know why we picked you up, Sarah? Hmm?” I shook my head defiantly. “You were laughing in the bushes.”